Broadly speaking, classical Indian music is divided into two systems;
southern music, which has a more
rigid structure, and northern music,
which is freest in form and style, where Persian and Central Asia
contributions can be noticed, because of the invasions that this
region have suffered.
The main concept of Indian music is the Raga
(Melodic form) and the Tala (Rhythmical
form). Technically, a Raga is an unitary melodic structure
in which both intonation and order of notes exposition are fairly
prefixed. Nevertheless, it is also a process the musician must
develop through complex impromptus on basic material, making emerge
the internal music essence which is specific in each Raga.
Each Raga is based on a specific feeling
(bhava) and flavour (rasa),
which are identified with certain times of day and night, and
with the different psychological conditions that the musician
must be able to produce in the listener.
Raga usually has two phases: the first one is the Alap or introduction,
when the artist shows or inquires into the raga structure until
its atmosphere has deeply pierced the musician and the listeners.
At this stage it begins the second phase or Gat in which percussion
appears and artist launches into creation.
Rhythmical scheme, called Tala, is superposed to the melodic scheme.
It indicates an organised cyclical rhythm
formed by several time units which go from 3 to 108 knocks.
Tala repeats tirelessly the rhythmical cycle, leaving the field
open for the most extraordinary impromptus.
Indian music rests in a wise balance between
Raga and Tala
It is an amazing experience to observe the sonorous interweaving,
the fragmentation of time in infinitesimal touches, the schemes
interlace, the syncopes, the tone coinciding with the tempo, the
simultaneous movement of the displaced cycles which end up by
combining in the last rhythmical cycle.
Attending to a concert of Indian music could be a real pleasure
to the listener. The musician uses, maybe in such a subconscious
way, his hands, his fingers, his eyes... to express himself and
to create a communion with his public which increases the rasa
(flavour) which is the aesthetical and spiritual quintessence
that artist and public may feel together.
CLASSICAL DANCE FORMS
temples of India are where most of Indian art forms
The temple dancers or devadasis used to perform as
part of the religious rituals.
Indian Classical Dance has its origins in the Natya
Shastra, an ancient treatise on the performing arts,
said to have been written 2000 years ago by Bharata
Muni. Later works like the Abhinaya Darpana and the
Abhinaya Chandrika, have also contributed in the development
of Indian Classical Dance.
Main Clásical Dance forms of India : Kathak
from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan ; Bharata Natyam
from Tamil Nadu; Odissi from Orissa; Kuchipudi , from
Andhra Pradesh; Kathakali , from kerala; and Manipuri
KATHAK: Natured in the
holy precincts of Hindu temples, Was presented in
its ancient origins by the wanderings storytellers
called "Kathakas" dance-actor who recounted
and representated tales from hindu mythology. through
the hindu temples and Moghul courts, kathak has attained
over the centuries refinement and enriched itself.
Kathak has enjoyed great popularity due to its ability
to speak the languaje of the people as well as the
language of the goods.Kathak
dance is famous for its dazzling footwork, intricate
rhythms, multipe pirouettes, portrayals of deep emotions
and exciting improvisational exchanges between drummer
Of all these dance forms, Bharat Natyam is believed
to be the oldest and the purest Indian classical dance
Is known for its rhythmic, vigorous footwork, crisp
movements, sculpturesque poses and combining the energy
of its Nritta (rhythmic movements) with the emotion
of its Nritya (expressive movements).
Movement, mime and music contribute in equal measure
to this beautiful dance from Tamil Nadu
Traditionally the classical dance form of Odissi was
performed as mahari or Devadasi dance, in front of
and dedicated to Lord Jaganath in the temples in the
state of Orissa, particular in the temple of Lord
Jaganath in Puri and the famous Konark Sun Temple.
With social and political change in Indian society
and later the suppression of the 'mahari' or 'devadasi'
for the British Authoryties, this classical dance
form moved out of the temples and took up a place
in the wider Indian society, being performed by individual
dancers, travelling and local dance troupes. This
process began in the 16th century with young dancers
called 'Gotipuas', performing the dance outside on
The difference between the two forms, Odissi and Bharata
Natyam, is that Odissi has more curves, curves of
the body which can make it a more sensual dance form,
as opposed to the athleticism and angular nature of
Bharata Natyam. Poses, as one might find in Indian
sculpture, are at the core of Odissi.
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