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Tristan von Neumann

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Reply with quote  #1 
Here's something around which I could not yet wrap my mind:


I still have a hard time understanding how a Raga is unfolded in a longer performance.

However, I noticed that there are certain recurring passages in which the movements jump tetrachords more quickly and distant combinations of notes are explored.

Is this what usually makes the "Sanchari" part of Dhrupad?

Is there something similar in Khayal?

Thanks!

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Kirya

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The expansion of a raag happens in a very systematic way and is different from the general sense of what is understood by the word improvisation.

I once heard Nikhil Banerjee describe the development of a Raag as a trickle of water that builds into a stream that flows and builds into a river steadily until it meets the ocean. This is the artistic impulse to start with a bare bones skeletal blueprint and build a clearly recognizable sonic structure. This is why Kishori Amonkar sang Raag Yaman for 65 years and was not yet done exploring the possibilities.  

There are some critical terms used by teachers when they show you how to expand beyond a key phrase (pakad)

Badhat is one, which is a way to reach out slowly on both ends of a pakad phrase

Vistaar is another that expands phrases beyond the pakad and connects key phrases together

Nyasa is another key concept that I think basically points to resting places, pause notes, in a melodic structure which also helps to establish a certain kind of a melodic center of gravity

Swar is more than the concept of note though this is another common conflation


"Terms such as badhat, vistaar and upaj, which signify growth, expansion, and spontaneity, are often conflated with Western notions of improvisation"

Here are a key set of terms that are worth getting to know to understand:
https://aliakbarkhanlibrary.com/glossary/


There is not much that is structured and written as a doctrine about these very key concepts in Indian Music that I know of, and you are subjected to IMO overly pedantic word descriptions of very subtle sonic movements that are best understood sonically and demonstrated by a knowledgeable teacher, not as word constructs or ideas.

Deepak Raja writes much about Raag Sangeet that you may find interesting e.g. his description of Kishori Amonkar's approach the Raag presentation:

Quote:
An important feature of her music -- which partly explains her awesome influence -- is her fastidious organization of musical material. She is one of the very few vocalists who sings her alap-s in four distinct phases -- sthayi, antara, sanchari and abhog. All improvisatory movements are neatly in their place with never a blurred separation between them. This feature of her music imparts unusual transparency to her aesthetic intent.


http://swaratala.blogspot.com/2011/07/kishori-amonkar-queen-of-romanticism.html


This is another element of expansive and explorative strategy in a Raag that describes the improvisational strategy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merukhand

Rajan Parikar is another source of information on Raag that is quite useful even though the writer himself is opinionated, pedantic, puerile, bombastic and quite rude especially to Westerners and musicologists, so be forewarned. He provides many sound examples which can certainly help one's understanding. He bashes on Ali Akbar Khan in particular because I am told he once played something on a harmonium for a song that AAK was recording and chose to exclude from the final recording.  Clearly, his feelings were hurt. His greatest contribution I think is to be a translator for Pandit Ramashreya Jha “Ramrang” who was, and is a great ICM music scholar and had much to offer to explain and demonstrate Raag concepts, even if we have to deal with RPs rants and ugliness along the way.

https://www.parrikar.org/vault/#thethe-accordion-content-1


https://books.google.com/books?id=gQWLa--IHjIC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=raga+badhat&source=bl&ots=XPBMcvJBU8&sig=ACfU3U0ND8CZVNNxku1KZzUWndteRoi44Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwje07Gau57jAhWZITQIHe1JAnUQ6AEwCHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=raga%20badhat&f=false


This is very basic but may be useful to learn basic concepts:



This is summary by Deepak Raja which are illustrative but not final or absolute in any way as ICM  IMO goes way beyond the words used to describe it. from http://swaratala.blogspot.com/

 

The key to excellence
This brings me to the argument I suggested in the earlier part of my observations . Hindustani music cannot produce either a great musician or a significant musicologist without a vast exposure to performed/ recorded music. No Guru, no University, no books can cultivate his musical/ critical abilities to a level of excellence without extensive and intensive listening. And, fortunately for today's aspirants, never before in history has a 100 years of music been available for study, thus permitting a panoramic as well as encyclopedic understanding of the tradition. 
 
In such exposure, the aspiring musician/ scholar has access to all the three dimensions of Hindustani music. The communicative. The expressive. The meditative. He will absorb the insights
according to his innate endowments of musicality.  His insights will grow at a pace permitted by his intellect, memory, and his exposure to the world beyond music. His individuality will grow as he evolves his“Personal Musical Statement”with the help of all the inputs he has absorbed. There is a pedagogical perspective here. But, that is possibly less important than my basic argument. 
 
A life in classical music is a self-driven journey. There is a space in it for mentors, inspirations, and even guides. If one tries to quantify the size of this space, one may produce numbers that are culturally repugnant. But, the truth is that no Guru, and no University, can entirely claim the shaping of either an eminent musician or an eminent musicologist. 
 
If a great musician has spent a total of 10,000 hours receiving taleem from his Guru, he has almost certainly spent 20,000 hours of life listening to other musicians of stature. If a significant scholar of music has spent 5000 hours pursuing degrees in music, I am certain that he has spent 10,000 hours studying works unrelated to the syllabus. And, those who match a yardstick of excellence in either department can be expected to have had intensive exposure to other department as much as their own pursuit. 
 
Classical music is a philosophical art. Involvement with it arises from a thirst for unraveling a mysterious territory of human experience. It can be compared, in some ways, to the spiritual urge with which the more evolved souls are born. Those born to this calling will quench their thirst, with or without any guidance. 

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Kirya
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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #3 
This may also be useful and there are many who talk about Raga on Qoura that you may also find useful 

https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-R%C4%81ga-How-do-we-distinguish-between-different-R%C4%81gas/answer/Kirti-Vashee

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Kirya
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Tristan von Neumann

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you, those are great resources!


I am especially interested in the Sanchari part.

To illustrate what I mean, here is a superposition of a Sikh Hymn with a European piece based on Dhanaseri.
There are special sections that are more dynamic in regards to phrases in both tetrachords, occuring at the same time (if aligned correctly).

I hope this makes clear what I mean:

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