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zanshin777

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Reply with quote  #1 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uf8znzh5l5gtpkh/Indian%20Note%20Names.PNG?dl=0

I've been invetigating Classical Indian Music Theory on Internet from different resources.

I'm confused with the terminology of the note names in Classical Indian Music.


1) 
What's the difference between thenames on the column;

a) 
Name1
b) Name2
c) Swaras


2) 
Are the places of the

a) Name1
b) Name2
c) Swaras
d) Synonym
e) Pitch Class

right according to the column "Shruti No"?

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Stephen.bansuri

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Reply with quote  #2 
I cannot pretend to give you a full explanation as I too spent so,etime grappling with this. However the final column is also misleading. Western musicians are told often enough that western music is inferior because it is beased on equal temperament. When this is really only partly true. In defining the western intervals as being equivalent to the intervals potentially available in the Indian system there is the assumption that in western music that all intervals with the same name. Are always exactly the same size. And this is simply not the case.

Someone once said to me that the problem is that some people really understand the theory and so,e the practice but the number of people who understand both is surprisingly small.

I hope someone who really knows gicves you a complete answer but I would suggest that a table like this can be a bit misleading as it could male  it look like all,od these potential,notes are avialable and found in every performance and it is a well established principle that every payer will interpret the exact size of these intervals slightly differently even in the same piece. And it is not that important because it is the expressive sound of the interval size which is more important and the architecture that shifting harmonies imposes on western music just isn’t there.


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zanshin777

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you very much for your answer Stephen.bansuri.

Yes, the final column is not exactly the same with the previous ones. That column is an adaptation of Indian Musical Intervals to the 12 Tone Equal Temperament.

I hope someone who is knowledgable can help as well.
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david

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Reply with quote  #4 
I generally do not like to enter into these conversations because my presence, as owner and moderator of the board, would just stifle the conversation. However in this case I feel that it I should jump in.

It is a characteristic of Indian culture to engage in an endless amount of hermeneutics in order to rectify discrepancies between contemporary musical practice and ancient musical theory. You have just stumbled upon one of them.

Although it is difficult to put exact dates on things, you can basically say that Indian music of the first millennium A.C.E. was characterised by the jati while the second millennium A.C.E. was characterised by the raga. There are fundamental ways in which these two approaches differ.

The ragas are conceptualise as being linked together by a fixed tonic. Within this fixed tonic (e.g., Sa, Pa) the other notes derive their values as being alternative intonations of the notes. That is to say that the mode is derived by taking the notes Re, Ga, Ma, Dha, and Ni and using alternative forms of them. This creates the mode upon which the rag is derived by attention to the other defining factors (e.g., swarup, vadi, samvadi).

However the older jati forms were connected in a very different fashion. They were linked by a process known as "murchhana"; this is similar to the Western concept of modulation. An easy way to conceptualise this process is to think of the white keys of a piano. If one uses only these keys, one will find that there will be seven different modes produced as one shifts the tonic from key to key.

It is at this point that things get a little complicated. From a contemporary Western standpoint, once one has modulated, the matter is finished. However from the Indian standpoint this modulation shows a small problem. Contemporary Western music is based upon equal tempered scales; therefore the process of modulation does not introduce any further problems of intonation. However Indian music is based upon a staggered scale that naturally comes when one is looking at the intonation from a harmonic standpoint. The shifting of the tonic during the process of modulation (murchhana) produces a scale which is out of tune. One must then intervene to retune the scale to bring it to a harmonic (Helholtzian) correctness. These small intervals are the shrutis.

Therefore the table that is being alluded to is only relevant to the process of modulation (murchhana). It describes the positions that the notes must be altered to normalise the intonation after modulation.

It has NO relevance to contemporary concepts of raga. Its relevance disappeared when the raga supplanted the old jati. Any attempt to force it into contemporary concepts of raga are unnecessary and completely unproductive exercises in hermeneutics. It is a device by which generations of musical scholars have attempted to impress people with their "knowledge".

The bottom line is simple. Forget about it.

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Stephen.bansuri

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Reply with quote  #5 
David. I appreciate your explanation of this very much and I think even Bhatkande said that the wise man avoided this problem.

However I would like to point out that saying that western music is based on equal temperament is really something of an oversimplification.

Certainly anything that involves a keyboard is and this the very reason that in spite of being a more than proficient keyboard player I prefer to avoid playing in groups that do use keyboards.

The position is in fact every bit as complicated as in ICM if one chooses to let it be. That is to say that the exact frequency of any given note is really dependent on its place in any given scale. So c  as tonic or SA for those not used to this system will have a different frequency for c as the leading note of Db or c as the minor third of a minor third of a or as a major third of a flat major and so on and on and on and on and this is true for every note.

Western theory also has a few gaping holes in it. Of course the way that we cope with it is by listening and letting the ear be the guide although we can talk about a note by its letter name and refer to its position in the scale.

But as you rightly point out western music modulates and so the whole horribly complicated spiral begins anew in a any number of different dimensions simultaneously.

However as one who always appreciates the clarity of an explanation above being impressed by how complicated something is because I dont understand it I really appreciate you last word.

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zanshin777

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you very much for your elaborate answer David.


Thank you very much again Stephen.bansuri.
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david

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Reply with quote  #7 
I very much appreciate your comment regard different intonations of Western musical scales.  If you noted I was vary particular to qualify the previous discussions with the term "contemporary Western".  I have tried to avoid this topic, firstly because it was tangential to the points that I was trying to make and secondly because my explanation was already very long. and I didn't want to get into an area that would make it even longer.
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Stephen.bansuri

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yes so long as we keep the Wagner word out of conversations we have a chance of clarity.
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