Arts _ Culture Compilations Part 1 (Chapter 9 INDIAN MUSIC)

Music of India was more or less uniform before the 13th Century. Later, it bifurcated into 2 musical systems:

  • Carnatic Music- confined to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Kerala.
  • Hindustani Music- rest of the country.

Important Terminologies:

  •  Grama is itself perhaps deviable from the idea of a group/sect (a village for example). This led to rest of “Svaras” or notes being called as Grama.
  • There were 2 gramas prevalent- a) Shadja & b) Madhyama Grama The difference between the two was only in one note, the “panchama”. The “panchama” in Madhyama Grama was one “Sruti” lower than the panchama in Shadja Grama.
  • Sruti: thus is unit of measure or small difference between the various consecutive pitches within the grama or scale. They are said to be 22 in number.
  • The subsidiary scales derived from each grama are called “moorchanas”.
  • Moorchanas are 7 in number.
  • In the Natya Shastra of Rishi Bharata are found descriptions of melodic forms called “Jati”. Every 1 of these Jatis could be put in 1 moorchana or the other. They were distinguished like graha(staring point), nyasa(note on which the phrase stops), range of notes from low to high pitch. 
  • “Tala” is a cyclic arrangement of time units. The basic units of time division are “laghu”, “guru” & “pluta”. Laghu comprises 1 syllable, guru 2 and pluta 3.
  • A thaka is the definition of tala by the stroke of a tabla. Each stroke on the drum has a name called “bol” or syllable. For example: dha, ne, ta, ghe, etc.
  • Anibaddha Sangeet– one which is not restricted by meaningful words & tabla. It is a free improvisation. Alaap- is finest form of Anibaddha Sangeet.
  • Nibaddha Sangeet- One which is restricted/closed/ bound form of music.
  • Prabandha- often used as a generic term to indicate any “nibaddha” song. They were set to definite ” ragas” and “talas”.

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