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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. 


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