Hindustani : Indian Classical Music. Hindustani music comes from Northern India Southern India has a different tradition, called Carnatic music.

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Hindustani : Indian Classical Music

Hindustani :Indian Classical Music

Hindustani music comes from Northern India

Southern India has a different tradition, called Carnatic musicMaster / Student tradition

Student / GuruHindustani music is built on 3 elements:


Tala: rhythm Raga: scales/melody


This is the basis for all harmony, a constant or repeating tone.

Usually played on a tambura, or a harmonium or shruti box

Tala or Taal

This is the rhythmic basis of the music. It is a repeating pattern, similar to a rhythmic ostinato.

The constant beat is called a MANTRA over this, there are rhythmic patterns known as BOLS

They are often played on the TABLA drums

Tala or Taal

Each Tala is unique, with different patterns and emphasis

Often, the Tala contains clapping. When a beat is missing, players wave their hand to indicate an empty beat (Khali)


123456789101112Tala or Taal

Each Tala can be divided into sections called VIBHAGS they are roughly equivalent to BARS in Western music.

Vibhags can often be uneven, combining patterns for emphasis.In this example, the emphasis is 4+2+3+3


123456789101112Raga or Raag

A Raga is the rough equivalent of a SCALE in Western music it is a pattern of notes used to create a particular mood.

There are hundreds of raga, each with their own name and mood/association.

A raga has a ascending and a descending pattern, usually different.

Raga or Raag

Rag Yaman (early evening raga)

From this Raga, you can create a fixed, short melody called a GAT

Structure in Hindustani Music

North Indian classical music is built around improvised sections of music. It usually has 3 sections:

The AlapThe JorThe JhallaThe Alap1st section : The Alap

The Alap is a slow, meditative introduction which sets the mood of the piece. A drone is used as accompaniment

The notes of the Rag are explored, and the rhythm is free - no regular beat.

The notes usually move from low to high, and there is a slight speed up as you move towards the next sectionThe Jor2nd section : The Jor

The Jor is another improvised section, usually at a moderate tempo.

The drone still provides accompaniment.

A regular pulse is introduced here, although is it not usually complex.The Jhalla3rd section : The Jhalla

The Jhalla is the final section, and it is marked by the entrance of TABLA playing the Tal.

It also begins with a GAT - a fixed melody.The Gat forms the basis for more improvisations, getting steadily more complex and faster.

The tempo increases to an exciting pace, and the Gat is usually repeated to finish the performance.


View more >