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Do you want to crack the secret to sing like the great Ustads and Pandits whom you always admire?

Is the math in Taal and maatras confusing you?

Have you been trying to reckon the notes hidden in an alaap?

Join Swar Gyan: one stop Destination to live your dream of singing your heart out

Feel the presence of divinity by living the essence of music!

Discovering and rediscovering the music within you could never be made easier. At Swar Gyan, we aim to connect your aspiration to realization. By adding a tinge of strategy and innovation to the rich legacy style of learning that great Ustaads and Pandits followed, we have designed a unique approach to train you right from scratch, give you practical knowledge of the raag and help you perform a full-fledged Hindustani classical piece.

So what do you get from Swar Gyan? Here are the perks of Learning from us.

Getting started:

 This level encompasses the values and principles of the gharana and the tradition.

Introduction to the evolution of the Hindustani classical music, and some of the quintessential concepts to be known.

A clear understanding of Sur, taal, Swar Lagav and rag.

Tuning of the vocal cords along with breath control support.

Warming up with vocal exercises like gamaks, paltas, Alaap and more.

Diving Deeper:

Introduction to Raagdhari music

Mastering the raag with a khayal.

 Exploring and improvising within the boundary of the raag.

Differentiating between the raags by understanding their unique characteristics and identity

Presenting a complete Classical piece, which involves Bada Khayal, chota Khayal, tarana.

Awareness about the note (swar), rhythm, shruthi, instrumental harmony, and other essentials.

 

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A raga can be described as a tune or set of tunes, characterized by a set of rules or conventions,.Each raga uses certain phrases of musical notes which are then referred to as the allowable phrases of the particular raga. These phrases are usually selected from a “parent scale” (called a that.) A raga may use some or all the notes from this parent scale, and one says that the raga belongs to the particular that from which the allowable notes were selected.

Each rāga provides the musician with a musical framework within which to improvise. The specific notes within a rāga can be reordered and improvised by the musician. Rāgas range from small rāgas like Bahar and Shahana that are not much more than songs to big rāgas like MalkaunsDarbari and Yaman, which have great scope for improvisation and for which performances can last over an hour.

Bandish, cheez, or gat is a fixed, melodic composition in Hindustani vocal or instrumental music. It is set in a specific raga, performed with rhythmic accompaniment by a tabla or pakhawaj, and melodic accompaniment by a sarangiviolin or harmonium. There are different ways of systematizing the parts of a composition. A bandish provides the literature element in the music, for standard structured singing. In the realm of vocal music, it is often known as cheez.

The language used in bandish is usually an older form of Hindi known as Braj Bhasha but it can also be old Punjabi with lyrical themes varying from eulogies of gods or kings to descriptions of nature and everyday life, touching upon human as well as divine love.

Bandish is divided into following parts –

      • Sthāyī or Asthāyī: The initial phrase or line of a fixed, melodic composition.
      • Antarā: The body phrase or phrases following the sthayi.

Khayal is normally based on  bandish (compositions), which can be as short as four lines – but the opportunities for musical improvisation are so numerous and varied that a competent performer can easily stretch two or four lines of verse to last through a performance of over an hour.

the bada khyal or great khyal is a type of khayal in slow tempo (vilambit laya),which comprises most of the performance.

followed by a madhya (medium-speed) section and ending in chhota khayal which is in a faster tempo, known as drut and which usually features a different text composition. But while this faster section is usually in a different tala (rhythm cycle), it must still be in the same raag as the slower, opening section.

Taal is a Set of beats performed together one after another in a fixed rhythm continously in a repeated cycle.

The first beat of the rhythm cycle is called sam . It is played emphatically to mark the beginning of the cycle.

There are different types of rhythm patterns in each taal. It is very imortant to understand taal as a cycle. Each cycle of a taal is known as avartan.

Taals are further classified according to their tempos

      • Ati-vilambit Vilambit taal
      • Vilambit taal
      • Madhya lay Taal
      • Drut taal
      • Ati- Drut taal

Some most common taals are mentioned below –

      • Teentaal
      • Ektaal
      • Jhaptaal
      • Ada Chautaal
      • Bhajani
      • Adha Teental
      • Rupak
      • Dadra
      • Kehrwa
      • Tilwada
      • Jhumra

Classical Music is intimate form of a music. It is the amazing conversation between the artist and the audience through the performance. Through the expansion of raag, the achievement of extremity of raag is the ultimate aspiration, and it is where the brilliance of an artist is tested. Raag is expressed as a thought, emotions and beauty. Over decades and centuries, many ustaads and pandits from different gharanas have thought and experimented over the expansion of ragas in wonderful manner in their own ways.

a) Aalap –

The alap is the opening section of a typical North Indian classical performance. It is a form of melodic improvisation that introduces and develops a raga

It defines the raga, its mood, and the emphasized notes and notes with a secondary role. It’s like an invocation.

b) Badhat –

Badhat is the melodious or rhythmic progression of raag. It expands the mood and highlight the beauty spots of raag.

c) Taan –

Taan is a technique used in the vocal performance of a raga in Hindustani classical music. It involves the singing of very rapid melodic passages using vowels, often the long “a” as in the word “far”, and it targets at improvising and to expand weaving together the notes in a fast tempo.

d) Thehrav” roughly means something that is unhurried, anchored and deep. It defines settled rhythm to a persona that marks great musicians.

Bol banav is the Rhythmic variations in Khayal with the text of the song.Such artistic variations are mostly seen in Agra Gharana of Hindustani classical Music. Also, there are different ways of putting bol banavs in other gharanas like Gwalior, Jaipur, Kirana, etc.

Some wonderful

a) Bol Aalap – the words of the song are improvised with notes of raag increasing its beauty.

b) Bol Baant – the words of bandish are sung in a rhythmic pattern binding together with taal.

c) Taal and the bol of bandish goes hand in hand without disturbing the raag making the sense of wonder and peace altogether.

d) Bol taan – Taan can be sung by utilizing the words of the bandish. This is a difficult type of a taan as in this correct pronunciation, meaning of the composition, everything has to be taken into consideration.

Nom-Tom alap is One of the first points of distinction in the music of Agra gharana.

While most others gharanas engaged in alap/vistaar within the canvas of a composition and a tala cycle, Agra gharana retained the dhrupad system of doing the alap/vistaar as a precursor to the composition and tala. This form of raga-alap/vistaar is called the nom-tom-alap since it uses syllables like nom ta na naa, ri te na na, ta na nom, etc. So the listener  can easily identify the Agra gharana style by the lengthy nom-tom alap-vistar in a raga presentation. However, the Agra khayal singers modified the nom-tom-alaap of the dhrupad style. Among other changes, this nom-tom format allows for more flexibility in moving between its various sections (namely, sthayi, antara, sanchari and abhog), and is more lenient than dhrupad in its use of ornamental movements or alankaars such as murkis.

Tarana is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music in which certain words and syllables (e.g. “odani”, “todani”, “tadeem” and “yalali”) based on Persian and Arabic phonemes are rendered at a medium (madhya laya) or fast (drut laya).

The structure consists of a main melody, usually short, repeated many times, with variation and elaboration at the performer’s discretion. There is a second, contrasting melody, usually with higher notes, which is introduced once before returning to the main melody.[citation needed] The tarana may include a Persian couplet, and may use syllables from sitar or tabla such as “dar-dar” or “dir-dir”; singers might recite full compositions (e.g. tihais, gats, tukdas) within the body of the tarana.

Layakari  is playing the music by implementing various Layas .

When a khyal follows a fixed rhythmic pattern, we feel  a good continuity. whereas, the artist purposefully change the rhythm of the khyal without changing the rhythm of taal and produces mesmerizing effect.

Beat to beat approach – 

Playing one note or 2 notes or 4 notes  and so on in each matra is the simplest of Layakaris.  every matra has notes and the effect is such that you cannot distinguish between matra and notes falling upon them.

however, Playing odd no. of notes in each matra produces a different laykari effect.

Off- Beat approach – 

This is widely used in Jaipur-Atrauli gharana style of Classical music.

In this approach, notes are played on the non clapped beats of a taal. In this, the musical notes are in rhythm but are not falling upon major beats of a taal.

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”

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