Chapter 5

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WORLD MUSIC CHAPTER 5

1. Why does the Indian classical tradition dominate the musical image of South Asia in the west?

The classical music of India has gained most of the attention of outsiders probably due to the colonization era that has brought Indo-European invaders (Aryan Civilization) into their territory between 2000 and 1500 BCE due to the presence of rich resources. However, Indian music, unlike the communal music of Africa and Southeast Asia, is individual and often virtuosic and can be both vocal and instrumental. The Hindustani one (North) is more appealing to the Western society as it is more instrumental based, whereas the Carnatic (south) one is more vocally oriented. Another factor that attracts the Western attention to Indian Classical Music is the presence of virtuosic improvisation.

2. Discuss the following terms important to a Hindustani classical musical performance Raga, Alap, Gat, Tala, Rasa?

Raga: long Hindustani instrumental improvisations. Several things stand out to the first-time listeners: twangy buzz of introductory instruments, constant ornamentation and pitch bending of main melodic part, and tension changes. The word raga (color, atmosphere) denotes a comprehensive system for the simultaneous composition and performance struggle.
Alap: the opening section of a raga performance in which the performer “explores” the raga. It can last for a mere minute or so or even be extended for an hour or more.
Gat: the skeletal melody used as a basis for improvisation in a raga performance of classical Indian Music
Tala: cyclic rhythmic framework that organizes a raga performance in India.
Rasa: a mood or sentient associated with artistic activity such as raga performance. It creates an alike state of mind for both performer and listener, such as love, heroism or anger, and it can become so pervasive that listeners begin to conceive…...

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