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Tonal structure in Indian music 1

An x-ray of two raga-s: Darbari Kanada and Jaunpuri Colonial musicology and its language The colonial heritage of musicological thinking starts from language. English became the dominant world language, American its neocolonial pendant. The choice of language inevitably brings along a mindset that derives from the culture to which that language belongs. The English musicological vocabulary is both inadequate and confusing when speaking of other musics. Speaking of Indian music for instance, there simply is no word in English for raga. On the other hand the concepts of [...]

Tonal structure in Indian music 12023-02-15T09:13:16+02:00

The AUTRIM Project, Music in Motion

Back in the 1980's the team of the Indian Society for Traditional Arts Research (ISTAR) started work on computer assisted research of Hindustani classical music. It was the engineer and computer scientist Bernard Bel who created a laboratory at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai with the support of the same institution and the Ford Foundation. Apart from Bernard the team included Joep Bor (botanist and sarangi player), Jim Arnold (musicologist and dhrupad singer) and Wim van der Meer (anthropologist and khayal singer). Joep, Jim [...]

The AUTRIM Project, Music in Motion2021-07-28T05:58:55+02:00

What you hear isn’t what you see…

WHAT YOU HEAR ISN‚ÄôT WHAT YOU SEE:¬†THE REPRESENTATION AND COGNITION OF FAST¬†MOVEMENTS IN HINDUSTANI MUSIC Wim van der Meer,¬†Dept. of Musicology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands,¬†wvdm[at] Suvarnalata Rao,¬†National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai 400021, suvarnarao[at] Abstract Keywords: visual representation, melography, ornamentation, pitch perception. In Hindustani music the space ‚Äėbetween the notes‚Äô is often more important than the discrete notes themselves. With the help of melography, and more in particular the use of advanced models of pitch perception in computer software, we can actually ‚Äėsee‚Äô the precise forms of meend [...]

What you hear isn’t what you see…2020-06-08T07:58:06+02:00

Gandhara in Darbari Kanada, the mother of all shrutis?

Post created 26 Feb 2015, last updated 24 January 2017. On my page there is a pdf of this post, but it is not updated as often as this web page. Possibly the most famous of all shrutis of Hindustani classical music is the komal gandhara (ga, minor third [1]) of Darbari. It is often said to be ati-komal (extra flat), which would supposedly mean it is lower than an also supposedly 'normal' komal ga (Levy 1982: 109 cites Vilayat Khan, see also Parrikar 2000; my teacher Dilip Chandra Vedi considered this to be common knowledge, although there are [...]

Gandhara in Darbari Kanada, the mother of all shrutis?2020-06-07T20:29:12+02:00


On April first 2014 I retired, no fooling. My colleagues and friends had prepared an amazing farewell party on the 20th of March, and I later wrote to them: Beste collega's, lieve vrienden en vriendinnen Veel van jullie waren op mijn afscheidsfeestje en hebben daar actief en/of passief aan deelgenomen. Middels dit schrijven wil ik jullie hartelijk danken voor die prachtige avond en de mooie jaren die ik heb beleefd aan de UvA. De samenwerking met collega's en de gedachtewisselingen met studenten hebben tot grote voldoening en vaak ook tot onverbloemd [...]


Expressive vocalisms in Kesar Bai’s Lalita gauri

Illustrations of expressive moments in Kesar Bai Kerkar's famous recording of Lalita Gauri (1956). It is on the basis of audience response (interjections like "vah vah") that we consider these moments particularly emotive.¬†The first passage occurs around 140 seconds from the beginning of the recording. The ‚Äėwah‚Äô at the end follows immediately after the passage that goes from the major seventh through the extremely low minor second (143-44s) and ending on the tonic. The minor second is lower than 50 cents as we can well see in the graph, and [...]

Expressive vocalisms in Kesar Bai’s Lalita gauri2018-03-30T08:44:58+02:00
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