|Scooped by Avijit Mandal|
An Introduction to Indian Music
As a body of music, Indian music appeals to and is patronized by a small, well educated Indian population. Exhibiting two regional sub-styles or traditions (Hindustani and Karnatic), Indian music is heard through public concerts for which there is a similar notion of programmatic order (as in the West). Here our differences begin to appear.
In any performance in the Hindustani or Karnatic styles, there are always three layers of musical activity: melody, rhythm, and a constantly sounding drone instrument. Indian compositions may be pre-composed, or a mixture of pre-composed and improvisational segments. In the West we consider, melody and harmony as taking a dominant role in terms of creating the structure of music, rhythm is more of a decorative item. In Indian music, harmony is almost completely absent. Melody and rhythm functions operate in tandem to determine the overall structure. Unlike much of our music in the West, Indian music is not for selling, nor is it made for commercial purposes. To the Indian musician, music is like worshiping, and through music you worship God. Though it is difficult for a professional musician to follow this doctrine, it is true that you feel godliness music more quickly through music than any other medium, whether it is saying a mantra or doing yoga; ,these are very long process for obtaining some state or feeling of divinity. Music is the fastest vehicle, if one listens to the age-old saying 'Nada Brahma" - Sound is God.".
For an Indian musician, one must submit to a lifestyle of mental discipline and spiritual evolvement. "The guru-shishya (teacher-disciple) relationship is an exceptionally powerful one, at the center of which is the one to one oral teaching method. In order to gain the benefits of the received wisdom of the ages, the student must yield completely to the demands of the guru in a submission of the ego, must accept without question what he is taught. Even more important than achieving technical proficiency (though that is vital as well) is the process of imbibing direct from the guru the essence of each raga, and the essence of the music as a whole; without the feeling for these, his potential for authentic improvisation will always be limited. The relationship is as much spiritual as it is worldly, for the guru leads the pupil into the euphoria that results from true master of the music and appreciation of its transcendental potential. Teaching is done orally and aurally, from teacher to student. It is vitally important for the student to learn all the nuances of a raga from the "sounds" of the teacher, the essence of the raga itself must be learned in this way, one cannot learn improvisation from a musical score, as in the West.