raga music

  • anyone here familiar with raga music? i have been listening to pandit pran nath and enjoying flute/bansuri raga tunes and could use some guidance as to which artists are considered archetypal vs extreme or especially unique. i am interested in exploring the limits, please share if you have knowledge in this area.

  • Yes, Maaaan! All me know is di raga riddim from Buju Banton come een lak a reel haardcuoorr rudebwai! But none cyaan test Tenor Saw, original selectah, come correct to bring di macca fiya, cyaan no bumba clot ring de alarm, because he a go murda dem!

    "which artists are considered archetypal"

    #1 bad bwaaay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Akbar_Khan
    #1 western-ambassadah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravi_Shankar
    #1 tabla witchdoctah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankar_Ghosh
    #1 bassbin sitar rockin sistah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annapurna_Devi

    and the original rudeboy, grandfadda OG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allauddin_Khan

    (so sorry, got carried away practicing my jamaican patois....
    i took tabla for a month from Shankar Gosh in Kolkata(formerly 'Calcutta'; also, took sarod from AliAkbar Khan at his school in SanRafael for a few months...), and Shankar told me stories of how those top four lived and breathed raga music taught by Allauddin Khan in his home. he told me of a week-long raga trial to graduate to the next level: they literally sat and practiced all day and all night to only break to go to the bathroom and eat 2 small meals a day. Allauddin would even go outside his home a short distance to pick up some things from the corner store, and then come back and be able to tell each of those four, exactly what mistakes they made(though they were all practicing together). and when they made mistakes, they had to start all over again(they were allowed to sleep before they started over.... if i remember the story correctly...). anyways, crazy strict. but they lived and learned like a family.)

    "vs extreme or especially unique"

    'unique' where indian raga is concerned is hard to say because it is such a strong tradition, mostly orally disseminated through generations of teachers passing it on to students(there is notation these days, but it is basically just a shorthand of the orally transmitted indian-solfege syllables). once it becomes unique or extreme, it's hard to say it's truly raga(at that point, many call it 'classical-indian fusion')...

    maybe 'extreme' might be Zakir Hussain, but... there's quite alot of jazz-classical-indian fusion which you could also consider especially unique.
    but for more contemporary uniqueness, generally some great tabla players also create some well-revered electronic music like Talvin Singh, Karsh Kale, and my personal favorite, Badmarsh and Shri.

    also others, in the classical raga tradition i've heard and liked:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismillah_Khan (<-the 'shehnai' instrument is one of my favorite sounds. sounds similar to the 'snakecharmer' oboe-like sound from old racist bugsbunny cartoons >:D)
    http://www.hasupatel.com/ (<-also took tabla from her for a few months, too... i still suck :p)<br />

    (you should be able to find listening examps on youtube for all those pretty easily, too)

    "Let peace be within I walls and prosperity within I policy. And because of the house of thee, live in I, Rastafari! I shall now seek I good foreva." ;D

  • i've only been casually interested in hindustani and carnatic music

    initially i started research on the rhythmic and melodic theory within the style but their system is so deep i eventually gave up

    now i just enjoy the music at face value

    raja covered a lot and, having studied tabla & sarod in india itself, has 1st hand knowledge that i obviously dont

    but i'll add two names to his list
    zakir hussains' dad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alla_Rakha
    + someone local that i discovered this year...ami dang: http://www.ehserecords.com/ehse017

  • wow, this is great. thanks everyone for giving me some direction. i am fascinated by these sounds; there is some ineffable quality about these melodies and rhythms, complexities i have yet to understand but i must keep listening...

  • @% @gli I'm studying Indian music theory at the moment. It's just so great - if nothing else, it gives a western musician nothing but cool ideas.

  • "zakir hussains' dad"

    oh nice! i definitely second that! some of the best stuff i've heard is Zakir and his dad playing together

  • @karaokaze my kind of humour :) speaking of language and dialect...do you speak/read/write any of the languages of the indian subcontinent?

    i'd guess hindi/bengali because most folks i've met in the states speak those two but some of my friends are tamil, telugu, malayalam speakers so i'd rather not stereotype

    @botstein its really beautiful stuff

    tho i cant deny my western roots and musical tendencies, learning about indian classical sort of unshackled my view of tonal organisation, song structure, and improvisation

    my brief study also served as encouragement, validating some elements of my personal theories on metric cycles and accents. aside from west african music and its latin offshoots in the americas this was the first complex system/genre that i focused my academic attention on

    it was love at first sight and ever since my first encounter i've pretty much turned my back on western music theory

  • "any of the languages of the indian subcontinent?"

    i speak bengali but can't read or write it very well. it was... i guess you could say, my '3rd' language(because i started spanish as early as kindergarten)... but i never learned any language as well as i know english :p (wish i knew hindi because then i could go anywhere in India and communicate with ultimate ease. everyone at least speaks that, if not their local dialect plus english.)
    hence, most south-asians refer to me(quite aptly i might add ;D) as an "ABCD" or "American Born Confused Dipshit"(the 'D' sometimes interchangeable with 'Desi' which refers to anyone of the south-asian diaspora).

  • most modern folks, and especially musicians, are cultural nomads

  • @raja re ragga, new tangent, i have been hooked on roots reggae recently.

  • ha! yessss! so much beautiful music in the roots reggae tradition, from desmond dekker to lee scratch, some of my favorites... this guy, too:

    also, what i was talking bout with jamaican roots influencing hip-hop, pretty sure it was dj kool herc, who picked up his particular style of turntablism from living in jamaica at a time when folks used to break into warehouses(50s and 60s) and throw ska parties, setting up two turntables to create continuous mixes for dancing all night...(i heard this was influential for hip-hop, techno, house, all kinds of djs etc.)

    (i hear it was him and Afrika Bambaataa, but for me, i really like what DJ Kool Herc did for turntablism innovation specifically... and it seemed like his jamaican roots were at the heart of it...)

  • ha, i thought the op was requesting ragga. not too familiar with raga music, but this thread's got me interested.

  • freelance writer