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Old 02-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Similiarities between Jazz/Blues and Indian Classical Music

Some commonalities: melodies based on modes (scales or ragas), use of complex and odd metered rhythms, and improvisation all of which have been developed to a very high level. Amazing stuff.



Mrdingam Intro

Mrdingam Explained

Last edited by shinyaaoki; 02-17-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say that there is a similar use in string bends, modal tonality and improvisation. other than that i don't think they have much in common, but everything is changing and merging together, something new can always come out and surprise us all.

blues seems to be a genre that formed out of inspiration from Afro American slaves, basically people singing about what they feel in situations that tend to be sad or difficult, longing for something, i guess we can all relate to this at a certain time in our lives. But anyone who plays this focusing on music standards seems to sound like imitation of a trend to my ears... But it might be a way for someone to learn to incorporate interesting techniques .

I don't know much about the history of jazz other that it also came mostly from Afro Americans influence, but i feel that it can be as well very trendy and boring when played as "easy listening" stuff, background music. where people think they can cram a bunch of random notes to a beat and make it sound good just because its on "scale".

But great things have been done when people reach an understanding of music theory that allows them to be conscious about expectation in listeners.
innovation and individual expression are things that always should be related to jazz.

And regarding Indian music, i think this is a whole lot different, mainly because of the way its tough, to make the player focus on tones and micro tones, and all the different ragas. I don't know much about this but i know that since they use different time signatures in the music it makes it sound so strange sometimes... we western trained ears focus on music based in 4 beats per bar, everything that's played on the radio and the music done by everyone is that signature (usually). And Indian music extends this by playing in 6, 8, 12, 36 beats per bar... making it almost a meditation to listen to it, the on going flow of trance inducing vibrations and rhythms is just something that relaxes and changes our state of mind. Wich i believe can be very healthy.

But this are just my take on those styles, music is something else and taste is very subjective, everyone relates to it differently. we can almost think of it as an illusion to the senses, painting with sound. but there is something in those geometric proportions that seem to be manifesting itself all over the visible universe.

Its magic.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Afro Blue View Post
we western trained ears focus on music based in 4 beats per bar, everything that's played on the radio and the music done by everyone is that signature (usually). And Indian music extends this by playing in 6, 8, 12, 36 beats per bar...
4 is generally referred to as common time, but you'll find people who also refer to 3 and 6 as being common time as well.

Indian music simply doesn't rely on these types of structures. if one were to map out indian music within this framework, he would have himself a big convoluted mess. it's not a matter of numbers in that music at all, but rather syllables. 6, 8, 12, (16, 24) and 32 are all common time as well, as the underlying pulse uses a denominator of 3 or 4 in all of them. indian music - again, if mapped out within the western framework - would be wrought with every number under the sun, as speech follows no numerical guidelines.

popularized indian music is a pretty obvious divergence from this though. ravi shankar in particular seemed to have a penchant for using the tones of home over top the rhythms of the west. the result is obviously something that people over here quite liked, but it was really not a traditional approach to the music of india at all.

the use of the term "micro tones" is something i've noticed a lot in conversations about indian music, and i think a lot of people are misled about what it implies. micro tones are basically the tones between the intervals in our standard octave. the thing is that our octave is still very much present in india, as it likely is in all of the universe. those intervals were found because they are inherent to harmonic resonance. the micro tones being referred to by people in conversations like this are basically the equivalent of the path a slide guitarist takes or someone using bends a lot might employ to arrive at a naturally harmonic resolve. the micro tones themselves would sound just as dissonant and unpleasant if used for resolution as playing an instrument noticeably out of tune.

Last edited by P A N; 04-11-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by P A N View Post
"micro tones"
i once was very interested in this subject, about the sounds that where between the ones (as you say) inherent in harmonic resonance, but the tones in natural harmonic resonance are an amazing thing to contemplate in itself and in perspective of the whole of vibrations all around.

just as an anecdote.. i once worked in a warehouse with some people checking merchandise and one day a guy asked me for my head phns to hear what i was listening to.. so he sat there listening to ravi shankar, and around 5 mins into it i notice he started falling asleep.. there i saw the relaxing effect this music has on others.

thnks PAN for the feed back, and shinyaaoki for the cool links.
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