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Vibrant Moods
Raag Yaman
Raag Lalit
Raaga - An introduction
Description of few Raagas
Raaga - An introduction  

Raaga :  Literally Raaga (or Raag in Hindi, also spelt Raga or Rag) means color, mood or feeling. Raaga is so called because, it creates a particular mood in the listeners. Raaga is a central concept in Indian music. A Raaga has many aspects to it. Only when all the aspects or characteristics of a Raaga are adhered to does the music sound like a Raaga.The Raga system is unique in Indian Classical Music. A Raga has a specific melodic structure with arrangement of notes (Swara).By the definition which is normally used to define a Raga, the most prominent feature which stands out is that a Raga should 'colour' or please the minds of the listeners.

Each Raaga has a particular scale. The ascending scale is called Aarohana and the descending scale is called Avarohana.  A Raaga can have 7, 6 or 5 notes.  The Aarohana and Avarohana can contain different notes i.e. the ascending scale can be different from the descending scale.  Even though, two Raagas might use the same set of notes, this difference in the way ascending or descending note series is sung would make the two Raagas different.
Vaadi, Samvaadi, Vivaadi : Each Raaga has one important note, called Vaadi (Sonant or King). The related note to this swara note is called Samvaadi (Consonant or Queen).

Elaborate patterns are thus woven around these notes and also, they can be used as the stop notes in a musical phrase. The note which might be in conflict or dissonance with Vaadi is called Vivaadi. The Vivaadi Swara in contrast is to be just touched upon or sometime entirely omitted in descent or ascent. The other notes in the scale which agree with vaadi are called Anuvaadi. Two Raagas with the same scale can have different Vaadi-SamVaadi-Vivaadi swaras making them different and giving them their characteristic flavour.

The chromatic arrangement of the seven musical notes (Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa Dha, Ni)  in Hindustani Music (in the western scale taking “C” as the reference tonic note – C D E F G A B ) are as follows:
Sa, Komal Ri, Shuddha Ri, Komal Ga, Shuddha Ga, Shuddha Ma,  Teevra Ma, Pa, Komal Dha, Shuddha Dha, Komal Ni, Shuddha Ni.( C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B). 

For convenience sake the above notes may be understood as follows:
Sa, Ri-1, Ri-2, Ga-1, Ga-2, Ma-1, Ma-2, Pa, Dha-1, Dha-2, Ni-1, Ni-2.
By observing the above arrangement it is clear that the 1st note Sa and the 5th note Pa  are 'Achal' i.e. fixed.  All the other notes are of two types each either Komal(flat) or Teevra (sharp).

Thãt:  (The melakarta of Carnatic music): Thãt.  It refers to the parent scale i.e. basic arrangement of the saptaki from which ragas are derived. The aroha (ascending pattern, from Sa to Ni) and the avaroha (descending pattern, from Ni to Sa) of ragas are based on the parent scale.

Chaturpandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860-1936) tried to classify Hindustani Raagas a full 270 years after Venkatamakhi a great musicologist.He researched prevalent practices in various gharanas in early 20th century north India. This followed his trip to south Indian musical centers where he learnt about the work of Venkatmakhi and the classification of Raagas into 72 Melas.  In his treatise on Hindustani music he described  raagas and classified them into ten basic thaats, or musical scales or frameworks -Bilawal, Kalyan, Khamaj, Bhairav, Poorvi, Marwa, Kafi, Asavari, Bhairavi and Todi.

Taala: Taala is the rhythmic counterpart to Raaga. Literally Taala in sanskrit means clapping the hands together or against one's arm. In Hindi the word for clapping is Taali. Rhythm is an inborn attribute of humans and thus, it is possible Taala is more ancient in Indian music than Raaga. In sanskrit literature, Taala is mentioned earlier than Raaga starting with Bharatha's NaatyaShastra.
Taala is a series of Matras. Depending on the number of Matras, duration of the Matras and Kriyas associated with those matras different Taalas are formed.

Hindustani Classical Vocal Music: Hindustani music makes a clear distinction between the open form (anibaddha) marked by the absence of definite parts and rhythmic accompaniment and the closed form (nibaddha) that has a clear-cut beginning and end, and a definite rhythm. Three major vocal genres have arisen from this categorization:
Dhrupad, Dhumar, and Khayal, and the three light classical genres of Thumri, Tappa, and Tarana.

Hindustani Classical Instrumental Music: In classical music, the instruments themselves occupy a very special place. The evolution of these instruments - rudra vina, sitar, sarod, tabla, tanpura, bansuri, santur and sarangi - and the traditions attached to the playing of each have a complexity that matches that of vocal music.

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