Linking Slow and Fast Compositions in Indian Classical Music

By Lars Rosager | Music

May 22

While the general framework Alaap-Jor-Jhala guides most styles of Indian Classical Music, and other typical formal devices shape these three sections as well as shaping the development of fixed compositions, the Indian tradition is quite spacious in terms of room for personalization and innovation. This music thrives on spontaneity, but also enjoys the effects of close attention to detail and careful planning.

Here I present some original thinking on how one might move from a slow (vilambit) gat composition into a fast (drut) gat. The crux of the matter is preserving sam, the equivalent of the down beat in Western music. I have exemplified the idea with two compositions in Raga Yaman, and compared the treatment to a rendition of Raga Brindavani Sarang and one of Raga Sindhu Bhairavi. I have explored the concept in Ragas other than Yaman, and would be happy to share my findings.