Diatonic Chords and Indian Classical Music


Diatonic Chords and Indian Classical Music

The Indian Classical Music genre basically drives the soloist notes which form the melodic within the particular scale of the various Raga. The Ten fundamental Scales in Hindustani Music- North Indian Classical Music and Seventy-Two Fundamental Scales in Carnatic Music- South Indian Classical Music are the root of Raga classification which emerged in the post-medieval period and was significantly modified in various periods by several musicologists. Thaat or the Mela are supposed to be the root of raga classification where similar scale rage is categorized and framed under each Thaat/ Mela. Perhaps, the Thaat may not cover up all the scales, or Raga has a distinct character. Even in a similar scale raga, it can notice the Characteristics are quite different from one another. Thus the entire music genre of Indian Classical Music is having a diverse quality that cannot be related to one another in any way. They might share a similar Thaat or similar scale but the character might be totally reversed in nature.

Chord Progression in Indian Classical Music does not resemble the originality of Classical music. Moreover, these chord progression is not easy to understand for beginners because the scale, Ragana, and pathway of Raga is confined in Jati where notes are structured as Audav- Audav, Audav-Shadav, Audav-Sampurna or Shadav-Audav, Shadav-Shadav, Shadav- Sampurna, or Sampurna- Audav, Sampurna- Shadav, Sampurna- Sampurna or Vakra-Sampurna or Sampurna – Vakra. Ascent notes may have a minimum of five and a maximum of seven or vice-versa is regarded as Jati of the Raga. Shadaj(the root note),  Madhyam, or Pancham (Perfect Fourth-Fifth) are not abandoned in such scales.  Thus the proper chording is quite completed in most of the Raga. The chords of course create harmony but this may not be suitable as per the structure of certain Raga. Here one should not that Indian Classical Music is not as similar as the Diatonic or Chromatic Scale of western Music. But understanding the formation of Chords in Indian Classical Music is make sense in some music genres that embellish the melody and create a harmony that soothes the audience and spectators.

Generally, Chords are formed with the combination of three or more notes that harmonize the assonate sound in a particular series. For Example, C E and G are the keys of C Major Chord. Let’s understand the key combination of these keys and how these keys are recognized in the diatonic scale. 

As we know the base note of the scale is called Root note in western music and Shadaj-Sa in Indian Classical Music. The position of Sa is variable in Indian music whereas, the keys are fixed in Western Music.  If we supposed base note Shadaj – Equivalent to the Pitch of C of a middle octave and construct the natural notes from C D E F G A B then Bilawal Scale of Hindustani Music is formed were minor seventh keys is used as dissonant notes sometimes used in between Major Sixth. Let’s understand the formula of Major and Minor Chords.

A Major chord is created with Root + Major Third+ Perfect Fifth. Before moving forward we shall remember the name of Notes. In western music, the notes are named as Root, major Second, Major Third, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, Major Sixth, and Major Seven, or the same can be named as Minor Second, Minor Third, and Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, Minor Sixth Minor Seventh. With the connection of these degrees of notes Tonic Supertonic, Mediant, Subdominant, Dominant, Submediant, and leading notes/ chords are created. The basic thing to understand the chord progression or chord formation in Chromatic/ diatonic scale is the interval between the Root Note to other notes. According to this semitone/ tone interval, several chords can be created.

Let’s supposed the Scale is C natural then the root note is obviously the C so C Major (C M) will be 1+ 5 +8 i.e. the First key will be C and Second Key will be E(C C# D D# E means five Semitones interval) and The third Key will be G(C C# D D# E F F# G) means eight Semitones interval) or this can be said as Root+ Major Third + Perfect = Major Chord. Similarly, Minor Chord is constructed in a chromatic Scale C minor (Cm) will be 1+ 4+ 8 i.e. the First key will be C and Second Key will be Eb(C C# D Eb) means four Semitones interval) and The third Key will be G(C C# D Eb E F F# G) means eight Semitones interval) or this can be said as Root+ Minor Third + Perfect = Minor Chord. Here we can see the third degree of the key is the variable in a major and minor chord.

Now let’s move this part relating to Indian Classical Music. Shadaj -Sa is the root note in each and every pitch and in all the Scales of Indian Classical Music. The A major chord is the combination of Shadaj+Gandhar+ Pancham( Sa+Ga+ PA ) and Minor chord can be formed with Shadaj+ Komal Gandhar+ Pancham( Sa+ga+ PA ). So In Bilawal Scale, all the notes are Natural/ Suddha that why chord progression is formed as: if Stander Pitch is C#

Sa+Ga+ Pa= C#Major


Ga+Pa+Ni=F minor

ma+ Dha + Sa= F#Major

Pa+Ni+ Re=G#Major

Dha+Sa+Ga= A#minor

Ni+Re+ma = Cdim

Note: diminish chord is a combination of triad combination with root note and minor the third and minor fifth means both keys are half semitone down in Major triad.


To be continued …..




1 comment:

Ad Code

Responsive Advertisement

Popular Posts

Home Ads

Home Ads