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John Pitts

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http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-pitts/how-to-play-indian-sitar-raags-on-a-piano/paperback/product-22961686.html

FOR ADVENTUROUS PIANISTS

Hallo, I'd be grateful if you could share this with any pianists if appropriate - it is my brand new 258-page book of 24 Indian Sitar Raags completely reinvented for piano, plus a whole load of instruction and musical examples. I'm a British composer who spent 10 months in Pakistan 21 years ago.

My new book is designed to be enjoyed by good amateur pianists through to virtuosic professionals. It is suitable for any pianist who enjoys discovering new music, or who has an interest in music from other cultures, or who knows the pleasure of jazz noodling and wants to explore a rewarding and fresh (but centuries-old) form of improvisation. The amazing world of Indian raags has been opened up in this sympathetic but thorough reinvention for piano solo (or duet or two pianos).

Many thanks,
John
http://www.johnpitts.co.uk
PS: here's a through-composed 'raag' for virtuoso piano duet -
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trippymonkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
OH
24 Indian Sitar Raags completely reinvented for piano ????
MMM Interesting but you do know about srutis etc. The bending of notes that give Indian music, north & south, its brilliance & uniqueness.
How may one reproduce this on a fixed note instrument?

Might well indulge myself, thank you.

Nick
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westsea

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Raags on a fixed note instrument?
Harmonium?
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John Pitts

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Hallo - thanks for the nice comments, Nick, and for the very sensible questions. And Chilly Chicken, thanks for your response which I'd echo - you're right - the shruti and meend are lost, but there are things you can do to mitigate the loss, and anyway there is still a wealth of things within Indian raags that a pianist can enjoy.
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Anonymous

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Dont be fooled, you can not reduce the depth of nada yoga to the stale and robot confines of a piano, doing so is essentialy taking 99% of the beutity of this art and throwing it in the trash.

You have done nothing more than break down the raags into modes, if you want a book on that just buy the raga guide.

If you actually want to learn ICM I would suggest buying a high quality tanpura and study voice with a highly qualified teacher that has produced platform level students.

Only then will you begin to understand the deep spiritual nature of this music.

Try

http://dhrupad.org/about/
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John Pitts

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Hi Bhairava,
Have a listen to this

Warmest wishes to you.
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mizrable

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this aint your grandma s keyboard!



total gamechanger!
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povster

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "westsea"
Raags on a fixed note instrument?
Harmonium?
Santoor?

__________________
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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John Pitts

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New review of my book "How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano" just in - International Piano Magazine (Sept/Oct 2017 issue):
"…there is much to praise in this book. Pitts meticulously and imaginatively sets out in staff notation numerous effective and convincing musical ideas in his range of Hindustani ragas. His recommendations for imitating the drone of the stringed tambura, and his suggested renderings of ornaments and portamento slides around notes, are ingenious, and work remarkably well, as evidenced in his own sample performances available through the website for this book (pianoraag.com). Despite its shortcomings in musical theory I strongly recommend the book to pianists with an eye and an ear to the East, and I look forward to hearing further performances by John Pitts." Jonathan Katz
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Arjav Rawal

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I know Abhijit Pohankar did a recording of Kaunsi kanada some years ago on the piano. I might have it somewhere...gonna have to check. There's also a gentleman by the name of Kartik Trivedi who lives in Houston that performs ragas on the piano as well. Here's the discogs for one of his recordings: https://www.discogs.com/Kartik-Trivedi-Basanti-Indian-Raga-Music-on-Piano/release/7961403
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Arjav Rawal
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Kirya

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Having musicians reading from a score kind of kills any kind of raag possibilities I think.
Your sample is nice but I can't see/hear anything raaga-like about it all.
It is more like a serious classical western classical piece.

Improvisation is critical to ICM music.

A santoor is essentially a tiny piano that cannot meend, but in the right hands, with a strong improvisational approach, it can produce raga music that will satisfy many who say only instruments that can produce meend can play raga.

e.g.


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Kirya
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John Pitts

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Thanks, Arjav - it is here:
- I hadn't come across it before - very interesting.
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John Pitts

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Reply with quote  #13 
Kirya, thanks for your comments.  Yes I absolutely agree that of course improvisation is critical to ICM. My book contains a huge amount of material for pianists to improvise around with.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ4LDrhrbA6L2e9QWZChTM8B7hAoMEtx3 contains some examples (both improvisation and fixed compositions) - but any notated material is supposed to be played around with, with improvisations between each part of the learnt/notated material.
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ragamala2

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I think it is commendable, John, for you to attempt a new way of introducing western piano players to ICM. And a tad brave to risk comments on this forum! Westerners like myself are, as I am sure you know, among the first to challenge change to accepted ideas about the music.

I am sure there is a lot of good stuff there. What concerns me is that through your fairly jocular approach, including your idea of "doodling" as an aspect of the creative process, you are not going to engage too well with folks whose primary interest is ICM and have a good understanding, as you undoubtedly have.

There's the rub. You have an understanding but this is not is what is conveyed in the book according to the various previews I have read through Lulu/Amazon etc.

Apart from relatively minor errors, (Todi as having shussh Re stands out) one really has to question whether the title is appropriate, given that your pieces largely ignore teental, the base of the vast majority of sitar performances. One has also to ask whether gats should be included within jor as part of a simple alap/jhor/jhala/end without a proper exploration of performance mode, which includes ajj as a prelude to the gat section, for which the use by you of the term "ritornello" seems to me somewhat inappropriate. I think this would satisfy few of us here. I also have to question a simple 2 to the 5th suggestion of Indian thaats = 32, when of course even the "accepted" 10 breach that number in practice. I can understand why your reviewer felt it necessary to refer to "shortcomings in musical theory".

I shall look forward to a second edition where these misgivings are addressed. Or to your further comments.

 

 

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John Pitts

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Reply with quote  #15 
Thanks ragamala2 for your helpful comments.

The book is really designed for western-trained musicians who would like to explore ICM, and to give them a way of doing so by actually practically engaging in its processes.  You are right - the book isn't particularly designed for those who already perform ICM, but for those don't but would like to be able to on their own instrument.  I can understand your reservations about the word 'doodling' -  I am trying to engage those pianists who enjoy improvising, and playing around with ideas on a piano, and who would find great enjoyment exploring improvisation through ICM.  The pleasure (although not the music!) is very similar to jazz improvisation.

My approach was first and foremost a compositional one - trying to make ICM accessible/doable on a piano - and for a pianist on their own (as well as with others).  So, there is huge amount of notated material for 24 raags to be explored and improvised around - with lots of instructions about how to approach it - hopefully in a way that western-trained musicians can get their heads around easily.  The use of the term 'ritornello' seems a clear way of getting across the idea of a section which is repeated in between episodes of other musical material.  I'm happy to receive suggestions of more appropriate terms for any second edition!

As the music is composed for piano there are of course some things which are idiomatic to the piano.  Teental, yes, is more common - and there are some examples in the book. For a pianist who is trying to do everything themselves whilst exploring all the other aspects of the music, Keherwa tal is much more manageable, which is why it appears more.  I have also tried to include a wide variety of different tala to give as much exposure to different rhythmic patterns/time signatures as possible.

Thanks for spotting the shush Re typo on p69 (although the notes given are right - E to F)- yes, Todi has komal re - which thankfully is correct everywhere else in the book - and in the music - pages 165-171.  The 32vs10 thaats - I'm not sure I have understood what your point is there? 

Warm wishes.

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