IME Syllabus 2006-2007

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Return to the University of Alberta Indian Music Ensemble main page.

Music X43
Indian Music Ensemble
Dr. Amelia Maciszewski, Director
University of Alberta
Fall 2006

In this course, students of diverse levels explore the performance practice of Hindustani music: vocal, instrumental, and percussion. Classes consist of two sections. During the first hour, the entire class meets to study and practice the foundations of Indian musicianship: raga (melodic structure) and tala (rhythmic structure), expressed through vocalization. Several vocal bandish-s (compositions) will be taught during the semester; students will be held responsible for learning these. During the second section, approximately 90 minutes in length, students break out into smaller groups in which they work on their speciality: sitar, tabla, or voice. All students are required to attend both sections for their entire duration. During the semester, students will sign up to carry out special assignments or tasks in the first section. Advanced students are strongly recommended to choose one beginner classmate whom they will “mentor.”

Course materials created by former Ensemble Director Mrs. Vasanti Paranjape are available for sale and are on reserve at the Music Library, 2nd floor, Rutherford. This text is recommended for students.

There will be several performances scheduled during the semester, dates and times to be announced, including the Ethnomusicology Sampler and the end-of-semester concert. While participation in as many as possible is strongly recommended, participation in at least on such performance—including all rehearsals--is required.

Tentative Outline for Section 1 (subject to change at instructor’s discretion)

Week 1 –Sept. 12 —Introduction, course outline, informal audition. Introduction to raga (melodic structure) and thata-s (scale types of raga-s), introduction to tala (rhythmic structure).

Week 2 – Sept. 19 —Opening the voice, swara sadhana (pitch recognition) with drone (tanpura) accompaniment. Bilaval thata. Palta-alankar (permutation-combination of pitch): the building blocks of improvisation. Begin palta series. Solkattu (recitation of rhythmic vocables, or bol-s). Teental (16 beat cycle): theka (drumming pattern), vocalization, and clapping.

Week 3 – Sept. 26 —Guest presentation on dhrupad genre and rudra veena by Andrew Buhr.

Week 4 – Oct. 3 —Continue palta series. Introduce Raga Bhupali, Ganesh Vandana (Invocation to Lord Ganesh), tala keherva (8 beats). Adapt palta-s to Raga Bhupali. Vocalization of keherva bol-s.

Week 5 - Oct. 10 -- Review Ganesh Vandana, paltas in Bhupali. Introduce Raga Durga, bhajan in tala Jhaptal (10 beats). Present jhapta theka, practice with vocalization and clapping.

Week 6 - Oct. 17 —Review Raga Durga, bhajan. Introduce Kalyan thata, Raga Yaman with bandish in teental.

Week 7 - Oct. 24 -- Continue Raga Yaman bandish, add tan-s (elaborations).

Week 8 – Oct. 31-- Todi thata. Difference between Raga Miyan ki Todi and Gujri Todi. Adapt palta-s to Todi. Bandish (composition) in Miyan ki Todi, tala teental.

Week 9 – Nov. 7 —Review Miyan ki Todi bandish, create variations. Bandish in Gurjri Todi.


Week 11 – Nov. 21 -- Raga Bhairavi. Composition TBA.

Week 12 – Nov. 28 — Review.

Week 13 – Dec. 5- Midyear evaluation. Students will be scheduled for individual sessions TBA.