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 i
Each section should be reminiscent of the themes introduced in the first movement, whilst introducing new material throughout. However such rules are only guidelines and it is not detrimental that the composers do not follow them. Whilst Indian music is infamous for improvisation, this must only take place within the strictly defined boundaries, otherwise it may cease to be classified as "Classical". Whereas in Indian music the set regulations determine the music- often oppressing the musicians"tm creativity, in western music the "rules" merely display trends that previous composers have initiated. The instrumentation in western music of the era favoured orchestral arrangements to enhance the chordal element, produce a wider range of pitch and to add interest, for the audience, to simple melodies. Likewise Singing in India is considered the highest form of classical music, after which the instruments are graded according to their similarity to the human voice. Ornamentation is more focal in Indian music. In North India the musicians rarely play straight notes, but slide between their quartertones. The "Allap" may span several hours dependent on the performers ability. The performer is expected to introduce a rhythmic element unaccompanied, whilst accentuating the complex variations of the "Swar". The mainstay of this is the Western symphony- an orchestral composition usually divided into four movements. Whereas western Classical music does possess structural rules, they are far less rigid than those of the Indian Raga"tms. Percussion instruments are used for the first time to accompany the soloist, both improvising and imitating each other. Western music is not generally thought of as timegender specific however it would be incorrect to absolve it completely from composition for purpose.