Dasanjali Lesson 1 - introduction to music in general and Hindusthani music in particular

Welcome to the Dasanjali school of devotional music, based in the U.S.A. This is a continuation of good work in spreading Indian classical music, started by my uncle, the late Sri M.O.Srinivasan in Madras, India in the ‘60s. He was also an excellent wicket-keeper who represented India in Cricket test matches.

Most of the songs taught in this school will be set in the Hindusthani style although there may be a few set in the Carnatic style as well. The lyrics for the songs will be in different languages. The embedded music clips and songs in these lessons will be typically in mp3 format, although some of them may be in wmv or Real Audio format. While the Real Audio songs typically require you to download a RealAudio player from real.com, the other formats may be played using the RealAudio player, Windows Media Player (standard on most Windows machines) or QuickTime.

What are the essential elements in any music?

Without these two elements, there will not be any music at all anywhere in the world. e.g. Try just READING the song Twinkle Twinkle or any favorite song of yours and see how boring it sounds. Then, try singing it to a wrong beat or no beat at all and see how bad it sounds.

There are many “styles” of music around the world:

In all styles of music, you have both vocal and instrumental music.

Indian music can be categorized in several ways:

Getting back to the two essential elements of music, in Hindusthani music, Some basic info on “raags” and notes: You may practice your SRGM and Aakaars (the Aah sounds instead of singing the notes themselves) either using a real keyboard or piano or an online keyboard. I found a good online keyboard at http://www.apronus.com/music/flashpiano.htm based on which I have marked the keys you need to practice singing for.

Practice Aaroha and Avaroha tunes: Finally, in this class, we must have fun also. I derive a lot of fun by actually singing songs with words, especially in different languages (even if I cannot always understand what they mean). So, being the first class, we start with a couple of auspicious songs on Lord Ganesha and Goddess Sarawathi. My uncle would try to start most songs with a sloka and you will notice that in the above songs.

Enjoy singing!

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