Indian Music and Western Music

Indian Music and Western Music
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Indian Music and Western Music

Indian Music and Western Music

When you compare it with Western music, the features of Indian music become clear. You will find some essential differences between the two systems: Indian music is based on melodies or single notes played in a given order, while the Western music is based on harmony: a group of notes known as chords played together.

Dr. Rabindranath Tagore who was well familiar with both the systems, Rabindranath Tagore explained the difference as follows: “Western music in the world means that it is a stream of prosperity, cohesive and disintegrating and many disconnected pieces. And the night world means Indian music is a pure, deep and gentle raga. Both touch our hearts and yet both are contradictory in spirit. But it is natural. At the root of nature day and night are divided into two, unity and one diversity, finite and infinite

Indian men live in the nocturnal area; We are inspired by the feeling of one and infinity. While Indian music pushes listeners beyond the confines of everyday happiness and sorrow and takes them to the lonely place of asceticism at the root of the universe, Western music inspires us to dance through the infinite rise and fall of human happiness and sorrow.

“Indian classical music basically stimulates our spirituality and discipline – the longing for self-preservation. Singing is a devotional act and not an intellectual demonstration of mastering the technique of raga. In Western culture, singing is formal and secular. Exercise and include Indian music. There is no involvement of devotion or devotion in comparison

The tradition of teacher-student (guru-disciple) in Indian music is responsible for the student’s deep devotion and attachment to the teacher. In the West, music teachers are hired who teach lessons and there is no deep love between teacher and student.

Like Western music, Indian music is also melodious and based on rhythm, but there is no basis for harmony that is so important in Western music. Indian music is a “model” – based on the relationship of permanent personal notes with permanent notes known as tonics. This is why tanpura (drone) is played against the backdrop of Indian music, reminiscent of a tonic note.

The Indian classical music system is horizontal; One note is behind the other, while Western music is vertical; Many notes were played at one time. Renowned composer Yehudi Menuhin describes the difference between the two systems in describing Indian music: “One must orient oneself to appreciate Indian music, and at least for the time being, forget about it and just immerse yourself in a kind of thematic, almost hypnotic trance. And the melodious features that are repetitive, acquire a fantastic charm and allure … Despite the predominance of this hypnotic mood, an Indian is a feature of music, actively liberating the mind. “

The location of the “structure” in these two systems is particularly different. In Western music, music is first composed by the composer and is put into calligraphy: then the composer plays the composition under the guidance of the composer. Improvements are hard to come by here, and performance value lies in uniformity and pre-determined behavior of tone and music speed (tempo). In Indian music, when the sweet grammar and rhythm are fixed, the ingenuity and skill of the musician lies in his creativity and industriousness, especially in the mood and juices of a particular raga.

In this context, an international musicologist writes: “In the West, concrete blocks of music are made. After work like building stones, seven degrees of the diatonic scale were created and worked on cleverly. And the counters, thus creating wonderful buildings in sound.

In Indian classical music, no one can think of dividing sound into blocks; Instead it is refined into wire-thin thread. The sound is conveyed to the end to refine it … no standard material, no three or five storey building, but like a silken thread unfolds and rises and falls and stimulates the world of sensations and emotions. “

In Indian music, melody and rhythm offer a variety of subtleties, which are not possible in Western music. Indian notes are divided into units called shruti (22 microtons), while Western music has 12 semitones. Microtons are more subtle than semitones. Decorated with greystones, these microtones create a magical effect.

Western music has the potential to create a lot of emotion and mood. In Indian music, a raga has the ability to create a main emotion or mood. An Indian musician modifies the frame of raga with his own creative genius, but in Western classical music, with the exception of jazz, such an idea is unforgivable.

Reference : 

Classical Indian Music for Healing and Relaxation                  

Indian Music Vs Western Music