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Man versus machine

  • Word Count: 971
  • Approx Pages: 4

Compare and Contrast North Indian Classical music to Western classical music

Western Classical music is renowned for its perceptual grouping processes, basic standard format and easy recognition due to such musical dimensions as pitch, duration, ornamentation and timbre. Western classical music represents a chronological period, in succession to the Baroque period, and we can easily associate certain composers to that era based on their musical style and compositional techniques.
The foremost concept of Indian Classical music is that of the Raag, meaning colour and passion. The focus of these Raags are not of melody and harmony, but of musical ability and the creation of a timbre appropriate to its usage- with the aim of sending its listener into a mesmerised trance. The central idea of the Raag is purity. The musician is tightly constrained within the strict boundaries of rules that ultimately define whether the piece is Classical or not.

Structure is a highly regarded element of Indian Classical music. Every Raag must follow a set pattern, which determines not only the instrumentation at each point, but the regulations to how the instrument is played, the usage of improvisation, accompaniment and the texture.
Each Raag is based on a “Swar” (the notes of that particular scale) and “Jati” (the number of notes used. They are played both in “arohana” and “avarohana” forms (ascending/ descending manner) dependent on the section of the Raag. An example of the typical structure of a Raag is as follows; from “RAAG BHIRAV”
Firstly there is the “Allap” which is a slow meditative section in free time, used to initiate the mood and explore the notes of the chosen Raag. Each note is introduced independently, allowing the listener to appreciate their value. The “Allap” may span several hours dependent on the performers ability.
The next two sections are the “Jorh” and the “Jhala”. The performer is expec...

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