GCSE Music Revision 3


GCSE Music Note on GCSE Music Revision 3, created by georgie.proctor on 27/05/2014.
Note by georgie.proctor, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by georgie.proctor almost 10 years ago

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Page 1

Rag Desh 

Sections of a full raga performance- Alap, Jor (Jhor), Jhalla, GatFeatures of the Alap = very slow, free time, unmetred (no regular pulse), soft dynamics, explores the notes of the rag, the                                               melody is fragmented (broken up)Gat = fixed composition, last section of the rag Improvisation is an essential skill in the performance of Indian raga Rasa= the mood and emotion associated with a particular raga. Each rag has its time of day for performance, as well as a particular mood. Rag Desh is usually performed at night and is associated with the monsoon rainy season. The primary moods of Rag Desh are devotion, romance and longing, with origins in courtly love songs known as 'thumri' Sargam consists of naming the notes of the rag. The ascending and descending notes in Rag Desh are: Sa, Re, Ma, Pa, Ni, Sa, Ni, Dha, Pa, Ma, Ga, Re, Sa oral tradition- indian ragas are not written down, but are passed down from one generation to the next via the 'gharana' master-pupil system Features of the rhythm = fragmented, complex, irregular patterns.Common sitar playing techniques  Meend- the left hand pulls the string to create a pitch bend Tan- a fast scalic passage Portamento- sliding Microtonal- an interval less than a semitone

The role of the tabla is to play the tala (rhythmic cycles) and provide a strong rhythmic accompaniment for the composition. The tabla often has a competitive dialogue with the melody instrument

The tambura plays the drone notes (usually most the tonic and dominant notes (sa and pa)

COMPARISON OF THREE VERSIONSInstrumentsVersion 1 = sitar (plucked strings) and tabla (small set of two drums)Version 2 = voice, sarangi (bowed fretless strings), sarod (fretless strings, metal fretboard, lower in pitch than the sitar), pakhawaj (large double-headed drums), cymbals and tablaVersion 3 = bansuri (flute), esraj (bowed fretted string instrument), tambura (four strings) and tablaNb- the sitar, sarod and esraj also have sympathetic strings which vibrate without being plucked (tuned to the rag)StructureVersion 1 = alap, gat 1 and gat 2Version 2 = alap, bhajanVersion 3= alap, gat 1 and gat 2TalaVersion 1 = jhaptal tal (10 beats)Version 2 = keherwa tal (8 beats)Version 3 = rupak tal (7 beats)AlapVersion 1 = sitar explores the notes of the rag, some notes are decoratedVersion 2 = the sarod, then the singer introduce the notes of the ragVersion 3 = the bansuri explores the notes of the ragGat 1or bhajanVersion 1 = the sitar plays the fixed composition. There is a medium tempo. The tabla joins in with the 10 beat jhaptal talaVersion 2 = tabla plays keherwa tala. The sarod plays a short solo, followed by the sarangi. Excitement increases as the music becomes louder and faster. There is a verse chorus pattern. The vocal verses are separated with short sarod solos answered by sarangi interludesVersion 3 = the tempo begins slowly then the bansuri plays a lyrical unaccompanied melody. The table then joins in with the 7 beat rupak tal. Music then becomes faster and dramatic as the solo instruments improvise around the gat. The tabla embellishes the tala pattern. The bansuri plays the gat. The bansuri and tabla take it in turns to improvise and accompany. Tihais mark out the ends of sections.Gat 2Version 1 = faster than gat 1. The tabla plays the 16 beat tala tintal. The sitar drone strings are strummed, creating an exciting jhalla rhythmic effect. The piece ends with a tihai (a short phrase played three times, across the beat, before finishing on the first beat (Sam) to signify the end of a section.Version 3 = a fast tempo. The tabla plays the 12 beat ektal tala. The bansuri plays an embellished gat containing a wide range of pitch fast scalic passages (tans) and slides. The piece ends with several tihais. HARMONY AND TONALITYRagdesh is based on the notes of its rag. The two main notes of the rag (sa and pa) form a drone during the alap, but the music is not tonal, and there are no chords to accompany the melody as in western music.TEXTUREmostly the ragdesh pieces are polyphonicSTRUCTUREThe structure is based on variations of notes of the rag. The three versions start with the alap. Pre composed ideas (gat) are used alongside spontaneous improvisation. The chakkrader tihai (three times three repetition of phrases) acts as a coda at the end of sections.Nb- version 2 is a Hindu devotional song in praise of Lord krishna, a deity worshipped by many Hindus.

Yiri- by Koko from the album Burkina Faso

CONTEXTSub-Sarahan/ traditional West African music. Features repetition, call and response, improvisation, complex polyrhythms and polyphony. Passed on by oral tradition. The mood is upbeat and achieved by fast tempo and repetitive patterns with major vocal parts.Drumming talking drums used to send messages to other tribes; the local materials used help the instrument speak the local language.  Some African languages are known as tone languages as the pitch of the words contributes to the meaning Playing techniques= a slap, a bass and a tone Dampening = resting hand or stick on the drum skin while playing with the other Changing pitch done by tightening the skin Striking wood creates a contrasting sound The master drummer leads the group : he controls the tempo, dynamics, pitch, rhythms and the build up of tension Call and response is used to structure the music- master drummer rhythmic call, other players response.  Griots = groups of professional musicians MELODY mostly hexatonic- (leading note F not used very often) lots of syncopation octave doubling repetitive and short balafon parts include acciaccaturas and tremolos simple and regular 2 bar phrasing balafons have regular octave leaps and semiquaver demisemiquaver patterns- virtuosic no dynamics free tempo at the start established by the balafon- moderato tempo RHYTHM AND METRE MAIN RHYTHMS- balafon ostinati- when combined produce complex polyphonic texture- drum ostinati- 1 bar pattern pretty much throughout- vocal line- pentatonic call (solo) and response (choir) Syncopation an important rhythmic feature, drum plays same ostinato rhythm, polyrhythms important, vocal line uses triplets free unmetred opening after which constant moderato tempo is established STRUCTURE intro, series of chorus, verse and instrumental sections coda- end signaled by bell and there are 5 two bar phrases with dramatic rests by all instruments creating a sense of a strong riff Piece ends with solo agogo bell TONALITY Gb major but sounds modal as the piece is hexatonic and leading note avoided Not much harmony INSTRUMENTATION call and response between the vocals and instruments djembe (goblet shaped drum) balafon (play ostinati patterns based on Gb major, have improvised in between sections, often featuring tremolos. In the piece there are two balafons, a higher and lower pitched one. They are African versions of xylophones. Tremolo playing is common as the notes don't sustain for very long.) dundun (double headed bass drum played with sticks)  talking drum (hourglass shaped drum held under the arm, played with a hook shaped beater or hand. Have strings at the side which can be used to change the pitch) vocals (sing in call and response, solo call with chorus responding, some music used in each verse with slight changes to the pitch and rhythm to accommodate word setting) vocables (effects used by voice by using vowel sounds and body percussion) ululation (long, wavering, high pitched sound like the howl of a wolf) Tam Tam Maracas Agogo bell 4 groups of instruments in this piece- balaphones, percussion, voices and drums TEXTURE starts monophonic with the balafon solo 2nd balafon joins in- parallel octaves then heterophonic (5ths in one bar) voices sing in unison when all parts together (polyphonic texture) call & response 1 st motif- dominant (Db) then tonic main metre 4/4 (simple quadruple), few bars in other metres Musicians performed 'Yiri' from memory. Score was made later by notating the music heard on the recording. This type of score is called a transcription.


rag desh


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