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Kirya

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I was taught by teachers who were relatively flexible about raga timing during instruction i.e. they might teach me a Yaman bandish in the morning even though they would clearly suggest that I should practice in the evening, but I know some teachers e.g. AAK used to insist on staying true to the timing and only taught morning ragas in the morning.

I have tried to stay true to this and I have standard favorites for what I would play at different times of day like;

Morning: Bhairav, (Bhairavi, Bilaskhani Todi, Alhaiya Bilawal , Jaunpuri)

Afternoon: Sarang (Madhmad Sarang, Bhimpalasi, Gavati)

Evening: Yaman, Durga, Bihag, Bhupali ( and many others)

But I find that I tend to be playing the evening ragas most frequently and so I explore and learn more and more of those.

Do others have any strong feelings about this? I think it does matter and I know i feel strange and weird about playing Yaman in the morning but I am curious to know what others feel.

This is a link http://ayurveda-foryou.com/music/raga_time.html that explains some of the thinking behind this (excerpt below) :

One of the unique characteristics of Indian music is the assignment of definite times of the day and night for performing Raga melodies. It is believed that only in this period the Raga appears to be at the height of its melodic beauty and majestic splendor. There are some Ragas which are very attractive in the early hours of the mornings; others which appeal in the evenings, yet others which spread their fragrance only near the midnight hour.

This connection of time of the day or night, with the Raga or Raginis is based on daily cycle of changes that occur in our own body and mind which are constantly undergoing subtle changes in that different moments of the day arouse and stimulate different moods and emotions.

Each Raga or Ragini is associated with a definite mood or sentiment that nature arouses in human beings. The ancient musicologists were particularly interested in the effects of musical notes, how it effected and enhanced human behavior. Music had the power to cure, to make you feel happy, sad, disgusted and so on. Extensive research was carried out to find out these effects. This formed the basis of time theory as we know it today.

It is believed that the human body is dominated by the three Doshas - Kaph , Pitta and Vata . These elements work in a cyclic order of rise and fall during the 24 hour period. Also, the reaction of these three elements differ with the seasons.Hence it is said that performing or listening to a raga at the proper allotted time can affect the health of human beings.
Raga and Day Time
The following schedule will summarize the specific time periods.
The 24 hour period is divided into 8 beats(Prahar) each three hours long, as follows:

4 a.m. - 7 a.m. 4th beat of the night. Early Dawn; Dawn (before sunrise);
7 a.m. - 10 a.m. first beat of the day. Daybreak; Early Morning; Morning;
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 2nd beat of the day. Late Morning; Noon; Early Afternoon;
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 3rd beat of the day. Afternoon; Late Afternoon;
4 p.m. - 7 p.m. 4th beat of the day. Evening Twilight; Dusk (sunset);
7 p.m. - 10 p.m. first beat of the night. Evening; Late Evening;
10 p.m. - 1 a.m. 2nd beat of the night. Night; Midnight;
1 a.m. - 4 a.m. 3rd beat of the night. Late Night



Some other links: http://www.itcsra.org/sra_others_samay_index.html

http://uday.caltech.edu/raga.html

This site has stuff that sounds a little questionable to me: http://www.swarganga.org/articles/icmconcepts/icm9.php

Simillarly Everyday two cycles of change pass through our body, each bringing a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha predominance.
The approximate times of these cycles are as follows:
First cycle:

6 A.M. to 10 A.M. - Kapha
10 A.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
2 P.M. to 6 P.M. - Vata

Second cycle:

6 P.M. to 10 P.M. - Kapha
10 P.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
2 A.M to 6 P.M. - Vata

Raga and Ritu(Seasons)
There are Ragas associated with the rainy season,Varsha (Raga Megha and Raga Malhar), the autumn season,Basant (Raga Basant) and the spring season (Raga Bahar). Seasonal Ragas can be sung and played any time of the day and night during the season allotted to them. The obligation of time in case of such melodies is relaxed.
Vasanta Ritu (Spring Season)
In this season, increased kapha is liquified by the heat of sun which causes diminished agni (digestive activity) causing diseases
Grishma Ritu (Summer Season)
In this season, Sunrays become powerful. Kapha decreases vata increases day by day
Sharat Ritu (Autumn Season)
Sudden exposed to sunlight after cold season aggravates pita.

Dosha         Accumulation         Vitiation         Diminution
Kapha         Shishir         Vasant         Grishma
Pitta         Grishma         Varsha         Sharad
Vata         Varsha         Sharad         Hemant

Raga and Ritu(Seasons) Association :-
Raga         Ritu
Bhairav         Shishir
Hindol         Vasant
Deepak         Grishma
Megh         Varsha
Malkans         Sharad
Shree         Hemant

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Kirya
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Kirya

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From Darbar:
Quote:

Apart from musical content and the esoteric concept of ras, Indian classical raags are also assigned to particular times of day (or night) to maximize their emotional impact on the listener. In the old days, it would never have been an issue because no self-respecting musician could’ve been persuaded to perform a raag at the wrong time but in this age of recorded music, music-on-the-move and music-on-demand, listening to a raag at its prescribed time is probably no longer adhered to as strictly as in the old days.

To break the time rule used to be considered such a mark of uncivilized behavior that, in the Urdu language for example, if someone even made an irrelevant or inappropriate comment in conversation, they were admonished for instigating a “be-waqt ki ragini” (“an untimely melody”) – which just goes to show how a purely musical concept had been deeply ingrained into daily life.

When we speak of raags and times, it must be understood that this is not time as shown on the clock but time in relation to the position of the sun as viewed from earth. Indian classical culture divides the day into 8 segments of three hours and each segment is given a name either according to the level of light or a specific activity that is associated with that time of day. Given that ancient India was largely an agrarian society, many activities are related to the land or to the tending of cattle.

Nearly all raags in North Indian music (but not so much in its Southern counterpart) are categorized by the time of day they may be played or heard. There are exceptions but these are mostly for those raags that have also been assigned an additional geographical or seasonal component, for instance, Bahar and Basant (Spring), Malhar (Rain), Pahadi (Mountains), and Maand (strong associations with the Rajasthani desert area and its folk music).

There have been some attempts to find rational explanations for why particular raags sound better at certain times and some researchers have concluded that it might be connected to the pattern of half or flat notes, and that raags which have these as dominant or sub-dominant notes are more likely to be assigned to sections where day meets night – dusk and dawn – and where the fading light creates a mood of ambivalence and uncertainty. Of course, this assertion does not fit every instance but the time-theory of Indian music is largely accepted by its practitioners and listeners without requiring much analysis. It is intended merely to enhance the experience of listening to music and maximizing the benefits to be had from ras. It’s no longer considered a major crime against decency to listen to a raag at the wrong time but it can cause some discomfort – in pretty much the same way as if one were in full evening dress taking an early morning stroll in the park.
Copyright | © 2012, Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust

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Kirya
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David Russell Watson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Kirya"
Do others have any strong feelings about this? I think it does matter and I know i feel strange and weird about playing Yaman in the morning but I am curious to know what others feel.

This is a link http://ayurveda-foryou.com/music/raga_time.html that explains some of the thinking behind this (excerpt below) :
[edit]
If indeed the Dosha theory is what prompted time-of-performance traditions in the first place, then the answer to whether we should still follow them or not is contained therein, for thanks to modern science and medicine we nowadays know the Dosha theory to be false.

The Dosha theory was India's version of the theory of Humors prevalent elsewhere in Asia and Europe in the same time period, and has, just like the theory of Humors, been thoroughly discredited by our modern understanding of how the human body actually works.

We're made out of atoms, which follow the laws of physics, built up into cells, built up into structures like nerves, veins, arteries, organs, etc. all of which follow the laws of physics and nowhere have we found evidence, nor do the laws of physics tolerate, the existence of things like Qi, Humors, or Doshas operating within human (or other animals' or plants') bodies.

Naturally, Doshas aside, there may be other, purely physical, effects of music on the human brain (and therefrom to the body) that are not yet properly understood.

I personally suspect that raga timing evolved from practices during the time of the bow-harp vinas, which required the tedious twisting of their tuning collars to change mode. It's likely that in the context of the courts and wealthy households, the musicians of many of which may have been called upon to provide some sort of music throughout the day, the custom of playing all music in one mode for a period of time, and hence not having to constantly retune, would have set in quickly, for practical reasons. In this way musicians could change from one period's assigned mode to the next by retuning only one string at a time. That is, of course, besides the possibility of changing mode by merely reassigning the tonic to a different string, which was possible on harps unlike lutes with dedicated drone strings.

N. A. Jairazbhoy's work goes in depth into the serial relationship between the ancient Indian modes and the time-of-performance traditions, in fact.

David
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #4 
My teacher has never stressed this, although mentioned it...mainly in light of "tradition", not a terribly serious consideration. Perhaps it is more commonly adhered to among Hindu-background musicians, vs those of Muslim background? Just guessing, I'm not sure.

As for me, I think of it as mainly a pleasant tradition to be enjoyed when practical, like the association of Desh with monsoon season...when there is a downpour outside, playing Desh just has a romantic, fitting feeling. And Malkauns would feel somewhat strange at high noon, just because it is such a DARK raag, to me...sonorous and mysterious. But if I'm learning an evening raag and I have time available to practice in the morning...I will practice, because with work and family my riyaz time is so limited that it is better for me to practice whenever I have opportunity...I don't need any more excuses not to practice!
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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #5 
David

I don't think the time theory is necessarily related to the dosha concepts. But since the link I provided was on an Ayurveda site it seems clear they wanted to make a link.

I would be careful to presume that the everything in "modern medicine and science" is correct and accurate as the modern form of medicine has only been around for a few hundred years and there is much that is questionable about what modern science produces e.g. we can see that the products of modern science have very likely caused worldwide epidemics of diabetes and auto-immune diseases that were previously unknown. However, i digress.

I have been told by Sanskrit scholars that I occasionally speak to, that the time theory is the result of very deliberate research and experimentation by rishis of yore, who found that certain note combinations had optimal effects at different times of day. There is a very close relationship between science and spirituality in Vedic traditon, something that we see also happening now amongst many recent theoretical physicists who see/saw that many of their findings were already present in some form in the Upanishads and the Vedas.(e.g. Einstein, Bohr, Heizenberg, Schroder all had strong interest in Sanskrit based ancient knowledge.) Also this music (ICM) has very close associations with natural cycles and rhythms (like many indigenous peoples music) and so I think there is actually more to this notion, than Western scientific perspectives have understood or acknowledged to date. But I understand that the scientific rational stance on this would be to dismiss it and this may be deservedly so.

I have always felt that some melodic combinations have strong time associations for me but then it is possible that the suggestion from a figure of authority (Guru) may have something to do with that.

Also the person who seemed to be the most committed to this time theory of all the teachers I have seen is Ali Akbar Khan who held very closely to it. In fact, he even once said that perhaps PNB died very early because he did not follow this theory as closely as he should have.

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Kirya
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #6 
My teacher is fairly strict about the time theory, though sometimes he will be flexible if scheduling prevents us from meeting at the ideal time for whatever we are working on. However I did recently meet him in the morning and started "So... we've been working on Yaman..." to which he responded "Yaman? No, no... it's too early for that". So Jaunpuri it was

When he talks about the theory itself he mentions ideas already proposed in this thread
-it is the result of research of the old masters, rishis, experimenting with note combinations
-follows the movement of the sun: as the dominant colors (frequencies) change around us, we should change the notes (frequencies) that are dominant in the music we play.
-He has ever mentioned the idea about doshas, and he does have a working knowledge of ayurveda, but who knows.
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #7 
All cultures associate music with seasons and different times of the day.
Jingle Bells sounds better in December than it does in July.
Taylor Swift sounds best between 7 and 10am, while Nick Drake is rarely heard before 9pm.
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