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Method of Vocal Training in Hindustani Music

 Human vocal is a precious gift by the nature treated as an instrument in music. Vocal is commonly called Gatra Veena in India and often said as the toughest to learn but easier to explore. Human Voice is varies from one Sex to another, childhood to adolescent or adult to old age. Each one has an uniqueness in voice but each one cannot sing. Principal based on anatomical study of human voice and the factors needs to train the normal voice to singable voice is the hardest pathway that nurture a common man to a singer. In Hindustani Classical music, we seldom use scientific methods to train the human ear and human vocal but the entire process we follow traditionally is no less than the scientific method. 

The Gharana- a uniqueness in vocal training is one of the distinct linage we follow as a traditional style of transferring the knowledge to disciples. In Indian classical music Vana/ Style / Gharna are commonly used to identify the distinctness of singing or to tune the vocal in distinct way. In Dhrupad style of singing, four major uniqueness in vocal training are identified throughout the age name as Vani- Dagar Vani- Nauhar Vani, Khandhar Vani and Gauhar Vani. In Carnatic Music Thanjavur Vani is one of the oldest style of vocal training followed by Mysore Vani, Pudukottai Vani, Palakkad Vani and Semmangudi Vani are few prominent style of vocal training. 

We often discuss on the process of gayaki/singing but seldom discussion on the training process of the vocal in each and individual Gharana. Gyaki- vocal recital or the performance is the byproduct of the training what guru teaches to the Shishya. The Gayaki may more flourish if the training of voice in proper way with identifying the nature of the vocal of the individual who come for the lesson.

Every voice cannot be that much flexible in term of Chaumukhi Gayaki but if the training is proper guide an individual can explore all the gayaki in sound manner. The fundamental of Indian Music is Swar so each Swar need to be treated as base note and train in proper way that the pupil can understand the concept of building the notes. 

Shadaj is the base note in Indian Music but on what pitch the Shadaj is perfect for individual is to identify first while starting the class. our traditional style of learning-teaching music is no-doubt good but some effort on ear tuning and identifying the pitch can be a crucial in learning the music. Today we all are dependent of electronic and scientific equipments to produce music so with the knowledge parallel to modern innovation can help for better career opportunity to the students. 

Each individual Guru has a uniqueness in teaching music. it also depend on the style and gharana where proper vocal training was obtained but as per the needs of contemporary scenario here are few tips that a vocalist can adapt the vocal exercise which learning music. 

1. Establishing the base note Shadaj as per the comfort of the scale 

2. Ear tuning- understanding the actual pitch of  C , C# or any other note 

3. Mapping of Shadaj with all the 12 notes - swarstahn and distance of every notes from every notes. 

4. Breathing Exercise - Consistence in Shadaj

5. Establishing the Note - Sa, Re.., Thairav(longer stay on one note with vocal clarity) 

6. Visualising the notes- practice to listen and visual your own notes and mapped with tanpura. 

7. Regular practice 

8. Focusing of perfection on one - Ek Shade Sab Sadhe 

Raga is only the projection of melody of cluster of notes so initial vocal practice should be consistent and visionary that one can understand the concept of Naad , Anunaad , Shruti and Swar. Blind practice with improper guidance may be fatal and may ruin the dream of any individual so it is the most important part to train your voice in proper and scientific way that may help you to create a good career in singing. 

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Thumri: a technique of expressing the emotion through Voice

 The traditional vocal style of North Indian music known as thumri is renowned for its empathetic and sappy themes. To give the audience the intended emotional effect, this genre necessitates close attention to voice culture. The significance of vocal culture in Thumri and the methods for developing a rich and expressive voice will be discussed in this content. A important component of Thumri singing is voice culture. To attain the desired tonal quality, pitch, and range, the voice must be developed and refined. The nuances of the Thumri genre, such as the mood, passion, and poetry of the lyrics, can be conveyed by a well-trained vocal. 

Having good breath control is the first stage in voice culture. Long notes and intricate melodic patterns in Thumri require vocalists to maintain a steady, regulated breath. A strong and steady breath can be developed by vocalists through breathing techniques like pranayama and abdominal breathing. The expansion of vocal range is a crucial component of voice culture. Thumri singers must be able to use a variety of vocal tones to communicate various emotions and moods. Scales and arpeggios are two vocal exercises that singers frequently use to increase their vocal range and improve their ability to sing both high and low sounds. 

Thumri singers work hard to develop a fluid, seamless sound. To produce a more melodic and elegant tone, they strive to make their speech less harsh and rough. To produce a smoother voice, singers frequently employ methods like vocal warm-ups, throat relaxation routines, and voice modulation. Thumri singers give careful attention to their pronunciation and diction in addition to their vocal technique. The words and poetry of Thumri must be pronounced with clarity and precision. Singers frequently work with language coaches and put their diction and accent through exercises to better it. 

Thumri vocalists put a lot of effort into finding their unique voices and styles. They strive to develop a distinct voice and style that captures their individuality and take on the category. Singers frequently research the vocal techniques of well-known Thumri vocalists in order to create their own style.

Lastly but not the least, voice culture is a crucial component of thumri singing. It necessitates that vocalists learn how to control their breathing, widen their vocal range, develop a smooth, seamless voice, and pay close attention to their diction and pronunciation. A personal style and expression that shows their interpretation of the genre are other goals of thumri singers. Thumri singers can captivate their audience and elicit strong emotional reactions by mastering these methods and delivering a powerful and emotive performance.


Man and Music in Punjab

For millennia, Punjab's social and cultural fabric has included music inextricably. The region's diverse and deep population, together with its religious convictions and manner of life, are reflected in its rich musical tradition. This essay will look at how music has influenced the history and identity of the Punjabi people, as well as the interaction between man and music in Punjab. India's Punjab region is renowned for its thriving musical traditions. The religious, cultural, and social practises of the area are closely entwined with its song. Music has long been a way for the Punjabi people to celebrate life's milestones, show passion, and reflect their challenges and victories. 

Since ancient times, devotional music has played a significant role in Punjab's musical traditions. Shabad Kirtan, Bhajan, and Sufi music are just a few examples of the many types of devotional music that are popular in the area. In gurdwaras, devotional singing known as kirtan, largely known as Shabad kirtan is sung, These devotional hymns, poetry are taken form the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, composed in Raga by the various Guru of the Sikh Religion. It is distinguished by its spiritual themes and frequently performed with conventional instruments like the Jodi, Rabab, Sarangi but as time has changes and modern influences disappear the Jodi replaced by Tabla and string instruments are replaced by western but Indianized instrument Harmonium. 

Another type of devotional music that is well-liked in Punjab is bhajan. It has a melodious and peaceful quality and is typically sung in Hindu temples. Contrarily, Sufi music is a type of devotional music connected to the Sufi school of Islam. It is characterised by its mystical themes and euphoric rhythms and is played at dargahs (Sufi shrines). The musical heritage of Punjab must also include folk music. Bhangra, Giddha, and Dhadi are just a few of the folk music forms that are prevalent in the area. The Punjab region gave birth to the high-intensity dance style known as bhangra, which is today well-liked all over the world. Dhol, a double-headed drum, and other traditional instruments are frequently used to accompany it. Contrarily, a feminine dancing style called Giddha is presented at weddings and other events. It is distinguished for its vivacious rhythms and vibrant clothing. 

A storyteller known as a dhadi performs dhadi, a type of ballad singing. Dhadi music is frequently played in rural areas of Punjab and depicts the history and struggles of the Punjabi people. It is distinguished for its storyline and strong vocals. The music landscape in Punjab has also been significantly impacted by Western music. Several Punjabi musicians today blend Western musical instruments and techniques into their music, resulting in distinctive fusion genres that represent the area's modern cultural landscape. Punjabi pop and Punjabi hip-hop are two new genres of Punjabi music created by the blending of Western and traditional music.The identity and past of the Punjabi people have been significantly shaped by music. It has been used to show devotion, commemorate significant moments in life, and capture the struggles and victories of the Punjabi people. As a means of political expression and opposition, music has also been used. For instance, music was used to inspire and express the opposition to British colonialism among the Punjabi people during the Indian independence struggle.

Finally, it should be noted that men and music in Punjab have a rich and complicated connection. Since ancient times, music has played a crucial part in the cultural and societal fabric of the area and continues to do so today among the Punjabi people. It doesn't matter if it's devotional music, folk music, or fusion music—music is a potent form of expression that captures the richness and variety of the Punjabi people and their way of life.


Voice Quality in Classical Music

 Music always emerges out with the goodness and soothing sound  where the intensity and magnitude of the pitch is the factor in creating the different emotions. The loudness of the voice, softness of the voice, praying or appealing voice, roaring voice and much more are the qualities of the voice on what a singer perform or sang a composition or the melody. A flexible and good voice is the signature of good singing but, the term is good is not so easy to define. A good voice for playback singing for film music need to have different quality than a good voice to sing a Dhrupad or a good voice  definition  for Thumri is different than the good voice for Tappa. The quality of good voice is also varies from listeners to listeners and genre to genre of the music. 

In Indian Classical Music Acharya Bharat has firstly described the quality of the voice in his renowned book called- Natyashastra. He describes six fundamental quality of the voice:-

Sharavak – The Sound which is clear audible to audience 
Ghana-  Bold and Perfect Vocal
Snidhag –Gentle and softy even in loudness 
Madhur - Sweet and soft soothing  with perfect pitching 
Avadhanvan – Centered or meditative voice 
Tristanashovita – Sung in all three octave- Mandra – Madhya – Taar ( Lower Middle and Higher Octave 
Further Pandit Sharangdev has added 
1. Madhur Kanth- Sweet and melodic Voice 
2. GrahSamapti Gyan- Knowledge of Starting and Conclusion 
3. Raga, RagangBhasangKriyangUpang ki Gyan- Knowledge of these elements
4. Prabandh GyanAalpti GyanGamak gyanTaal and laya Gyan.. Etc.

Pandit Bhatkhande has defined Twenty-Two Qualities of Vocalist. He has also defined Twentyfive demerits of Vocalist.  His merits and demerits was based on the description of Sangeetratnakar by Pt. Sharangdev

In addition to these qualities, the voice in classical music be able to execute all the types of grace, tonality and vocal dynamics to sing the bandishes or to recite aalap and taan. The quality of voice to recite bandish and its improvisation is totally different that reciting the taan in Khyal singing. The improvisation of Erotics Bandish in Mishra Khanaj Thumri is different than the Aalap, Jod and improvisation of Dhrupad. The quality of Voice collectively can be said as Kaku- Voice Culture and it has a significant role in producing the emotions.  A louder and sharp voice reflects Veer Rasa(heroic) or Raudra Rasa( Furious), however furious rasa is not frequently apply in singing. Percussion Instruments are being used to show the furiousness in drama. Mostly Music is confined with Erotic emotions, Heroic emotions and sympathy/kindness emotions. The Marvellous( Adbhut) can be happened in any of Veer Rasa and Shringa Rasa. By means of Voice culture, Nava Rasa(Nine Emotios) can be produced in Drama similarly in singing but all Rasa are not applicable while sining a Rasa. 


Voice Culture - An Art to Sing Hindustani Vocal Music- Part -1


Voice Culture 

Voice Culture is the process or the training of cultivating voice in order to design a flexible and effective singing. It is the methodology that drives to control the voice as per the aesthetics and the emotions of the human. Voice culture is term mostly used in singing and must to learn by the singer/ vocalist in order to produce and effective singing. 

Apart from Singing, voice culture is also the part of drama and theatre, Acting, Film and Television acting, Public Speaking, narration of story, poem, novel and many more. It is one of the substantial part while rendering the mythological tales and stories like , Ramayan, Mahabharata, Purna, Bhagwat Geeta and many other religious text like rendering the Aayat of Quran, Verses of Bible and chanting in Buddhism. 

Voice culture is one of the essential part of Indian Classical Music where singer produce different vocal dynamics as per the literature, its emotion and the aesthetics of the Raga. In Hindustani Music, the vocal dynamics of Khyal singing is different then Dhrupad and Dhamar Singing, tonality of Thumri and Dadra recital is different than other classical form Dhrupad and Khyal so the articulation of singing in different form of Hindustani Classical music is more or less depends on the voice culture of the artist. The Gharna of North Indian Singing styles are also differentiated in term of vocal dynamics- called Kaku -called as Voice Culture. 

The Vocal dynamics what Dhrupad Singer use to sing is a kind of articulation that one should learn properly from the Guru. It is a proper training process where Guru teaches practically to the disciple, how to practic- reeyaz musical notes essential in Dhrupad Singing. The reeyaz technique of Dagar Vani is different than the Nauhar Vani than the Khandar Vani than Gauhar Vani. Similarly in Khyal tradition, The Voice technique of Gwalior Gharna is totally different than the Banaras Gharana , Agara ois different than Patiala and Rampur is different than Jaipiur Gharana. It can be said that each and every Gharna, even an individual of the same gharna has a unique voice technique as per his/ her grooming. ..

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