Changing Sa's revisited

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westsea
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by westsea » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:14 pm

ragamala wrote:
talasiga wrote:
that is to say, an understanding of different Sa's (loosely or conversationally referred to as "higher" or "lower" etc) requires an appreciation of TIMBRE or harmonic texture of a note rather than an understanding of it in terms of a linear point on the frequency spectrum.
Thanks for reminding us of this. But whereas this might previously have passed as an understanding of the situation, it now seems to fly in the face of the fact that Ustad Bahauddin Dagar in his video clearly and audibly demonstrates difference in pitches of his various sa and other notes. No reference to timbre here! Indeed Westsea measured the pitch variations putting this aspect I think beyond question.
I think frequency AND harmonic texture (timbre) are two properties of the sound.
The harmonic texture changes when the frequency changes.

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ragamala
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:39 pm

westsea wrote:
I think frequency AND harmonic texture (timbre) are two properties of the sound.
The harmonic texture changes when the frequency changes.
That may well be, and I have no doubt that timbre change as well as tanpura overtone generation has its part to play here in the general topic as chewed over previously - but NOT the specific issues as "clarified" by Ustad Bahauddin's demo.

Voice production is one thing - but the phenomenon the recent demo and subsequent discussion were talking about was linked to actual pitch change not perceived pitch as engineered by vocal - nor tanpura - timbre changes.

Talasiga's explanation was quite adamant in that the frequency remained measurably constant despite a perceived change which then invoked a raga's character. But it seems that you yourself by the measurements you made were confirming what many of us could hear, that the measurable frequency HAD indeed changed.

This is why I think Talasiga's comment fails totally to take into account the demonstration that U Bahauddin offered and doesn't offer anything new here. In fact the rest of the thread contradicts totally the main thrust of what Talasiga is repeating regarding pitch itself.

talasiga
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by talasiga » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:11 am

ragamala wrote:
......
Thanks for reminding us of this. But whereas this might previously have passed as an understanding of the situation, it now seems to fly in the face of the fact that Ustad Bahauddin Dagar in his video clearly and audibly demonstrates difference in pitches of his various sa and other notes. No reference to timbre here! Indeed Westsea measured the pitch variations putting this aspect I think beyond question.

Thank you for the courtesy of your response and the logical challenge.
Unfortunately, being an impoverished artiste as I am and on a shoestring budget I do not have a strong internet service (currently dialup) and cannot easily download stuff on audio and video easily that you are referring to.

If, and only IF, Dagar supports his stance with a demonstration that relies on measurable difference in pitch to demonstrate difference in the SAME Sa, then the whole thing is open to the kind of confusions and rightful challenges we have seen in this thread.

My suggestion is offered as an EXEGEGIS (or reconicilation) in a context where I have heard a difference in the SA where both SA's had the same pitch but each was identifiably different enough to invite building different a ragic scale. That difference was due to timbre. Eg, in one we hear the Sa Pa drone with a certain komal Ga and the other a a slightly flatter komal Ga.
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talasiga
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by talasiga » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:28 am

talasiga wrote:If, and only IF, Dagar supports his stance with a demonstration that relies on measurable difference in pitch to demonstrate difference in the SAME Sa, then the whole thing is open to the kind of confusions and rightful challenges we have seen in this thread.
.......
However this in itself is not a rebuttal of the thing.

As I pointed out in the other thread (and perhaps not as succinctly as I will do now)
there are two ways (at least) of obtaining different Sa:-

1. innately - ie by enunciating a singular note whose harmonic makeup (timbre) is such that one percieves a "higher" or "lower" quality (although I prefer the descriptions "brighter" or "more wan" as less confusing descriptions)

2. by composite - by playing two SLIGHTLY different pitched Sa-s together to obtain a new result.
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jaan e kharabat
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by jaan e kharabat » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:20 am

As the nomad shepherd, exasperated with the explanations, once asked of the townsman trying to explain to him the aazaan he was hearing upon arriving for the first time in a city, "Is it harmful for the sheep?"
"No, of course it is not harmful for the sheep!"
"Then let him do it!"

In the same vein we might say, if it sounds good let them do it.
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?

talasiga
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by talasiga » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:37 am

jaan e kharabat wrote:.In the same vein we might say, if it sounds good let them do it.

thats very big hearted of you.
i therefore think you may try this experiment
(albeit it is with "non Microtonal" instrumentation)
to obtain a "composite" demo.

1. pick a raga and alaap in it with your harmonium accompaniment.

2. alaap again but this time while you accompany yourself on harmonium have someone play a drone (or even have an electronic drone) a little flatter than your harmonium SA.

3. as for 2 but drone just a little higher than your harmonium SA.

repeat 1 to 3 at least 3 times at each sitting (say total time of 90 minutes).

I want you to be big hearted and honest and let us know what you noticed or felt.
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ragamala
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:04 am

talasiga wrote:
Unfortunately, being an impoverished artiste as I am and on a shoestring budget I do not have a strong internet service (currently dialup) and cannot easily download stuff on audio and video easily that you are referring to.
I sympathise with this, as you may see from my earlier posts in this thread I was in a similar position. Then I did manage to download the videos (they worked out about 15mb each) but I still can't play youtube videos "live", as it were. Probably a blessing, I only download the occasional video I am particularly interested in.

I did post a written transcript of the two video parts, although of course that isn't the same as hearing the video, if you still can't download the videos.

talasiga wrote: If, and only IF, Dagar supports his stance with a demonstration that relies on measurable difference in pitch to demonstrate difference in the SAME Sa, then the whole thing is open to the kind of confusions and rightful challenges we have seen in this thread.

My suggestion is offered as an EXEGEGIS (or reconicilation) in a context where I have heard a difference in the SA where both SA's had the same pitch but each was identifiably different enough to invite building different a ragic scale. That difference was due to timbre. Eg, in one we hear the Sa Pa drone with a certain komal Ga and the other a a slightly flatter komal Ga.
I think at the heart of the discrepancy here, is this - Ashish S states the matter clearly re tanpura tuning. (I think Bahauddin Dagar was going to demonstrate this on the tanpura before he was sidetracked - sadly for us and this discussion - by the questioner who rather brusquely told him that wasn't the question he wanted answering).
The two centre strings of the tanpura establish the sa, and the sa of the raga to be performed, which varies in relation to this, is tuned on the fourth string (the kharaj string). The first string, which is usually tuned to pa, ma or ni, is made to coincide with the overtone of the fourth string.
I make no apology for quoting this again, because this is necessary to the point I am making here, that the tanpura tuning demonstrates TWO sas, pitched differently. One the tanpura sa, the other the raga sa, which varies in pitch from the tanpura sa.

The implication from Ustad Bahauddin's video is that the played sa (raga sa) on the been, is not the tanpura sa and varies in a precise way by pitch, and pitch alone. The pitch of the raga sa then is the base for the raga's individual soundscape.

This is at divergence regarding tanpura tuning with your experience you quoted
I have tuned the tamboura and everything is set according to A440, the three C# Sa-s and the G# Pa. Guruji walks in and starts fine tuning the tamboura for the next 10 minutes at the end of which the three C# and the G# are still the very same pitch as I had them!!!!
and to my mind the "two sa" tanpura theory emerges from my blunderings through this topic as rational, more plausible and understandable explanation of how the magician does his trick, than relying on a more vague and undefined theory of how the percieved raga sa is down to "timbre" only. I suggest once the raga sa and the tanpura sa are pitched "correctly" then timbral changes can then be imposed on this basic tanpura tuning to evoke a particular raga.

We've disagreed on this detail previously, so I don't think we'll be in full accord still :) But do have a look at the Ustad Bahauddin videos if you can - even if they don't provide the full solution they give further food for thought - in my mind I have perhaps more and newer questions than before!

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by jaan e kharabat » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:17 am

Nothing to do with big heartedness. The moral of the story is that even though we don't get the theoritical explanation we don't mind its practical application.

Re: experiment. Seiously? I do that all the time and get admonished for being beisur! It's part of the process of intoning the centre of a sur to play with its edges. Will try ur experiment but I'm not allowed to use the harmonium for riyaz. I use only for working pop. Songs.
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?

talasiga
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by talasiga » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:27 pm

yes ragamala, the general lay of your post is agreanble to me. I am already aware about the two Sa-s on the tamboura and I had already covered this ground in the other thread if I remember correctly. I don't, however, like the expression that timbre is something that is "imposed" which tends to oxymoronic. Timbre is innate (as in the singular note in the human voice)and, as I have often said I accept that it can also be evinced by a an arrangement or device eg tamboura tuning.

And again, I remind that this contention:-
ragamala wrote:.......
This is at divergence regarding tanpura tuning with your experience you quoted
I have tuned the tamboura and everything is set according to A440, the three C# Sa-s and the G# Pa. Guruji walks in and starts fine tuning the tamboura for the next 10 minutes at the end of which the three C# and the G# are still the very same pitch as I had them!!!!
and to my mind the "two sa" tanpura theory emerges from my blunderings through this topic as rational, more plausible and understandable explanation of how the magician does his trick, than relying on a more vague and undefined theory of how the percieved raga sa is down to "timbre" only. I suggest once the raga sa and the tanpura sa are pitched "correctly" then timbral changes can then be imposed on this basic tanpura tuning to evoke a particular raga.

We've disagreed on this detail previously, so I don't think we'll be in full accord still :) But do have a look at the Ustad Bahauddin videos if you can - even if they don't provide the full solution they give further food for thought - in my mind I have perhaps more and newer questions than before!
was resolved in that other topic when I apoligised for the confusion my statement may have caused and clarified what I meant:
talasiga wrote:Thanks for pointing out the portion of my post that is upsetting the sense of what I was saying. I apologise if I caused any confusion. Just a clarification:
I did not get a chance to check the tuning of each string individually after the Guru had tuned it. When I tuned it each was relative to A440 and the overall effect of my tuning was a "power chord" dyad which gave a C# at A440. After the fine tuning by Guru the "power chord" dyad still gave that reading BUT the timbre was different. The rationale (distilled from all my posts with their links included) is that the conglomerate Sa articulated by the fine tuning, whilst no different in pitch, attracted a different timbre on account of the changed components - a change in components which was not so great as to affect the overall pitch. This is consistent with all the expert explanations of timbre being independent of pitch, length and volume but dependent on innate overtones of a material (eg, one string) or a devised enhancement of overtone by a grouping of materials (eg, more than one string some of which are variant) etc.
So if we no longer have confusion regarding tanpura tuning and been tuning, where we accept that there can be two slightly different sa sounding, perhaps we can now move on to the voiced sa.


You are missing the Gestalt or the wholistic effect of the indic drone. The aggregate effect is not 2 Sa's the same and 1 Sa possibly different and that difference reflected in the dominant/sub dominant or leading string (the Pa/ma/Ni string). The aggregate effect is just that - an aggregate effect. It results in one Sa - a chordal Sa.

Of corse this "chordal Sa" is not voiced by simultaneous playing of the strings but in a type or arpeggiated progression. Nevertheless, on account of the strong SUSTAIN on the tamboura, a sustain enhanced by the jivari we get a chordal effect. We also get the option of string specific selection and that is the beauty of this instrument. This means that a novice in dhrupad like me can obtain a sense of the appropriate raag tonic by singing with the kharaj with the support of the all the other effects of the tamboura to complete the colour of the tonic. And a maestro of dhrupad, on the other hand, finds the overall chordal effect of the tamboura reflective of the raag specific tonic that he or she can evoke self sufficiently through his or her singing without needing the artifice of instrumental support. I hope this addresses your question:-
If the main tanpura sa strings are tuned to the original sa, and the other two are, say, very slightly lower, to which of these two does the vocalist pitch his or her sa?
An advanced singer generates the appropriate Sa and uses the tamboura to support and enhance that Sa. A novice requires the artifice of the tamboura as a component in his or her articulation of the required Sa.

Once again thanks for pointing out that part of one of my posts that caused some confusion. I always enjoy challenges that help me to develop my communication in difficult topics about music.
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Christianamr
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by Christianamr » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:34 am

I have read through the whole topic and not every info here is easy to grasp ....

However , I think there are 2 points of interest ( or more ? ) that remain open or even unresolved :

1) The particular demonstration that Ustad Bahauddin Dagar was going to make with the tambura tuning - Are there any new videos or soundfiles out there that have come up during the last 2 years , that would showcase it practically ?

2) Are there any written references for the connection that UB Dagar made between different shruti positions of notes in a raga and the pertainance to a corresponding raaga-raagini family ? Or are these connections shrouded in mystery , guarded by a hereditary clans ?
If these connections are recognized by a brighter public and hopefully scholars , then one could maybe go deeper into the old raag-ragini system and understand some of their underlying principles better ( seasons , correlations between " family " ragas , historical evolution , objective validity , etc ... )
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

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Surbaharplayer
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by Surbaharplayer » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:32 am

Christianamr wrote: 1) The particular demonstration that Ustad Bahauddin Dagar was going to make with the tambura tuning - Are there any new videos or soundfiles out there that have come up during the last 2 years , that would showcase it practically ?
No, there are no new videos for this forum. Since I uploaded these videos I've received various rather insulting messages towards my Ustad from (anonimous) people regarding the whole "changing Sa"-debate. For me the whole sharing of the videos was always from a positive viewpoint (promoting dhrupad, the rudra veena and my Ustad). But after having to delete several posts in my Youtube-account, blocking comments, and also seeing several reactions on this forum I don't think I will continue to upload lesson-videos.

Christianamr
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by Christianamr » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:45 pm

Surbaharplayer wrote:
Christianamr wrote: 1) The particular demonstration that Ustad Bahauddin Dagar was going to make with the tambura tuning - Are there any new videos or soundfiles out there that have come up during the last 2 years , that would showcase it practically ?
No, there are no new videos for this forum. Since I uploaded these videos I've received various rather insulting messages towards my Ustad from (anonimous) people regarding the whole "changing Sa"-debate. For me the whole sharing of the videos was always from a positive viewpoint (promoting dhrupad, the rudra veena and my Ustad). But after having to delete several posts in my Youtube-account, blocking comments, and also seeing several reactions on this forum I don't think I will continue to upload lesson-videos.
Oh , I ´m really sorry that people have shown such disrespect to yourself , your Ustad and to your contribution to the understanding of Hindustani music theory .
If you ever happen to change your opinion about sharing this valuable info please let the forum know ( or myself alone by Pm , if you are not inlined to share it with the greater forum community ) .
Watching lessons is something I really enjoy , and more so if they are from recognized stalwarts .

I hope people will get some sense for future interactions and try to follow Niti , Nyaya and Maryada .
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

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