Understanding the components of Hindustani Classical Music

To the continuation of understanding  Indian Music, here we discuss the various components and terms used in understanding the Raga


          The meaning of alpatto in Indian Classical music is a particular note or swar used in a raga with little emphasis. The swar is used but with lesser importance than the other Bahuto notes. Alpatto swar are of two kinds, Langhan Alpatto, and Alanghan Aalpatto. Langhan  Aalpatto is those notes which are omitted in many aspects during Ascending and descending.  Alanghan Alpatto is the note with lesser importance but cannot be omitted during Ascending and Descending in Raga singing. Alpatto Swar is also called the passing notes.



          Literary, Bahutto means the most frequent notes in Raga. It is also called the predominance note in a particular raga. Bahutto Swar has two kinds, Langhan Bahutto, and Alangan Bahutto. Langan Bahutto means that notes are used to assort frequently either in Aroha or Avroha but omit sometimes according to the certain grammatical order of a particular Raga. In Raga Yaman Sadaj and Pancham are frequently omitted during Aroh but still, the position of Sadaj and Pancham is dominant. Alangan Bahutto is those notes which are very important in Raga and cannot be omitted on either side of ascent or descent.  These notes are the most frequently used Swar in many aspects to form the structure of the Raga. Gandhar and Nishad are the Alangan bahutto Swar or Raga Yaman. The Musical Note with high emphasis in a raga is the Bahutto generally the bahutto swar.


Aang :-

          Aang means the part of the portion of the combination of a few notes that describe the quality of a certain melody. In Hindustani music, aang represents the part of an octave or the quality of Raga. The aspect of Aang is simultaneously described in both aspects to explain the worth of Raga-aang and Thaat-aang.  Here we discuss the thaat-aang. An octave can be divided into two Aang, the First part SRGMP in Call purav-aang, and the second MPDNS is called Uttar-aang. It can be said that purvang means pre-portion and uttarang means the post portion. But M and P are common in both parts. While time division and Vadi Samvadi this aang play a great role. It is a tradition that if the Vadi swar is from purvang then the Samvadi must from Uttrang or Vice-Versa. Some scholars consider SRGM as Purvanga and: PDNS as Uttranga but the concept/difference earlier is more justified because some Raga having Pa Vadi and Sa Samvadi are considered as purvang. Vadi Raga and Ma Vadi and Sa Samvadi Raga of Uttrang Pradhan Raga. So the Concept of Anga is clear which makes classical music more systematic and appropriate in the Raga division.


Ansa Swar:-

          Ansa with reference to the music is the most important role used in Raga It is the most centered note around with other notes are composed to express the spirit of Raga. Ansa swar is also called the heart of the raga. At present day, Ansa swar is considered and measured as vadi swar. Such notes in Raga are determined according to their importance in mutual relationships, Vadi, Samvadi, Anuvadi, and Vivaadi. In order to determine such combination consonance, dissonance, assonance is taken in a frame to form a Raga with certain rules. Among these, the Vadi has great importance in the formation of a raga. Thus the Ansa swar is regarded as Vadi Swar in Hindustani classical music.


Anagat- Atit:-

          The musical terminology of Anagat is simply understood as the beat before Sam. The Musician who expresses the musical though with the combination of various Layakri and comes to Sam before the Sam of Tabla or Pakhawaj actually means Anagat. It can be noticed two different Sama within a small fraction of time in Anagata. To maintain this kind of layakari is quite hard and needs extensive reeyaz in advance level of singing and playing an instrument. Whereas Atit means after the Sam. Sam means the together and musician generally pick the sam in the same time with the same rhythms. Atit means the Sam in percussion comes first then the singer with a little fraction of time. Sometimes it creates confusion to the rhythmic variation but the accomplishment of the musician rather than his rhythmic weavers may appear to a great extent which creates an extraordinary scenario during the raga recital.



          Musical term of Aaghat and Anaghaat means with beat and without beat. This is the rhythmic variation resembling Syncopation. When the rhythmic accents of music fall in beat called Aaghaat and same fail in between the rhythmic accounts of the percussion accompaniment is called Anaghaat variation of rhythm.


Aahat Naad - Anahat Naad :-

          The variation of sound is produced by a stroke on some object in Aahat Nada. Each and every sound has a vibration and frequency which is produced with colliding of two objects are admitted as Aahat Nada. Anahat Nada is those sounds produced without any physical effort of any object. It is other than the self-emanation wave. Anahat Nada is the spontaneous, infinite, and meta-physical sound that can be realized in the eternal soul. It is like a cosmic wave continuously vibrating in the body without any physical effort.



          The word baddha means to attach or bound with something or somebody. In music, bound means to attach with Tala so Nibaddha means bound by Tala, Chanda, or Matra in a perfect rhythmic meter. In Nibaddha Sangeet all the rhythmic cycles are pre-determined with Tala, Laya, Matra, or Chanda. The Bandish, Gaat are Nibaddha compositions. The musical parts which are free or not bounded with the tala, Chanda, or Matra are Anibaddha Sangeet. Aalap, Badhat, free Taan are example of Anibadha Sangeet. Hindustani classical music in the combined form of Nibaddha and Anibaddha Sangeet.



          The first phase of the song or Bandish which is always the beginning of the composition is called stahi. It is also called the face of the composition separately sing after each stanza. Sthai in Hindi means permanent so the first stanza of the Bandish is always regarded as the permanent or the beginning of the Composition which remains unchanged is called Sthai.

          Antara means the conjunction which joins the two stanzas. It is also called the narrow pass, which joins the second pass of the song. In Classical music, Antara is regarded as the conjunction of Sthai and Abhogi. Now the tradition of Abhog and Sanchari is quite unusual in Khyal singing so the meaning of Antara might have changed and only one Stanza following the Sthai is called Antara in Bandish. In Dhrupad Tradition Antara is the second stanza because Abhog and Sanchari are still in practice. The concept of Sthati and Antara might have come because of Scale. It is noticed that sthai in always towards Madhya Shadaj, Antara in the middle of Gandhar to pancham, Abhogi is pancham to higher Shadaj and Sanchari is the last phase ending with the higher octave notes of the Bandish. The concept of Sthai and Antara of past centuries was different than what exactly is practiced today.



          The word Vadi-Samvadi has great importance in the Raga system of Indian Classical Music. As per the Shastra defines, Vadi Swar means the King note of a particular Raga. It is also admitted as a most prominent note which emphasizes the color of Raga to some extent. Samvadi Swar is the second important note which directly communicates with the Vadi or determines the Sonant relationship between these two notes either of a perfect fourth or perfect fifth.  In the Indian concept, the relationship between Vadi and Samvadi should be of 9th Shruti or 13th Shruti differences. This is called Shadaj-madhyam bhav or Shadaj-Pancham bhav.  Each Vadi Swar has its Samvadi Swar in either the 9th Shruti difference or the 13th Shruti interval from its position.

          In the Hindustani Raga-Ragini system, Vadi-Samvadi appears to harmonize the basic relationship of two notes. The Ragas of a similar scale can be noticed because of Vadi-Samvadi. Raga, Puriya, Marwa, Sohani are of the same scale but their fragrance and color are distinct because of Vadi-Samvadi. In puriya Ga-Ni, in marwa Re, Da and in Sohani Da, Ga are Vadi Samvadi. Thus Vadi-Samvadi is those two-sonant-consonant notes which are the heart and breathe of the Raga where the Real Fragrance of particular Raga resides.


Anuvadi-Vivadi :-

          Anuvadi Swar is those Assonant notes which are rather than Vadi-Samvadi and have great importance in building the raga. It is also defined somewhere as the follower of Vadi notes is called Anuvadi Swara. It is always third from the vadi on the shruti norms Vivadi Swar meaning here appears to be vaguer. The dissonant note is an accident Swar sometimes uses in raga to ornamented the fragrance of raga and disappear like nothing was then to show its existence. There in particular rules of vivadi note. The Sangeet Shastra determines the positioning Vivadi swar in particular Raga. Practicing of Vivadi note should be under the guidance of Guru as per the Shastra. Unusual and unnecessary users of vivadi notes may affect the real fragrance of Raga.



          With the understanding of Raga, the Rest note where breath can be taken with sustain for sometimes is called Nyasa Swar. It is variable Raga to Raga, as shastra defines. Before the conception of Raga-Ragini, Graha, Nyasa, Apanayas, Vinyas were indispensable in the description of Jati Gayan. Apanyas is rarely in use nowadays. In shastra, it is defined as the last note or the ending role of a certain phrase of Raga. It is the note where the musician rest for some moment to frame the melody. It can be said that the short interval of time where the musical terms are rested and re-start is called Aapanyas in very short.


          The ascending part where the note inclines towards the higher pitch is called Aroha and descending series of the notes from higher to lower pitch in Avroha. In simple language, Aroha-Avroha means climb-up and climb down from Sa to Ni and Ni to Sa. In every musical melody ascending descending arrangement of the notes are most essential to stimulate the perfect combination. It is musically only possible when the position is proportionate and forms a raga or a melody. This Aroha and Avroha is the basic fundamental aspect of Indian Classical Music.


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