Around the World - India, Sitar Style

by Sinisa Cekic

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  • Hi GMCers! Let's continue our journey around the World..

    Next stop -- INDIA !

    Indian music is the root for much other styles inclusive of harmonic and gypsy scales.While those scales are based on western intervals,indian music utilizes microtones which is less than a half step.

    Raga describes a generalised form of melodic practice. It also prescribes a set of rules for building the melody.

    It specifies the rules for movements up and down the scale, which swaras should figure more
    and which notes should be used more sparingly, which phrases to be used, phrases to
    be avoided, and so on. The result is a framework that can be used to compose or improvise melodies, allowing for endless variation within the set of notes.

    Although the total number of raags in Hindustani classical music was as big as 300,
    several of them have been lost over the centuries. About 100 raags (modes) are known and performed these days.

    There are two types of music styles in India, Carnatic music and Hindustani music. The main difference between the styles of music is the region in which they are based: Carnatic is south Indian music, and Hindustani is north Indian music.
    The basic mode of reference in modern Hindustani practice (known commonly as the shuddha - basic - form) is a set which is equivalent to the Western Ionian mode — this is called Bilawal thaat in Hindustani music (the Carnatic analog would be Sankarabharanam).

    A sitar is a musical instrument of the lute family that is popular in India .
    Over 400 years old and is traditionally used in Hindustani classical music.
    Sitar music is considered to be emotional and should be played in a heartfelt manner.
    At first glance, a sitar may look like a very long-necked type of guitar. The body, or gourd, of a sitar is made from a toomba, which is a hollowed out and dried pumpkin. The jawari, or bridge, of a sitar regulates the instrument's tone.
    Often has 21 to 23 strings, but not all of the strings are played.

    This humble attempt shows some variation of ragas lines and goes from D major.
    Chords prog. are - D,G
    tempo - 95 bpm , 4/4

    Gear: Ibanez + Boss GT10

    Used scale here is Dmajor only! but ,with a lot of semitones bendings and slides you can produce that famous microtones which is the key of a efficient playing !

    I suggest you explore on guitar the harmonic scale for an Indian-like sound.

    Have fun !!! :)


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