Learn Indian Voice Music from the scratch to advance
- 5.5 hours on-demand video
- 9 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- By the end of the course, you will be able to vocalize Ragas and able to improvise them for hours like in concerts. In this course you will learn fluent vocalizing of Indian swaras: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa, Indian Taal (beats) system, and basic to hard ragas-training including basic introduction of a raga, aalap (slow improvisatio), bandish (composition of that raga) and taans (fast - improvisation).
- Please go through the prerequisites.
- This course requires patience. Learning Indian Classical Music is a journey and this course attempts to provide a foundation. Though I have tried to simplify and structure things to the best of my knowledge, some of the lectures may seem a repetitive but it's needed to gain better understanding.
- This course assumes that you are a beginner with no prior knowledge in Indian Classical Music, but you do have an interest and curiosity to learn this.
- You need to have an Indian drone-instrument (Tanpura) and a Tabla. An iTabla-pro app (for Apple users) is a good option. For Android etc. you can try an App with good ratings.
- If you do have some background in Indian Classical Music then some of the Lectures may seem familiar. In that case you can skip those sections or watch videos at higher speeds.
The course is about Indian voice music, where one can learn music of India. Initially, I will be covering Indian Classical Music, which is the root of all Indian Music. One needs to have an Indian drone-instrument called Tanpura and a Tabla, which is an Indian Percussion for creating beats. An iTabla-pro app (in apple products) connected with speakers is also sufficient for self-practices and sessions. The course is seven weeks long.
Classical music is classified into four groups:
- Voice-production training.
- Indian note-syllables training(SWARA).
- knowledge about Indian beats-rhythms(TAAL).
There are a plethora of Indian music lovers in all parts of the world. Ample of audience gather for any Indian classical concert, but conceptualizing 'what is Indian Classical' and its proper training is still lacking its persistence. I know many westerner-musicians, who travel to India annually for several months, leaving their jobs, to get guidance from their gurus. Therefore, one should definitely take this course to make Indian music singing and training-steps more accessible and approachable at any time.
- The course is intended for people who have an interest in learning Indian Music discipline. No prior knowledge is required to take this course. You just need to have an interest to Sing, without hesitation.
- I expect you to have patience and also to practice regularly for 20 minutes. There are many classical elements which are vocalized and develop through time. I don't want my students to get agonised by the course. Practice and enjoying own singing is the only way out.
Welcome to Indian vocal music course. I'm Shambhavi Das and I'm happy to your companion in this musical journey. Indian music is comprised of many genres like pure classical, semi-classical, light music, folk, bollywood etc., but in this course I will be covering only the pure classical because that's the root of all. Without the basic training and knowledge one cannot head towards various forms properly. So let me provide an overview to make you aware how this coarse works.
This lecture provides you the information regarding the tools you might want to have in order to start the course. Simply, you need an app having an Indian drone-instrument called Taanpura, for stabilizing the base note or tonic, and an Indian percussion called Tabla for beats. You can download any app like iTablaPro, iTanpura, pocketraga (android), etc.. I will be teaching with iTablaPro which has a superb sound like a real one.
Its better to connect your phone or iPad with speakers to build an environment, while you take classes or do regular practices. But that's optional.
This lecture provides the brief introduction about Indian classical music (ICM) works. It answers the questions like:
- What is Music and what are its elements ?
- How is it different from the others genres ?
- What should one keep in mind while practicing/reciting ICM ?
This lecture describes the brief basic terminology or nomenclature of music theory, which I will be using throughout the course and which is important to know. For example:
- Musical notes are called 'Swara' (pronunciation: Sw-a-r)
- Beats = Tala (Ta-a-l)
- Tempo = Laya (L-a-ey)
- Sound = Nada (N-a-a-d)
- Microtones/sound frequencies = Shruti (sh-ru-tih)
- Designs of notes = Alankaras (A-l-ang-ka-a-r)
All the nations and regions have their own culture and ethical decorum which encompasses the cultural values also. Indian music too has its unique style of posture, presentation, seating, accompaniment, holding instrument while singing etc.. This lecture demonstrates the exact posture, body-position, how a musician should be seated while reciting Indian music. For example, we have a low-seating, cross-legs, body straight, preferably in any Indian attire, while performing.
In this lecture, I have explained Indian voice culture. Its regarding how the Indian voice works and how many voice registers are there from where the voice are ideally produced. Why it is important to produce technically correct voice and what are indications which specify that one is producing safe, soft, and effortless voice.
Students will be learning very easy methods, or three step way of producing effective voice with ruining the throat. It is very essential to learn these three methods while singing as it solves most of the problems people face in vocalism. Three step formula is: Breathe deeply, fix a mouth shape and hit the direct note.
This lecture explains the five types of breathing exercise which is very beneficially before the music practices as it fully oxygenates you and fuels your body and makes you ready for the further music practices. But this video is optional as it is related to Yoga and breathing. If students do not find this important, they may skip.
In this lecture, students will be learning the four one-liner shlokas/mantras to stabilise and establish the base note SA properly on the scale-G. Mantra rendition enhance the articulation and speech ability and make one speak the lyrics with much competence.
This lecture involves vocalization of the first note 'SA', which is the tonic/base note. 'Tonic' note or SA holds a special place in Indian music as it initiates the location and feel of rest of the notes. Therefore, SA rendition is important. Seven natural Indian notes are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni.
This lecture discusses about how octaves work. Octave (Saptak )means 'interval between a pitch from its half or double frequency, like C to C, or G# to G#. In Indian music, there are three kinds of saptaks, with reference to the base note SA:
- Mandra Saptak (lower octave, which is below the tonic SA)
- Madhya Saptak (Mid-octave, notes after the tonic SA)
- Tara saptaka (higher octave, notes which are above the octave or high SAA)
In this lecture, students will be learning to sing the lower octave notes which takes you voice deep down towards the root notes. Lower octave means when you go lower than the base-SA. Lower octave practice or Mandra Riyaz is very essential to make the voice bass and heavier and it enhance and fulfils the other two octaves.
In this lecture, students will be learning the alankaras: fixed pattern of the notes which results in the competence of the singing skills and the fast rendition of the swaras. This lecture show the ladder pattern as in 121, 12321, 1234321, 123454321,.... and similarly the reverse rendition: 878, 87678, 8765678, 876545678.....
'Alankaras' or patterns means symmetrical designs of notes. Singing organized sequence of notes helps us verbalize the notes with increased tempo which eventually enhances the Taans (fast improvisation). To illustrate alankaras :
S R S G R R G R M G, G M G P M, M P M D P, P D P N D, D N D SA N,
N S N R SA. This sequence follows: 1 2 1 3 2, 23243, 34354, 45465 and so on...
In this lecture, set of two-two notes alankaras have been taught and demonstrated for easier practice. Students will be learning the easy alankaras: designs having just two notes, which will guide them to higher skills in the raga renditions and ornamentations.
In this lecture, Instructor has taught a trick how to identify the notes (Swaras) with the help of the established base note. Instructor has also asked some questions (sang in Aakaar) to make students identify that particular notes. The Answers will be written here in the description and I request the students not to read them before thinking the answers themselves. Hint: All the notes will be natural.
Answers for 1-10 sequence: Pa, Ni, Re, Ma, Dha, ni.(L) dha.(L), Ni, Ga, RE(Higher)
This lecture describes the extra five notes apart from the seven natural ones. Apart from the seven natural, there are five more notes which are flatted or sharped notes. There are five notes out of seven which can change its location to one half step lower or higher; therefore, there are total of twelve notes (7+5=12) in 22 micro tones which are used in the ragas. These twelve notes are:
- re (re flat)
- g (flat)
- m (sharp)
- d (flat)
- ni (flat)
This section includes the detailed introduction and mechanism of Indian rhythms and beats system. Beats and rhythms are one of the most essential elements in music. This lecture introduces about how rhythms and beats work; what are the talas ? Terminology for Talas are:
- Tala (Ta-a-l): Beat
- Laya (L-a-y-e) : tempo, speed
- Sam (SUM) : first beat of a tala
- Vibhaag (V-I-BHA-A-G) : measure, bars
There are more than 700 types of Talas in Indian music. This lecture describes different kinds of popular and often used Talas, their calculation and comparison with western discipline. Different kinds of popular talas are:
'Teentala' is the most accessible, coherent, user-friendly,and prime Tala in the Indian Classical music. Indian musicians, either amateur or veterans, not only know but try to master this Tala even for their advanced recital. Teentala consist of:
- Beats=16 ( dha dhin dhin dha/ dha dhin dhin dha/ dha tin tin ta / ta dhin dhin dha)
- Clap= 1,5,13
- Measure= 4
This section contains the core of the Indian classical which is Raga. Classical performances are recited in the form of ragas. Ragas are specific, fixed characteristic tunes made of the permutations and combinations of the 12 notes (described as above). A raga has minimum five and maximum seven notes.
This lecture explains the basic definition and importance of a raga in Indian music. How the ragas are directly connected with moods and emotions; How it relates to the worshiping of God. This lecture also includes how the ragas are classified into time zone or seasons.
This lecture contains the basic terminology used for the elements involved in a Raga. A raga consists of:
- Aaroh-Avroh-Pakad - Ascend-descend-main phrase
- Vadi-Samvadi - Most imp and second important note in a raga
- Jaati - Number of notes used
- Thaat - Comes in which family or head raga
- Time - Time of singing this raga
- Aalap - Slow improvisation
- Taan - Fast improvisation
- Bandish - song or piece/composition
Bandish means the SONG or COMPOSITION created in a raga. There are two kinds of bandish : Fast and slow. While learning a bandish or song, it is essential to be familiar with the elements and syntax of bandish, so that you are able to sing the bandish following its overall decorum.
This lecture discusses the elements and sequence involved in a bandish, which is:
- Sthayee - Rephrase (first part)
- Antara - Stanza (second part)
- Tihaai - Ending the bandish rendering the rephrase thrice.
There are hundreds and thousands of ragas in Indian music some of them are existing since ancient times, others have been newly created by the musicians. This lecture provide you the brief information and general introduction of different types of popular, pleasant ragas which are sung or played often today, like Bhoopali, malhar, yaman, des etc..
This section demonstrates the detailed description and vocalizing raga Bhairav. Out of ten basic ragas, which are responsible for the creation of other numerous ragas, we will be starting a morning raga called RAGA BHAIRAVA.
This lecture contains the general introduction and what to perceive during singing raga Bhairava. For instance, this is a morning raga, which gives a dawn and dull feel when we are awake; our mind is fresh enough to feel and welcome the sunrise. Its a serious raga which inculcates maturity and serenity in our attitude.
This lecture starts with singing basic notes of raga bhairava like aaroh, avroh, pakad:
This raga has all the seven notes with Re and Dha komal. i.e., IInd and VIth notes flat (1/2 step lowered)
- Aaroh-Avroh - S r G M P dh N SA, SA N d P M G r S
- pakad, - G M r S, G M dh P
- vadi-samvaadi, - Re - Dha
- time of singing, Morning 4 to 7
- Jaati - Sampoorna
This lecture includes the AALAP, a slow improvisation of notes which is helpful for establishing the raga. Aalap is an important element in the raga development as it inspirit a particular raga into the musician's and the listener's mind as well. Raga stabilizes in our mind and we start personifying it as an entity or soul.
Aalap improvisation is a musician's extempore ability and creation which develops through experience, knowledge and aesthetic capability, but I have composed the aalap in order to make singing and understanding easy for the beginners.
In this lecture, instructor has introduced a composition in Raga bhairava which is called Swar-Malika; Swar malika is a non-lyrics composition comprising only the notes and the beats in particular Raga....it has no words content and is used for teaching the raga to the beginners for their better grasp.
'Bandish' is a musical word for song or composition or piece especially created in a specific raga. 'Bandish' means rigidly organized in swar and tala. Bandish has two parts: STHAYEE and ANTARA. Sthyee is the first part which can be referred as rephrase and antara is the next part as in stanza.
This lecture constitutes the sthayee, the first part of a bandish in raga bhairava. Sthayee :
Dhan dhan murat krishna murari
sulakshan giridhari, chhavi sunder laage ati pyari...
This lecture explains the second part of the bandish which is called ANTARA. Antara can be conceptualize as stanza of a song. Antara generally depicts the higher notes of a raga and created for the purpose of returning to the sthayee again.
Antara of theis bandish in raga Bhairava is:
Bansi dhar man mohan suhave
Bali Bali jaaun more man bhave
Sab rang gyan vecharii.....
dhan dhan murat..... (back to sthayee)
There are thousands of bandish in all the several ragas.
This lecture introduces Bol-baant, extempore, innovative, random swaras rendition in moderate tempo (same tala which follows the bandish). Bol-baant is another interesting element in the raga improvisation, which is sung after the bandish is sung once. Bol-baant shows up in order to elaborate the bandish and take it to the faster tempo. Bol-baant is vocalized in aakar, swaras as in sargam-rendition, or with the help of words of the bandish.
Bol-baant is fully extempore and is a tremendous creativity of a musician which develops through practices. Although, I have set the bol-baant for students to know how it works.
This lecture explains and help students vocalize TAAN, fast improvisation of notes. Taanas are sung in super increased tempo (tala), according to the individual's capability and caliber. Taanas require a lot of energy, proper breathing, belly flexibility, as taanas are vocalized through the stomach register. Taanas also help us verbalize the swaras SA re ga ma.... in quick and random manner. One requires a focused brain, raga knowledge, and innovative power to vocalize Taanas. Normally, Taanas can be considered as the eighth notes, sixteen notes or 32 ...
Initially, Taanas should be practiced in a moderate tempo as in two notes/beat. It is written as:
SR GR GM GM PM PM GR SS.....
After having an idea about how various elements in the classical heritage, finally this lecture demonstrates the sequence and decorum once again. The sequence follows:
To get an idea of how the musicians keep the singing format, you can visit the resources and see.
This recital was according to my imagination and potential to show you that Indian music is based on the imagination and improvisational capability of a musician, which comes through time after practices.
This is a final recital in Raga Bhairava - Teentala (Madhya laya)
You are all set. Thanks for choosing this course. Hope you enjoyed the music and would continue to practice. All the best.