Dasanjali Lesson 5

Practice what you learn in class every week at home, preferably for 15 to 30 minutes every day.

Quickly review what you learnt in lessons 1 thru 4. Then, proceed with this lesson.

We start this lesson with an introduction to the harmonium, the Hindusthani equivalent of the western keyboard or piano. It is a wind instrument operated by manual bellows and a set of keys. Many professional singers play the harmonium themselves when they sing. Even if they cannot play the instrument, many still use it (in lieu of a Taanpura) to set their pitch by permanently creating a background drone from the foundational notes, S, P and S' (for Pancham Raags) or S and M (for Madhyam Raags).

Practice the 2 alankaars we learnt in lesson 4 now.

To continue the lively tradition we started in lesson 4, we will quiz ourselves as follows:

There are hundreds of Raags in Hindusthani music (and Carnatic music). To keep them manageable, ALL Raags are categorized or grouped under 10 families of Raags, known as Taats.

The first Raag we will learn is Bhoopaali and it is in the Bhilaaval Taat. This Taat consists of the 7 regular notes that we have been learning since Lesson 1. Let us practice it once before we proceed with Raag Bhoopaali.

(Aaroha)        S       R       G       M       P       D       N       S'
(Avaroha)       Sí      N       D       P       M       G       R       S

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Again, Bhoopaali has only 5 notes (not counting the upper S' as a separate note) in its Aaroha (SRGPDS') and Avaroha (S'DPGRS). Hence it is known as an Audav /Audav raag, since it has 5 notes going up and 5 notes coming down.

When we learn a new Raag, we typically start with an Aalaap. This is where we practice singing all its notes slowly, without any accompanying beat, to explore all possible and allowed combinations of singing the Raag's notes. Here is a small sample Aalaap of Bhoopaali - listen and practice it a few times, so you get the general mood of the Raag. Sorry, your browser doesn't support the embedding of multimedia.

Next, sing only the sloka, Shuklaam Bharadharam at the beginning of the song "Gaja Vadana Beduve".

Finally, practice the new bhajan below, sung in a Taal known as Bhajani Teka, which is a swinging 8-beat rhythm. To make it easier, it is okay for you to use a 4-beat rhythm. Every song in Hindusthani music will typically have at least the first two paragraphs, known as the Asthayi and the Anthara. Some songs such as this one will have an additional paragraph known as the Sanchari.


(Asthayi)
Hey Prabhu Thum Sab Antaryami
Bishwa Bhyaapak Thoo Hai Swami  Hey Prabhu ...

(Anthara)
Adi Anadhi Thoo Hai Abhinashi
Sarv Byapi Thoo Ghat Baasi
Nis Dhin Gaavath Kirti Tihari           Hey Prabhu ...

(Sanchari)
Niraakaar Nirguna Thoo Ishwar
Sadanand Anand Parameshwara
Ham Sab Nith Kare Binati Tihari Hey Prabhu ...

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Last but not the least, remember that attending the class regularly is very important. A lot more techniques may be taught in the "live" class that may not be all mentioned here on the web. Enjoy singing!
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