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~Questions/Answers by Amritpal Singh Amrit veer ~


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Just to add to the Indian Classical Music question:

"(3) Gamak is a particular style of singing 'Taan' or any 'Swar'. Mostly male vocalists use Gamak. I have given links below in this email. Please listen to those files. 'Gamak' has been used there in those files."

This is difficult to describe, but basically it is a sort of "stammering" between notes when going up or down a scale. Bhai Avtaar Singh used gamaks profusely. They add depth and character to a composition.

"There are 22 'SHRUTIs'. A 'Saptak' (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Nee) is divided into 22 shrutis. A human ear cannot differentiate between all these shrutis. At present, on first shruti, there is 'Sa', on the fifth shruti, there is 'Re', on the eighth shruti, there is 'Ga'; on the 10th there is 'Ma', on 14th is 'Pa'; on 18th is 'Dha' and on 21st is 'Nee'."

Actually someone who does regular riaz (without Vaaja) can hear the difference in shrutis, and in fact needs to here them to adhere to Guru Ji's kirtan maryada whereby they have given command to use a certain shruti above the Vaadi (king note) - i.e. use of "ghar".

"(4) I am not sure if lessons or notations are available. But definitely there are audio files of classical singers, in which they have showed their unmatched art of classical vocal, using Murki and Layakari etc. Please visit: http://ww.smashits.com/music/cat23/classical.html and http://ww.smashits.com/music/cat34/n-ind-classical.html . There are audio files available on this page."

Notations have existed for over a century now, namley Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhandes system which has been adopted by the mainstream.

Various books on Gurmat Sangeet also use notations i.e. books from Bhai Avtar Singh Ji and Dr Gurnaam Singh.

"To listen Pandit Bhim Sen Joshi, a legendry classical singer, please visit http://ww.smashits.com/music/n-ind-classic...in-concert.html . Two audio files, (raag Bihaag and raag Jogia) are available there. Feel the magic of classical music."

Agree 110%.

"(5) Forget keyboard if you want to learn true Classical Vocal. Even Harmonium is not so good, but it is okay if other options are not available. Best instrument is 'Taanpura'."

Hallelujah to that! Tanpura is a drone instrument, obviously any instrument that can play perfect raag (all shrutis and meends) is good i.e. those that our Guru's invented.

"There are electronic 'Tabla' devices available in markets here in India, which are useful for those, who have not any partner to play on 'Tabla'. It is very common to use this device."

It's called a Taalmala.


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