All Tracks Published by Haribhaj Music BMI
Producers: Deepak Ram & Ates Temeltas
Executive Producer: Ates Temeltas
Recorded on October 11, 2001
Sound Engineer: Benjamin Grant DePauw
Studio: Conscious Sound Productions, San Rafael, California
Graphic Design: Siir Özbilge
Ram is certainly an accomplished player, displaying a technical mastery reminiscent of his famous teacher's….Ram's playing is mysterious and haunting. Ram proves on this recording that he’s likely to become a central figure in a new generation of Indian musicians.
Gerry Farrell, Songlines, November & December 2002
About North Indian Classical Music
Indian classical music is based on the exploration and improvisation of two musical entities (melody and rhythm) within very strict guidelines. Melody is governed by the Raga system while rhythm is governed by the Tala system.
It is extremely difficult to describe Raga; it is often compared to a mode, tune, or song. While itencompasses these devices, it cannot be confined to any one of them.
- For a group of notes to be classified as a Raga, it must satisfy some basic rules:
- It must have a defined ascending and descending pattern (like a scale) of no less than five notes. The ascending pattern may be different from the descending one, and it often is.
- Within these notes, there is a hierarchy: The Vadi, or king note, which is the most important; the Samvadi, or queen note, which is second in importance; and the Anuvadi, which are minister notes.
- Each Raga has its own characteristic phrase (Pakad), or motif, that is made up of the important notes. This is often referred to as the “key” of the Raga.
- Each Raga has a designated time for performance: early morning, late morning, midday, etc. Early morning Ragas, for example, usually have flattened seconds and flattened sixth notes.
These guidelines and rules channel the musician's creativity as they expose and develop Ragas in performance.
The rhythmic aspect of Indian music is defined by the Tala system, as Raga defines the melodic system. A tala is best described as rhythmic cycle with a specific number of beat-units called matra. Each tala has within it three stresses, with varying levels of intensity. The main stress occurs on the first beat of the cycle, called (SAM). A second, less intense stress occurs within the cycle(TALI). Then, there is a negative stress, called (KHALI), where a stress is deliberately avoided
Before a student begins to improvise, he or she learns many fixed compositions in a few Ragas and Talas for a period of ten to fifteen years.
In this recording you will hear four Ragas and one Dhun (folk melody), each piece beginning with Aachor-Alap. Alap is described as an unfolding of a Raga, which is free of any tempo or meter. The "nectar" is extracted from each note, then clusters of notes, gradually moving through the range of the instrument.
An abridged form of Alap is known as Aachor or Aachor-Alap. Following the Aachor, you will hear a Gat (the only pre-composed section of the performance). A Gat may vary from one to four cycles of the chosen Tala.
The flute in this recording is in the Key of "E"; that is, "E" is the tonic or "Sa".
The notes written here for each Raga are written in the Key of "C", for easier reading.
Ascending: B C D F G B C
Descending: C B (flat) A G A F E F E B C
Matta Tal: Nine Matras (beats):
|Dhin||Tirakita||Dhi||Na||Too||Na||Dhi Dhi||Na Dhi||Dhi Na|
Ascending: C D E (flat) G A C
Descending: C A G E (flat) D C
Rupak Tal: Seven Matras (beats):
Ascending: C D E G B C
Descending: C B G E D C
Teen Tal: Sixteen Matras (beats):
Ascending: C E (flat) F A (flat) B C
Descending: C B A (flat) F E (flat) C
Jhap Tal: Ten Matras (beats):
Teen Tal: Sixteen Matras (beats):
In this genre, more freedom is afforded to improvisation, and therefore is not bound in any one scale. With the exception of B (flat), all the notes of the scale are used in varying degrees.
Dadra Tal: Six Matras (beats):
Notes by Deepak Ram