The Ravi Shankar Collection - The Sound of the Sitar (1965)

Pandit Ravi Shankar

Tabla Player
Alla Rakha

About this album

Alap and Jor in Raga Malkauns:-
Among the more profound ragas of Hindustani music, Malkauns holds a place of its own. As compared to some other ragas in its class, its structure is simple, and yet it lends itself to expressions of great sublimity, and in the hands of a sensitive musician like Ravi Shankar, becomes almost the personification of majestic dignity. The tradition of Northern Indian Veena players, to which Ravi Shankar belongs, is noted for its mastery of forms such as alap and jor. The combination of the raga form and the musician's lineage has, in this piece, created one of the finest examples of recorded Indian music.

Tala Sawari:-
The prefix sawari denotes a tala of odd numbered beats such as 11, 13 or 15. In such talas, invariably, the last three beats are accented by two sections of 1 1/2 beats each, which give the thekas of these talas a particularly pleasing swing.

The piece opens with an aochar on sitar in the evening raga 'jait'. The sitar then introduces the rhythmic cycle i this raga providing a melodic reference to the performance on the tabla. This near obstinate melodic phrase is called Lehra or Nagma and should not be confused with a gat. The tala played here has 11 beats in the cycle, divided 4 + 4 + 1 1/2 + 1 1/2, popularly known as Chartal Ki Sawari.

Pahar Dhun:-
A cheerful improvisation based on the folk melodies of India, this piece starts in an eight-beat tala kaharwa. Half way through the piece the sitar changes to a gat in faster teen tal (16 beats).


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