A Look at Guitars – The Hawaiian Guitar

A Look at Guitars – The Hawaiian Guitar

Indian Music instrument tradition is coming through ages, say from the Vedic period. There seem various differences in the main structure and the style of playing the instruments due to the capability of an artiste and changing time necessities.

Amongst this group Guitar is still a puzzle for the researchers and its artistes too. It’s not clear whether it’s imported from Europe or is origin of India and migrating for several years, it has been reconstituted through bilateral exchanges.

This article, highlighting the new awareness in this discussion, will be fruitful for musicologist and artistes.

“Hawaiian Guitar has completed almost 100 years in 20th Century proving its significance. It has extensively traveled and have tasted the new mountains of fame, not only in its origin but in whole world, may it be Indian Classical, filmy or English Classical or say it Pop.

The question occurs, why only Guitar? Probably the reason for its popularity in the first half of 20th Century was its portability and cheaper option as compared to Piano. It was more famous often a recording of Joseph Kekaeu on Hawaiian guitar, probably it was due to its melodious sound. That’s why this Guitar is named after Hawaiian and is addressed or origin of Guitar. It would rather justify saying a process, not invention. Many Indians give credit to an Indian sailor Gabriel Davison to play this instrument with a steel bar. He was rather adopted this technique from “Vichitra Veena” of “Gohuvadyam”.

The advance form of this instrument could be seen in Indian Classical music and movies with a variety of names. The history of its entrance in India is very interesting. Young Classical guitar player Sh. Debashish Bhattacharya claims on the basis of his own research that Guitar entered in India with Taan Mae and Band in 1931 from Calcutta. This confirms Gremmie Mass, who happened to be a student of Tan Moe. He forehanded his style to his students and then Guitar was more famous like Calcatian Babu Style.

On the contrary Sh. Chakrapani Singh claims that Guitar is very similar to the ancient Veena “Kacchapi”, later on being migrated to various places and changes, it reentered in India with name “Guitar”. In my own opinion, this is not because in “Manasollaas”, the technique to play veena like tortoise (Korma), and its making, which resembles like today’s Guitar and sarod. In 11th chapter of Manasollaas, this has been described that wood and iron may be used to make koorma Veena, its frat board danda and frame should be made of Khadir’s wood, the distance between the frat board should be 72 fingers, the garbharandhra of both sides should be opened the back of veena should like back of korma etc.

Actually the most of the today’s Guitar resembles old Kacchapi Veena. It may be changed with time, could migrate, and could reenter in India with new frame and new name. This fact is supportive because there are few names of guitar artistes in the court of Babar with the name of vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers.

This means that before the arrival of Sh. Tao Moe guitar had entered in India, because time of Babar is 1526 A.D. That’s why it is better to think that Guitar is a modified form of ancient Kacchapi Veena and probably has some impact of Rawab and Sarod of Afghanistan and Baluchistan.

Whatever the changes and modifications are seen in this instrument, these are all due to the particular style of playing of each artiste and his limitations. It may be said that further development of this instrument be left for future. It is said that Sh. Brij Bhooshan Kabra has established this instrument in Indian classical Music, but this fact is acceptable only as partial truth. If we see from history, this credit foes to Sh. Gopal Singh, son of Sh. Parbatsingh, of Gwalior, who was a student of us tad Hafiz Ali Khan. He used to play in AIR during 1950. This time is between 1935 to 1950, Dr. Chakrapanisingh also confirms this. My grandfather Pt. B.N. Kshirsagar confirms these facts too. He had stayed in Gwalior between 1932 to 1944. Under the tutelage of Pt. Krishnrao Shankar Pandit and Pt. Raja Bhaiya Poonchwale. A few people know that there was tarab and Chikari in the Guitar of Sh. Gopal Singh.

Guitar, in its struggling period was more famous in filmy music then Classical. Sh Sunil Ganguli, Hazara Singh and Ven Shipley are the famous filmy Guitar players of the era.

Dr Kamala Shankar describes in her delegation paper of Chennai Music Academy that the attempt to adopt Guitar as Classical Guitar was done by Sh. Nalin Mazmudar of Allahabad, before fifty years. The time should be almost 1945 to 1950 in random. Sh. Brij Bhooshan Kabra stands next to the time, so it’s not agreeable that he is the founder of guitar, though he made some changes in the instrument. Many artistes adopted his style, can be assumed as a new chapter of guitar.

Sh. Vishwamohan Bhatt modified guitar according to his style. Concept of drone strings, tarab under the main fret board for greater sustainity makes it significant. Whereas Sh. Kabra’s style was gayaki, Sh. Bhatt balanced his playing with gayaki and tantrakaree. His guitars are famous with the name Mohan veena. Sh. Satish khanwalkar used mijrabs to play this instrument to find the techniques of sarod, sitar and guitar at one time. Music is an art and constantly developing. Person and his thoughts are very important in art. That’s why Sh. Debashish Bhattacharya made a few changes again and used Chikari in front of guitar to play extreme laya patterns and compositions. He calls his guitars anandi, chaturangi etc. Sh. Chakrapani Singh has added 32 additional strings and calls his guitar Kacchapi.

On the basis of above discussion, it may be said that Sarod and Guitar can be transformation of Kacchapi Veena, to add of less strings or tarab are due to the artistes necessity but only for those reasons, the tradition and tendency to establish this instruments with new names hammer its originality from India.

One should not disagree to believe this originality from India and we should be opened to accept the developments / modifications with its technique and frame. The decision is in your part, say it Kacchapi or Indian Classical Guitar.

Thanks to:-
1. Sh. Chakrapani Singh
2. Dr. Kamala Shankar
3. Sh. Debashish Bhattacharya

Ref:- 1. Manasollaas – pages 85-86 , Vadyaadhyaya 16, shloka – 586 to 597.
2. Mughalkaleen Bharat – Pages 595 to 596. ( Shaikhee Nai and Shah Kulee were guitar artistes in Babar’s Court)

Contributed by – Deepak Kshirsagar is a young instrumentalist – Indian Classical Guitarist from Rajasthan and is trained under Pt. B.N. Kshirsagar, Shri Sateesh Khanwalkar and Pt.Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

Deepak can be contacted at ddk5275@gmail.com
Ph : 91-291-2631560

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Learning to Play Indian Classical Ragas on Spanish Guitar

Tips for Learning To Play Classical Indian Ragas on Spanish Guitar

Indian Classical Ragas

Learning to play Classical Indian Ragas on a Spanish Guitar can be quite a fulfilling experience especially if you have an interest in both Indian Classical Raagas and learning to master the finger movements on a Spanish Guitar!

I have had the good fortune of learning to play 4-5 Indian Ragas on my guitar. Though in the beginning, I was quite paranoid about the idea of learning to play a raag, it slowly grew on me!

Up till that point, my only understanding of the word raag was limited to what I had heard a couple of times on television.

I knew it was not going to be easy but what I had no clue about was the fact that I was going to thoroughly enjoy playing it! I’d like to share by simple tips and experiences of learning to play ragas with those of you who might be thinking of doing the same :

Most Do’s – Tips for learning to play a raag on your guitar –

  • Understand the structure and elements that make up a Indian Raag / Raga.
  • Understand how the Raag may be divided into systematic parts.
  • Begin by getting familiar with the swaras in the raag and the rules that apply to that specific raga. eg. certain notes may not be included ina particular raag as a rule – “ni” is not played (varjit) in Raga Bhupali
  • Begin by playing the Aaroh, Avroh and Pakkad – these should help you in familiarizing yourself with the swaras in the raga as well as the mood of the raaga.
  • Start by playing slowly and making a mental note of the notes you are playing and the tune in which they are played.
  • Play one line at a time.
  • Understand the connection between the sthahi, antara and the taan (toda). Experience how the todas join back to the raga.
  • Play the taan at double the speed of the raga.
  • Practice, Practice and Practice – There are no two ways about it – practice will make you perfect!

Goal : While learning to play the raga on your guitar and practicing it, keep the ultimate goal in mind – To play the entire raga from Aaroh to Toda without stopping and maintain the correct tempo throughout the course of the raga!

The ragas which I enjoy playing the most include – Raag Bhupali, Raga Bhim Palasi and Raag Jaunpuri.

Contributed by – Akanksha, Music Enthusiast

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Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

There is no denying the fact that life without music will be dull, boring and incomplete. People of all age groups enjoy listening to music though, their tastes in music may differ from one another.

A teenager may enjoy fast, upbeat and rock music while an adult may prefer slow, soothing and instrumental pieces. While listing to music is quite a common and popular hobby, creating music and learning to play a musical instrument can be an even richer and more satisfying experience.

Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Here are some of the most important benefits of learning music and playing a Musical Instrument of your choice –
 
1. Playing Music is an Enriching Experience: Whether you learn vocal music or acquire the skills necessary for playing a Musical Instrument, the experience can be highly enriching and satisfying!

2. Playing Music is an Art: Whether you want to make a career in music or want to learn music just for personal satisfaction and interest, in the long run you learning an art form that will stay with you forever.

3. Playing Music is Good for your Health and Mood:  The use of Music in Music Therapy has confirmed the fact that music has the ability to refresh, strengthen, heal and enrich a person.

Whenever you are sad, unhappy or depressed, you can cheer yourself up by playing your favourite tune on your Guitar or doing some riyaaz on your Tabla.

4. Playing Music is Fun: Once you know how to play music on an instrument of your choice such as a Piano, Keyboard, Tabla, Guitar, Harmonium, Sitar etc, you can never get bored. Besides entertaining yourself, you can also perform for your family, friends and acquaintances and share the magic of music!

5. Playing Music Keeps you Constructively Occupied: If you are looking at developing a hobby that keep you constructively occupied, then learning to play a musical instrument is a very good option! And the best part is – anyone can learn music!

Playing and creating music is an extremely fulfilling experience and if you have the opportunity and interest, you must indulge in this same. After all, Everyone Can Learn Music.

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Everyone Can Learn Music

What makes music a universal language is the fact that everyone can indulge in it without any restrictions. No matter how young or old you may be, it is never too early or late to learn to play a musical instrument and enjoy the experience.

There are no rules or restrictions on who can and cannot learn music. The Music Industry throughout the world is blessed with a plethora of talented singers, music composers, instrumentalists and other successful music artists and several more are entering this field everyday!

There are those who want to make a career in music while there are those who simply want to learn to play a musical instrument to make themselves happy and enjoy music. So it can be said that music is such an art that can be acquired and learnt by anyone who has the interest and inclination to do so!

  • Children: By starting early, children can learn the art of playing a Musical Instrument at a young age and improve in doing so over time. It has been seen that by learning music, children are able to develop and grow effectively. Parents should encourage their children to pursue their interest in music along with their education as it is
  1.     a great hobby to have
  2.     keeps the child involved and occupied, and
  3.     may open up many avenues in the future.
  • Teenagers: Those in their teens are naturally inclined to music and if interested in making their own music, these growing individuals can begin learning music (vocal & Instrumental) depending on where their interest lies.
  1. Playing music is a great hobby.
  2. Being formally trained assists in getting prepared for a career in music in the future.
  • Adults: In between all your work pressures, busy schedules and stressful lives, you will find learning to play a musical instrument a great stress buster and mood enhancer.

  • Senior Citizens: It is never too late to learn! Besides keeping you busy and constructively occupied, learning music can help you to fight memory loss, interact with other like minded individuals and can even lower your blood pressure.

As can be seen above, music is for everyone and if you have the interest, you must start learning music today!
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Who Should Learn Music?

There are no rules or restrictions on who can and cannot learn music. Anyone who has a natural inclination towards the field and an inherent interest can study / learn music.

If you find yourself engrossed in a piece of music, love to listen to a variety of genres of music or simply stand awe struck when you hear the alaaps of a classical singer, you are definitely musically inclined!

Music is a diverse field with many different nuances and shades. There are some individuals who are naturally gifted with a good voice and a great sense of timing. With a little bit of guidance and training, such naturally talented singers, players and musicians can hone their skills tremendously.

There are others who are not necessarily born with the talent but do have a deep interest and affinity towards towards learning music. Such students of music can join a music school, Music Training Institute or pursue a Music course with any University & fulfill their passion towards music.

Hence it can be concluded that Everyone Can Learn Music!

Whether you want to learn vocal music or gain training in playing a musical instrument of your choice, you must pay attention towards the theory of music as this helps in forming a strong base which proves to be useful later on. An understanding of music theory can also help you in composing and creating your own music.

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Latest in Music Technology & Instruments

Digital Music Technology for Upcoming Musicians

Digital technology has developed over the last 25 years in ways that would have been difficult to foresee in decades gone by. Computers, samplers and other gadgets have added a whole new layer to music making, at once making it more accessible and more technologically complex. With a range of new and relatively cheap gadgets to play with, almost anyone can make a record and distribute it, at least in some measure, themselves.

One major development in technological terms has been Autotune, a production tool used to make sure that artists` voices are in key.

The benefits for performing artists who want to make listenable to records as cheaply as possible are immense. Composition technology has also developed hugely in recent years and it is technically possible to compose a full orchestral symphony just using a mobile phone.

Computers and software are central to the new developments and if you are new to music you should make sure that you have at least a laptop that incorporates specific features for musicians. Pro Tools is a good package that every musician of whatever kind should have and know how to use. This software package makes production, editing and recording at home very simple.

It also means that you can achieve some truly impressive, professional standard recordings.     

To really discover what the latest kinds of musical technology can offer you, it is always best to get `hands on` and try things out. Talking to other musicians about the things that they have tried and gained success with is also a good idea.

By far the best place to acquire this kind of knowledge is at a music store.

While many inexperienced musicians may be intimidated by heading into a store where there are more experienced musicians present, it is not that frightening an experience really. Many musicians, especially those who work in shops, are enthusiasts who love to share their knowledge and experience.

If you are not fortunate enough to have a real music store close to where you live, you can use an online alternative such as Dawsons Music. Musicians in the virtual world are often just as happy to help as those in real life shops.

Also, always remember that however much technology you are in possession of, what really counts is how much of your heart and soul you put into your music.

Careers in Music – The Indian Classical School of Thought

Careers in Music – The Indian Classical School of Thought

Gone are the days when music was merely considered to be a hobby or a good way to pass time. With the growth of the entertainment Industry, music has become a highly respectable and lucrative career option.
            
First things First – What is Music?

According to the Indian Classical School of thought, Music is compromised of 3 different arts namely
* Singing (the expression of sound vocally)
* Playing of an Instrument (the expression of music through an Instrument)
* Dancing (The expression of music bodily through the art of Dance)

No matter how you express it, these 3 arts are interdependent on each other. The growth of the entertainment Industry has opened many new avenues for those who want to seriously pursue their love for music professionally.

Career Options in the Music Industry
The field of Music (Singing, Dancing and Playing of Instruments) offers many different kinds of jobs based on a persons interest and capabilities. A broad categorization of jobs available in the music industry include –

1. Teaching
2. Recordings
3. Concerts / Performances and Live Shows
4. DJ’s, VJ’s & RJ’s etc.

A Professional Singer for eg, has the choice to perform in front of a live audience at concerts and live shows, birthday parties and religious functions etc.

Those who prefer a one to one interaction can start their very own music school where they can teach / train other aspiring singers. This is a very lucrative career option as well. Still others with a good trained voice can sing at recordings and lend their voices as back up voices at song recordings etc.

Those who are not directly related to singing but enjoy music all the same can become a DJ (Disc Jockey), RJ (Radio Jockeys) and VJ (Video Jockeys).

All three deal with music. However, what differentiates them is the medium they use to reach the audience. A VJ presents music on TV, an RJ presents music on radio and a DJ presents music at live shows.

Pre requisites for Building a Career in Music –
Whichever field you choose, if you want to seriously pursue a career in music, you must get professionally trained. A strong professional training will help you to make your space in this highly competitive industry. Make sure to train well for a good number of years to gain confidence and go a long way in your career.

Institutions There are many Institutions offering training in Music. Make sure to check the course schedule before enrolling.

The Job of a Music Promoter

Talents Promotion & Role of  Music Promoters

Promoters have an important role to play in the music industry. As is clear from their name, promoters are those people who are associated closely with musicians, artists and other performers. They take on the job of promoting and popularizing live stage shows and performances.

Being a music promoter is definitely not child’s play as it involves a variety of serious responsibility that must be shouldered well.

The most important roles of a promoter include –

1) Fixing dates for live shows with the performers and bands.

2) Blocking the venue for the dates that have been decided.

3) Drawing up all the necessary papers and agreement regarding the fees etc.

4) Band promotion as well as promoting the live show / concert / tour.

Promoters are like managers and have the complete responsibility of ensuring that the show is a success. No technical snags or unexpected problems should come up to spoil any aspect of the performance.

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Jobs & Careers in Radio, India

Jobs & Career Opportunities in the Radio Industry, India

The Radio Industry in India has truly come of age. With the growth, expansion and increased reach of the radio industry, many new FM channels have come up offering a plethora of diverse content suitable for varying tastes and preferences in music. Role of Radio – Advertising & Communication

Some of the popular FM radio stations include – Radio City 91.1 FM – Whatte Fun!, Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM – It’s Hot!, Red FM 93.5 – Bajate Raho!, Big 92.7 FM, Fever 104 FM etc.

Naturally, with such improved avenues for music, there is also a growing demand for talented and musically inclined individuals to handle the different aspects of these shows. join this exciting and challenging radio industry.

If you are interested in building a career in this exciting and challenging radio industry, read on to find out some of the popular career opportunities associated with this field –

1. Radio Jockey (RJ) – A Radio Jockey is perhaps the most well known member of today’s radio industry. It is the RJ who is responsible for presenting a radio programme / show to the listeners – an interface between the radio channel and its audience. Besides this, the role of an RJ also includes communicating with callers and guests etc.

A Radio Jockey Must Have –  a pleasant voice and personality, ability to communicate well, a strong personal style and interest / knowledge of different genres of music.

2. Sound Engineer / Audio Engineer – The Sound / Audio Engineer is responsible for maintaining just the right levels of sound in the studio as well as during recordings and editing etc.

A Sound Engineer / Audio Engineer Must Have – Knowledge and understanding of high end equipments, ability to produce sound effects, music mixing, strong presence of mind to handle technical emergencies and glitches.

3. Script Writer – The Script Writer creates the script for each show based on the subject of the programme, its duration and the time slot in which it will be aired etc.

A Script Writer Must Have – an understanding of the masses, ability to create a script that appeals to all classes of listeners, good with words.

4. Radio Producers – This is the person responsible for producing the entire show by effectively putting together all its elements in just the right manner. From music planning to deciding the content structure, a radio producer is constantly on the lookout for fresh and targetted content for each show that he / she produces.

A Radio Producer Must Have – skills for planning and executing, ability to think new, fresh and out of the box, coordination and communication abilities.

Contributed by – Radhika, Music Enthusiast at www.musicalescapades.com ——————————————————————————————-
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Promote Yourself to be Successful

Promote Yourself to be Successful – Music Careers

While the music industry is every bit exciting & inviting for those who want to build a career in music, it is also extremely competitive and fast moving.

If you, like many others are giving it your all to make this dream come true, it is essential to realize the importance of promoting your skills and yourself well. Once you have trained well in music, developed your skills and realised your long term goals, it is time to gain some relevant work experience & use all available avenues to showcase your talent. Your aim should be to present yourself in the best possible light to prospective employers.

Moreover, promoting your talents in music (vocalists, instrumentalists) also provides opportunities for performing at various events, concerts and other musical programmes.

TIPS: PROMOTING YOUR TALENTS IN MUSIC     
Here are some tips for marketing and promoting your talent in music to improve your chances of landing a job in the music world

  • Perform & Participate – During your formative years, it is important to gain as much work experience as possible. For example, if you are interested in becoming a singer, participate in as many programmes as possible as each performance will add to your confidence.
  •  Keep Your Resume Updated – Build a strong and well written resume that spells out your experience as well as your passion for music. Update it regularly and don’t miss out on any opportunities for polishing it.

  • Use the Internet to Promote Yourself – The internet has made it easy to showcase your talents to the rest of the world. Use it wisely and it will surely open doors to new opportunities. For example, if you are an independent music teacher, you can advertise your music classes online to make your services available to students who are looking for dependable music teachers and offer tuition in music.

You can also join a Music Institute as a Music Teacher. Start searching for vacancies / job openings on the internet. On Facebook, “Like” Company pages that you would like to follow.

  • Upload your vocal or instrumental performance videos on Youtube.
  • Showcase yourself on websites that promote upcoming musical talents.
  • Announce Your Upcoming Performances and let people know about your performances at events.
  • Many websites accept articles on a number of topics including Articles on Music. If you can put your knowledge into words, write articles and offer tips on the instrument you play or the form of music you sing. This will help you to establish yourself as a singer or performer and also assist you in showcasing your thorough understanding of your craft.

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