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Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #1 
I have heard and seen people speaking of light classical pieces. What makes a piece a light classical piece as opposed to a classic raga?
Is it not as inerpreted as much as a Raga and more composed and played the same by many? ,Is it pieces from movies,etc.


"To serve's,,it's a cookbook"
jaan e kharabat

Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #2 
There are various styles or genres of Hindustani music, some of which are termed, in western parlance, as 'classical' and others as 'semi-classical', or 'light-classical'.

The 'classical' styles are:


The 'light classical' styles are:


Some distinguishing features are that in the classical department, the raga is sacrosanct whereas in light pieces, more leeway is allowed to 'mess' with a raga's formal structure, bringing shades of other ragas. All the various genres are distinguishable by various ornaments employed in them, that set them apart from the others, but generally in the light pieces will be found such things are murki and zamzama that are frowned upon in the classical genres.

Also light compositions are flighty and spritely in character, usually employing brisk and short rhythmic forms as such as the 6 beat Dadra taal, 8 beat Keherwa etc, whilst khyals are usually in the weighty rhythms such as 16 beat teental, 12 beat ektaal, 14 beat Ada Chartal and others, and Dhrupads are composed in rhythms not usually found in other styles, e.g. Chartal, Dhamar, Sulfakhta.

As to ragas, some ragas are associated with light genres, e.g. Bhairavi, Pahadi, Gara, Kafi and others with the classical genres, even though one might find some overlaps in rare cases.

It's best to listen and enjoy the various styles and hear for yourself the differences. I'm sure you will pick those up.

To that end, here's a couple of examples on youtube.

This Nikhil Banerjee on the sitar with khiyal style piece in raga Malkauns:

Now the same artist with Dadra in raga Bhairavi:

Hope this helps.

p.s. artists are usually seen to be smiling more when they are playing 'light' pieces, but not NB...

If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?
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