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Raag Alhaiya Bilawal – Vamsi Polapragda's Raga Compendium

Tamburi, Gwalior, 1800-1900. India's rulers were important patrons of classical misic. This stringed instrument comes from Gwalior, a region with a rich musical heritage.


Sarangi, ca. 1900, India, 75cm. The most important bowed instrument of classical Hindustani music of Northern India and Pakistan. A rigid horsehair bow (not shown) rhythmically sounds the gut melody strings, which cross over an ivory elephant-shaped bridge (bara ghurac). Melody and virtuosic embellishment are produced by pulling the strings to the side with the fingernails.


ndian classical music is both elaborate and expressive. Like Western classical music, it divides the octave into 12 semitones of which the 8 basic notes are, in ascending tonal order, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa for Hindustani music and Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Da Ni Sa for Carnatic music, similar to Western music's Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do. However, Indian music uses just-intonation tuning,


Indian plucked string sitar, which derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from sympathetic strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber