Course Description Course Topics Requirements
Course Packet Reading List Listening List Supplements Assignments
Song Clips Theka Clips
region, its history and inhabitants.
Reading: Powers, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians; Vol IX; pp. 69-166.
2. Musical instruments.
Types of instruments
Brief introduction to the commonly used instruments.
Tanpura, Tabla, Sarangi, Rudra Veena, Sitar, Sarod, Harmonium,
Veena, Violin, Mridangam, Ghatam, Kanjira.
Use of the instruments as solo/accompanying instruments.
Reading: Deva's book
3. Musical material and practices.
Swaras and Shrutis (notes, microtones)
Mela, Thaat (scales)
Tuning of instruments.
Use of the drone.
Reading : Powers pp. 91-97; Shankar pp. 17-24; My notes.
Melody type with basic
but with possibilities for improvisation.
Permissible and omitted notes (sammata and varjya swaras)
Vadi, Samvadi, anuvadi, vivadi notes. Aroha, Avaroha
By Type (Jaati)
By Scale (Thaat)
Melakartas of Venkatmakhin
Thaats a la Bhatkhande.
By Anga (phraseology)
Reading : Kaufmann 1-20; Shankar pp. 17-24; My notes; Powers pp. 98-102;
5. Tala and Laya.
Laya (tempo) :
Vilambita, Madhya, Druta.
Tala (Rhythmic cycle) :
Notion of the cycle and
Matras, vibhagas, Sam, Khali etc.
The common talas :
Ektaal, Teentaal, Jhaptaal,
Roopak, Sitarkhani, Dadra, Deepchandi.
Chautaal, Dhammar, Aada Chautaal, etc.
Concept and use.
Reading : Kippen xiv-xxiii; Ruckert & Khan 215-225; My notes
6. Musical forms or genres.
Prabandha, Khanda, Geetika, Quol, Qulbana
Dhrupad, Dhammar, Khayal, Tarana, Thumri, Dadra, Tappa, Hori, Chaiti, Jhoola etc.
Dhrupad : Shankar 32-34; Wade 158-169;
Khayal : Shankar 32-34; Wade 169-177; Meer 59-70
Thumri : Wade 178-184; Manuel Preface, 34-52
7. Performance contexts.
Worship (Haveli Sangeet
and Dhrupad, Keertan, Bhajan)
Family events (Various folk genres, Bhajans)
Chamber recitals or mehfils (Khayal, Thumri, Tarana, Dadra)
Accompanying Dance (Thumri,
Dadra, Padam, Javali)
Folk Festivals (Hori, Chaiti, Jhoola)
Mass media : "Public" performances in auditoria or open air.
Stage music, radio & TV, films. (All genres)
8. Performance practices.
Cultural assumptions :
Music as contemplation, invocation, etc.
Aesthetic theories :
Rasa, Bhava, "appropriate" times for Ragas.
Role of accompanists :
Sarangi, Tabla accompanists,
Roles of accompanists in Karnatak performances.
Audience reaction and participation.
Compositions and their role :
Bandish as a basis for embellishment.
A typical performance of Khayal :
Alap, vilambit khayal, Sthayee, Antara, Badhat, Bol-alap, Tan,
Reading : Manuel 6-23; Shankar 23-28; Wade :
9. Becoming a musician.
The principal banis of
Dhrupad: Dagur, Gauhar,
The principal gharanas of Khayal: Agra, Gwalior, Jaipur, Kirana, Patiala
Methods of teaching :
Ustad/Shagird or Guru/Shishya relationship
(concept and practice, traditional and present day)
Lore, familial repertoires.
Talim, Riaz :
Role played by these in training;
Myths and realities.
Impact of radio and recorded media.
Reading : Neuman 17-24, 59-84; Shankar 11-40;
10. Musical diffusion and mutation.
Ways of innovation "within" the
Mutant ragas, examples.
Diffusion of Ragas from South to North and vice versa.
Ragas "newly invented" by contemporary musicians. Examples.