Indian Classical Music Classes in the Bay Area
- What is Indian Classical Music?
- History of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Types of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Instruments Used in Indian Classical Music
- The Different Styles of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Schools of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Gharanas of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Ragas of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Talas of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Forms of Indian Classical Music
- The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Performances
- The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Recordings
- The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Festivals
- Indian Classical Music in the Bay Area
Looking for a place to learn Indian Classical Music in the Bay Area? Look no further than Sarangi Music Academy! We offer classes for all levels, from beginners to advanced students.
Welcome to the world of Indian classical music!
Whether you are new to this music or have some experience with it, we offer classes for all levels.
Our classes are taught by experienced and qualified instructors, and provide a supportive and collaborative environment in which to learn.
We offer both group and private classes, as well as workshops and performances.
Please explore our website to learn more about our program and how to get started.
What is Indian Classical Music?
Indian classical music is a genre of South Asian music. It has two major traditions. One is Hindustani music, which developed in North India, and the other is Carnatic music, which developed in the South Indian state of Karnataka. These two traditions were not always distinct; they began to diverge around the 13th century and by the 16th or 17th century had become quite distinct.
Hindustani music is characterized by the use of improvisation and a more abstract approach to melody, while Carnatic music is more rhythmic and systematic, with a greater focus on melody. Both systems have a strong tradition of vocal music; instrumental music is also very important in both traditions.
Indian classical music has been repertoires for over two millennia and has had a significant impact on other genres of Indian music, like filmi songs
History of Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is one of the oldest and most complex musical traditions in the world. Its history dates back over 3000 years, and it has been a major cultural force in the countries of South Asia for just as long.
During the early centuries of its history, Indian classical music was primarily religious in nature. It was used as a way to communicate with the gods, and religious texts were often set to music. Over time, however, Indian classical music began to be used for secular purposes as well. It became an important part of courtly life, and it was used to entertain guests and dignitaries. By the middle of the first millennium CE, Indian classical music had become a highly respected art form.
Today, Indian classical music is enjoyed by people all over the world. It is still an important part of South Asian culture, but it has also been influenced by Western music traditions. Indian classical music classes are offered in many different cities across the globe, and more and more people are taking an interest in this fascinating genre.
The Different Types of Indian Classical Music
There are two main types of Indian classical music, North Indian and South Indian. The main difference between the two is that North Indian music is based on Melody (Raga) while South Indian music is based on Rhythm (Talas).
Both types of music are performed by sitar, shehnai, flute and tabla players. The sitar is a long-necked string instrument that is plucked with the right hand while the left hand stops the strings to create different pitches. The shehnai is a wind instrument that is similar to an oboe or English horn. It has a rich, mellow sound that is often used in wedding ceremonies. The flute is a woodwind instrument that is held horizontally and has a very sweet sound. The tabla is a percussion instrument that consists of two drums, one high pitched and one low pitched.
The Different Instruments Used in Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is one of the oldest forms of music in the world. It has its origins in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the world. Indian classical music is a complex system of music that has evolved over thousands of years. It is based on improvisation and the use of different Ragas, or melodic scales.
There are two main types of Indian classical music: Hindustani and Carnatic. Hindustani music is mostly found in the northern parts of India, while Carnatic music is found mainly in the southern parts. Both forms of music are based on the same principles, but there are some differences in their composition and performance style.
There are four main families of instruments used in Indian classical music: string instruments, wind instruments, percussion instruments, and melodic percussion instruments.
The sitar is probably the most well-known string instrument used in Indian classical music. It has a long neck with a round body and typically has 21 strings (of which six are used as drone strings). The sitar is traditionally played with a plectrum known as a mezrab. Other string instruments used in Indian classical music include the surbahar (a bass sitar), the sarangi (a bowed instrument), and the esraj (a bowed instrument with a oval-shaped resonator).
The shehnai is a wind instrument that is commonly used in Indian classical music. It is made out of wood and has a brass bell at one end. The shehnai traditionally has six to nine holes and can range from two to four feet in length. Other wind instruments used in Indian classical music include flutes (such as the bansuri), trumpets (such as the bugle), and horns (such as the natural horn).
There are two main types of drums used in Indian classical music: hand drums and membranophones. Hand drums include the tabla, which is a pair of small drums played with the hands, and the dholak, which is a large drum played with sticks. Membranophones include both single-headed drums such as the mridangam and double-headed drums such as the ghata-tabla. Other percussion instruments used in Indian classical music include cymbals (such as manjeera) and gongs (such as chimta).
Melodic Percussion Instruments:
Melodic percussion instruments are played to provide accompaniment for singers or other instrumentalists. The most common melodic percussion instrument used in Hindustani classical music is the harmonium; in Carnatic classical music, it is the venu flute or nadaswaram horn. Other melodic percussion instruments used in Indian Classical Music include bells (ghanta), shakers (kanchira), all kinds of clappers includingManjira,and various kinds of rattles including ankle bells
The Different Styles of Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is often said to be one of the oldest continuous musical traditions in the world. The origin of Indian classical music can be traced back to Vedic hymns, which were composed in praise of deities. Over time, this musical tradition diversified and developed into different schools and styles, all of which have their own unique features.
In India, there are two main streams of classical music: Hindustani and Carnatic. Both of these styles have a long and rich history, and are still widely practiced today. Let’s take a closer look at each style:
Hindustani Classical Music
Hindustani classical music is practiced in the northern parts of India, and is characterized by its use of improvisation and extreme variety. There are three main genres within Hindustani classical music: dhrupad, khayal, and tappa.
Dhrupad is the oldest form of Hindustani classical music, and is characterized by its simpleiance and austere beauty. The focus in dhrupad is on the pure sound of the notes, rather than on embellishment or rhythmic complexity.
Khayal is a more recent form of Hindustani classical music, and is characterized by its use of imagination and improvisation. Khayal literally means “imagination” or “creation”, and this reflects in the way thatkhayal singers will often create new melodies spontaneously as they sing.
Tappa is a fast-paced genre of Hindustani classical music that originated in the Punjab region. Tappa songs are usually based on folk tunes, and are characterized by their quick tempo and intricate rhythmic patterns.
Carnatic Classical Music
Carnatic classical music is practiced in the southern parts of India, particularly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telanganaand Karnataka. Carnatic music is known for its complex notation system, which allows for a great deal of flexibility and improvisation within the framework of a song.
There are two main genres within Carnatic classical music: varnaand kriti. Varna are short compositions that focus on showcasing the singer’s virtuosity, while kriti are longer compositions that tell a story or convey a message through their lyrics.
The Different Schools of Indian Classical Music
In India, there are two main streams of classical music: the Hindustani tradition, associated with the northern part of the subcontinent, and the Carnatic tradition, based in the south. There are also several regional styles that have their own distinct flavor while retaining common features with the two main traditions.
The Hindustani tradition is typically associated with the sitar, while the Carnatic tradition includes instruments such as the veena and mridangam. The music of both traditions is based on a system of ragas (melodic templates) and talas (rhythmic cycles).
Both Hindustani and Carnatic music share a common ancestry, but they have developed in different ways over the centuries. One major difference is that Carnatic music is based on a fixed scale, while Hindustani music uses a more flexible system of note intervals.
There are several schools of Indian classical music, each with its own distinct style. Some of the most well-known include:
-Agra Gharana: This school originated in the city of Agra and is known for its emphasis on melody.
-Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana: This school was founded by singer Alladiya Khan and is known for its use of gamakas (ornamental notes).
-Khairagarh Gharana: This school was founded by singer Yusuf Hussain Khan and is known for its use of taans (rapid melodic passages).
The Different Gharanas of Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is divided into two main streams, the North Indian style or Hindustani and the South Indian style or Carnatic. Each of these styles can be further subdivided into different gharanas, which are basically schools or traditions teaching a specific style within the main stream.
There are several gharanas of Hindustani music, each with its own unique style of composition and performance. Some of the better known gharanas are the Agra, Jaipur-Atrauli, Kirana, Gwalior and Patiala.
The Carnatic music tradition also has several different gharanas, each with its own specialties. The three major gharanas in Carnatic music are the Thanjavur, Mysore and Tirunelveli styles.
The Different Ragas of Indian Classical Music
Raga is a melodic framework for improvisation and composition in Indian classical music. A Raga uses a set of notes and a unique melodic movement, characterized by specific ascent (arohana) and descent (avarohana) patterns. Each Raga also has typical phrases (pakads), embellishments (gamakas), and ornamentations (alankars). The mood or feeling of a particular Raga is important, as each is said to evoke a specific emotion in the listener.
Classical music performances in India always begin with an improvised alap, followed by the gat section which is built around a fixed composition. In the gat section, the musician(s) play(s) solo(ly), often with extensive improvisation within the chosen raga. The tihai is the final segment of the gat, and includes playing a fixed phrase three times in quick succession to complete the performance.
There are hundreds of Ragas in Indian classical music, each with their own unique flavor. Some popular Ragas include:
-Bhairav: Said to be one of the oldest Ragas, Bhairav evokes feelings of fearlessness and happiness. It is often played at sunrise.
-Bhairavi: Bhairavi is a very popular Raga which is said to create spiritual tension and ecstasy in the listener. It can be played at any time of day.
-Yaman: Yaman creates a feeling of both peace and excitement, and can be performed at any time except sunrise or sunset.
-Hansadhwani: Hansadhwani is known for its healing properties, and is said to improve concentration and memory power. It can be played at any time except sunrise or sunset.
The Different Talas of Indian Classical Music
In Indian classical music, there are different talas, or rhythmic cycles, that are used. The most common tala is the teentala, which consists of sixteen beats. There are also different Jatis, or categories, of talas. The most common Jatis are strokes (single, double, triple), asymmetrical (5, 7, 9), and symmetrical (6, 8). Some of the more common talas used in Indian classical music are:
-Teentala: This is the most common tala used in Indian classical music. It consists of sixteen beats and can be further divided into four strokes (single, double, triple).
-Rupaktal: This tala has seven beats and is asymmetrical.
-Jhumra: This tala has nine beats and is also asymmetrical.
-Ekatal: This tala has one beat and is the simplest of all the talas.
Indian classical music is usually performed in a particular raga, or melodic scale. There are many different ragas, each with its own unique sound and feel. Some of the more popular ragas used in Indian classical music are:
-Bhairav: This is a very popular raga that is associated with morning hours. It has a very peaceful sound.
-Yaman: This raga is associated with nighttime hours. It has a romantic sound and is often used in film soundtracks.
– Malkauns: This raga is associated with the season of spring. It has a very cheerful sound.
The Different Forms of Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is one of the oldest forms of music in the world. It has its roots in the Vedic traditions of India and developed over many centuries into the sophisticated art form we know today.
There are two main streams of Indian classical music: Hindustani and Carnatic. Hindustani music is found in North India, while Carnatic music is found in South India. Both streams are equally rich and complex, with their own distinctbring styles and traditions.
The mainstay of Indian classical music is the raga. A raga is a melodic framework that contains specific rules governing which notes can be played, in what order they should be played, and how they should be ornamented. There are thousands of different ragas, each with its own unique character.
The other important element of Indian classical music is the tala. A tala is a rhythmic cycle that provides the structure for a piece of music. Talas can range from simple three-beat cycles to complex cycles with dozens of beats. Again, there are many different talas, each with its own personality.
Classical pieces are usually built around a specific raga and tala. They often follow a set pattern known as a raga alapana, which gradually introduces all the notes of the raga in a slow, meditative fashion before moving on to faster-paced sections known as gat (literally “wandering”). These pieces can be quite lengthy, sometimes lasting for hours; but they also have a tendency to explore all facets of the chosen raga, making them very rewarding for both performer and listener alike.
The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Performances
There are several different types of Indian classical music performances. The two main types are the North Indian style, which is called the Hindustani style, and the South Indian style, which is called the Carnatic style. There are also regional styles and variations within these two main styles.
The Hindustani style is characterized by its use of improvisation, while the Carnatic style is more structured and based on composition. Each style has its own unique repertoire of ragas (melodic scales) and talas (rhythmic cycles).
Indian classical music is often performed in a concert setting, with the musicians seated on the floor in a semi-circle. The main performer, or soloist, is typically accompanied by one or more percussionists and one or more melodic instrument players. The music is usually improvised within the framework of the ragas and talas, with each musician taking turns to play SOLOs and then joining together for group sections called jugalbandis.
Concerts can vary in length from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the repertoire being performed. Usually, there will be a interval after every 45 minutes to an hour, during which time the audience can clap and show their appreciation for the musicians.
The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Recordings
There are four different types of Indian Classical music recordings:
3. Reduced Instrumental
Vocal music is the oldest form of Indian classical music, and remains the most popular. Vocal recordings can be further broken down into two different types: solo recordings, and choral recordings. Choral recordings typically feature a group of singers performing together, often with accompaniment from one or more instruments. Solo vocal recordings feature a single singer, often accompanied by one or more instruments.
Instrumental music is the second oldest form of Indian classical music, and is also quite popular. Instrumental recordings can be further subdivided into two types: solo instrumental recordings, and ensemble instrumental recordings. Solo instrumental recordings feature a single instrument, while ensemble instrumental recordings feature a group of instruments playing together. Ensemble instrumentalists often include percussionists, which helps to provide a rhythmic foundation for the other instruments in the group.
Reduced instrumentals are relatively new form of Indian classical music, having arisen within the last few hundred years. Reduced instrumentals are similar to solo instrumentals, except that they feature a smaller number of instruments than solo instrumentals (usually just two or three). This allows the listener to focus more on the individual instruments and appreciate their unique sounds.
Percussion music is the newest form of Indian classical music, having arisen within the last few hundred years as well. Percussion recordings typically feature one or more percussionists playing along with one or more other instruments (such as guitars or keyboards). The percussionists provide a rhythmic foundation for the other instruments in the group, and also add their own unique sound to the overall music.
The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Festivals
Different types of Indian Classical Music Festivals are organized throughout the year in different parts of the country. There are a number of national as well as international Indian Classical Music Festivals. The aim of these festivals is to promote and popularize Indian music and culture among the people of different countries.
The Different Types of Indian Classical Music Festivals are:
1. Swar Utsav
2. Saptak Festival
3. Sarangi Saptak Festival
4. Sawai Gandharva Music Festival
5. Dover Lane Music Conference
6. Rajasthan International Folk Festival
7. Jodhpur RIFF – World’s Largest Desert Music Festival
8. Parampara Series – A Tribute to the Legends of Indian Classical Music
9. Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana
10. Shantiniketan Sangeet Mela
Indian Classical Music in the Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area is home to a large number of Indian classical musicians and music lovers. There are many music schools and organizations that offer classes in Indian classical music.
The classes usually cover topics such as the history and theory of Indian classical music, the different ragas (scales), talas (rhythms), and melodic improvisation. Students also learn how to play basic melody instruments such as the sitar, tabla, and harmonium.
Most classes are open to all levels, from beginners to advanced musicians. There are also many opportunities to perform in public, at concerts, festivals, and other events.
Indian Classical Music is a learning process that can take years to master. However, the rewards of learning this rich and beautiful music are well worth the effort. If you are interested in exploring this music, there are many resources available in the Bay Area to help you get started.
The best way to learn Indian Classical Music is to find a teacher who can provide you with guidance and support as you progress through your studies. There are many reputable teachers in the Bay Area who offer classes for beginners as well as more advanced students. You can find a list of some of these teachers below.
In addition to taking classes, there are also many great books and online resources available that can help you learn about this music. If you take the time to explore all that Indian Classical Music has to offer, you will be rewarded with a deep understanding and appreciation for this rich and beautiful art form.