Changing Sa's revisited

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ragamala
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:13 am

jaan e kharabat wrote:
ragamala wrote: But I am happy that I have a grasp of the tanpura tuning. The tanpura sa is there to provide the frequency reference point for the raga sa, which is different, and hence for all the other notes of the raga's scale. The presence of BOTH sas in the tanpura tuning ALSO allows more flexibility in the tuning to enable by fine adjustment the significant notes of the raga to "leap out of" the mass of overtones produced.
Some people call this going besura...
Well for a long time I couldn't understand why my ears (even given their limitation as I described above) were saying "this is out of tune"...... Now I have - I think - an understanding to correct the error of my ways.

Now if Mrs Ragamala stops me singing in the bath and tells me I'm out of tune I will just tell her I am putting my thoughts on dhrupad into practice..... :)

Seriously, back to the tanpura, by notes of the raga appearing I am, of course, referring to notes other than sa becoming prominent in the perceived overtone spectrum. Somewhere I read some research on this, indeed with some interesting sound samples which made the point. I'll try and find a reference for these. Dr Kashyap may be able to locate these quicker than I, we have discussed this in the past, and he has had a thoughtful interest in such topics..

-------------------
EDIT
That didn't take as long as I thought - here's the main link I was thinking of

http://www.tcs.tifr.res.in/~pandya/musi ... s/tanpura/
also
http://www.tcs.tifr.res.in/~pandya/music/index.html

This is not related to the dhrupad changing sa particularly, but is interesting in the context of additional possibilities of the "two sa" tuning as I believe there to be.

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by princessjesusbopeep » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:33 pm

Alsoo ive read that sa pa and ma take 4 shrutis each and re and dha 3 and ni and ga 2 to make the 22 which led me to think maybe thats how sa can move last time around but now i think i see that shruti isnt point a or b but a through b right? but that clearly states sa has 4 intervals and how would that relate to now 7? that tanpura article was interesting thanks

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by princessjesusbopeep » Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:42 pm

Www.fiddlemaestro.com is the site i read that unda improv also sometimes when tunin mah sa tarabs when i go sns or nss i have trouble matchin them but they both sound in tune w the synthpura but it throws me off for a bit til i pick the one that sounds best for the raag raga sa?!

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by panchamkauns » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:25 pm

jaan e kharabat wrote:
panchamkauns wrote: If you tune the drone to the raga sa, each sa would again be the same, and there would be no difference.
I don't understand what you are getting at here. What does each sa mean here and no difference to what?
I just mean that if you’re going to use a ”higher sa”, you must keep the drone at the ”ground” sa. If you tune the tanpura too to the ”higher sa”, then it’s not higher than anything anymore.
Last edited by panchamkauns on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by jaan e kharabat » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:57 pm

But my question was why does it need to be higher than anything?
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by princessjesusbopeep » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:48 am

Why not i dunno wether or not i actually do anything but i mainly work on yaman and shyam kalyan and i retune the sa as well even tho they have the same scale

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:08 am

jaan e kharabat wrote:But my question was why does it need to be higher than anything?
Hi jek

My take on it is this. If you accept for the sake of argument the fact that in Dagar dhrupad there is a perceivable difference between the sa (or re) of for example bhairav and todi (and Ustad Bahauddin demonstrated this I think quite clearly) then there has to be some common reference point so that it is clear that what is sung or played is not todi but bhairav and vice versa, and to maintain the purity of the raga. Straight from an opening sa. Because you are not, in performance, playing bhairav re and then todi re side by side for comparison, as Bahauddin does.

So panchamkauns has it spot on, the reason you need the tanpura tuned to a neutral sa that can be used as a reference point is precisely so that the pitch of the "raga sa", as I have called it, can be heard in its difference from the "tanpura sa", as I have called the tuning of the middle sa strings.

If that tanpura sa were not present you would have no guide as to the pitch of the raga sa, ie its shruti value, all ragas would indeed become indistinguishable in pitch.

This is not how the Dagars want it to be, they follow their old traditions where the pitch of a raga sa does have a reason (which I can't tell you in detail - I am not convinced by the time of day suggestion now - we will have to wait maybe for Ashish S's book he promised including this subject!) and indeed the tanpura tuning itself immediately suggests a raga to be played. I have suggested I think this last point is easier understood if both sa tunings are present in the tanpura strings at the same time, enabling drawing out the appropriate strong suggestions of raga notes other than sa.

In a nutshell, though, if you like, it's like it is because that's the way the Dagars do it.

The whole question of whether this is important to the listener is a different one. I suspect the audible effect is lost on many people, and I include myself here. But as Bahauddin implies in the video, he doesn't particularly like the idea of a dumbing down of the tradition.

------------

As you will guess from the above, I have now had a chance to download the video, but I think I will need repeated viewings before I want to comment further. Certainly I have misled myself in some of what I have said in this thread, so I need to rethink my understanding, not of what I've understood from the earlier thread, but how the videos affect this, there are certainly some discrepancies thrown up.

But it is very clear Bahauddin Dagar is saying their tradition has a 7x12=84 shruti octave. This is confirming a comment I read elsewhere to the effect that ZF Dagar has also demonstrated this in recital.

It is sad, though, that at the start of the second video Bahuddin was going to demonstrate more about the sa against the tanpura drone when one of the members of the audience prevented him - not entirely courteously, maybe - from doing so, by diverting the topic of conversation.

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by Surbaharplayer » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:05 pm

ragamala wrote:I suspect the audible effect is lost on many people
Last year I saw Ust. Z.F. Dagar teach a student Raga Marwa; he stressed on the tuning of the Sa; it was definitly audible (as a matter of fact; it was stunning).

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by jaan e kharabat » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:59 am

ragamala wrote:
jaan e kharabat wrote:But my question was why does it need to be higher than anything?
So panchamkauns has it spot on, the reason you need the tanpura tuned to a neutral sa that can be used as a reference point is precisely so that the pitch of the "raga sa", as I have called it, can be heard in its difference from the "tanpura sa", as I have called the tuning of the middle sa strings.

If that tanpura sa were not present you would have no guide as to the pitch of the raga sa, ie its shruti value, all ragas would indeed become indistinguishable in pitch.
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by jaan e kharabat » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:12 am

ragamala wrote:
jaan e kharabat wrote:But my question was why does it need to be higher than anything?
So panchamkauns has it spot on, the reason you need the tanpura tuned to a neutral sa that can be used as a reference point is precisely so that the pitch of the "raga sa", as I have called it, can be heard in its difference from the "tanpura sa", as I have called the tuning of the middle sa strings.

If that tanpura sa were not present you would have no guide as to the pitch of the raga sa, ie its shruti value, all ragas would indeed become indistinguishable in pitch.
But the only way that the sruti values will be indistinguishable is if the intervals are the same, that is if what is being proposed here is a 12 swara scale with fixed, inviolable intervals, set to 7 equidistant key pitches (tonics) that span the interval between the the first scale degree and its flattened second scale degree.
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:29 am

jaan e kharabat wrote:But the only way that the sruti values will be indistinguishable is if the intervals are the same, that is if what is being proposed here is a 12 swara scale with fixed, inviolable intervals, set to 7 equidistant key pitches (tonics) that span the interval between the the first scale degree and its flattened second scale degree.
What I was saying was directly related to "locating" the raga sa.

If the tanpura tuning can not only fix the raga sa against the tanpura sa but evoke the raga itself then I can only assume that the tuning is minutely adjusted to evoke, for example, what we normally think of as vadi and samvadi, out of the vast tanpura mists. Martin suggested this clearly in one of the earlier discussions.

But what I think you are saying is exactly one aspect I too am puzzling over. If the sa changes and all the other notes correspondingly, then for all ragas the interval between any two notes, eg between komal re and dha, would remain constant.

If this is the case then concepts of eg atikomal re as being appropriate for a raga would have to go.

So when Ashish says that eg re is higher because sa is higher, I don't know whether that is a general statement or it directly implies for all other 11 notes an unchanging relation to the raga sa.

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:21 am

To help understand the video on 7 sas etc I made a transcript which I hope is fairly accurate. Before I comment further in the light of this I've put it on mediafire at
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?rjmmmgtqzyj

in case anyone else would find it of interest.

And for the other video file
http://www.mediafire.com/?2daymblm4dv

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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by plectum » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:31 pm

I have been hesitant to join this thread as I have nearly no dhrupad knowledge and very little medical knowledge, but I will tentatively put forward what I understood. Here goes,

First quoting Beenkar
Finally, he is saying that we need to look at the instruments like tanpura to see how the notes employed in the raga during in the 24 hour cycle. As the temperature rises during the day the instruments' vibrational mode gets altered because of temperature. So, when we play a wooden musical instrument during morning and during afternoon the swaras like Sa and other notes are brighter because of the altered vibrational modes of the instruments. Especially in case of tabli-instruments you can notice that during the day time the sound becomes brighter because the tabli gets affected by the rise in temperature. Thus, the notes have a brighter shade for the daytime ragas like Bilawal , sarang and duller shade for the night and evening ragas. This is perfectly fine and I am also of the same opinion.
But perhaps the instrument is not veen but the human body and the veen is just following suit? As the day goes on the increasing temperature causes our body to become more tense, obviously this is true for the vocal chords also? Consider Sa as the note that will come out when u use suddha aakar while being totally relaxed. Assuming the vocal cords are also getting tenser as the day progresses the Sa will rise, even though minutely, as the day progresses. If that be the case then it will causes higher shades of Sa to be used correspondingly. This whole thing will happen automatically, because we are most relaxed as we have wake up after a good night’s sleep at dawn, as not only the muscles are most relaxed but also the temperature will be at the lowest during the day, and then progressively rise.

This can also answer Ragamala’s 3rd question
If the sa goes up as the day progresses how come Marwa has a high re and Puria (a little later) a low one?

Since marwa is sung at the end of the day, when the temperature is highest and it is most uncomfortable it will use a higher (uncomfortable ??) Sa. However just after that the sun will set and it will become cooler, which means Puria can use a more comfortable shade of sa.
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by talasiga » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 am

here is the earlier topic which I recalled touching this issue
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3522&start=30
and here is one of my quotes, from page 3 of that topic, which I hope will again be fruitful in suggesting an exegesis
talasiga wrote:
ragamala wrote: .......Is sa then not sa? at whatever absolute pitch? Isn't intonation referenced always by/to this?
OK. Lets say we are having C# (relative to A440 pitch) for our Sa. Guruji will be arriving in 5 minutes for the Bhairavi riaz this morning. 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!!!! However the whole thing sounds a bit lower. Thats because Guruji has been fine tuning, primarily the Sa-s for to obtain the OVERTONES, which if expertly done will be conducive to a shruti-c exposition of the raag.

You can't do that on a C# harmonium drone but you can with a tamboura, a vina, the human voice and so on. For Bhairavi raag the overtones in Sa tuning will be such that apart from the Pa one will discern, if one has a reasonably sensitive ear, a hint of the approriate median or komal ga. The tuning will be such that the komal ga will be more komal than Jaunpuri's komal ga. The nature of the komal ga will in turn have an effect on other harmonics in the scale.

This is why dhrupadiya riaz spends hours singing the Sa of a raag. By correctly singing the particular Sa (not Sa in terms of pitch BUT of QUALITY, or harmonic quality) and tuning in with that Sa one's rendition of the other swaras will be guided by it because they are be perenially flagged by the overtones in that Sa.

So the session continues. It is a workshop session with singers from other genres. A khyaal singer is there, She sings her Sa. My Korg tuner registers at 440 but Guruji tells her she is singing Bhairav Sa. Ten minutes pass with her and finally she sings something that still registers at 440 but has a "lower" feel to it. The ras is invoked and it passes as a Bhairavi Sa. We can all hear it. We are not all neophytes to ICM. WE have amongst us performance standard singers, flautiists, sitarists etc. I am not an expert myself when it comes to singing but during lunch Guruji said to me that he thought I must have done a lot of singing in the past. However I also was corrected to sing C# for Bhairavi rather than singing C# 'in tune" only.

There are three elements in my answer that must be grasped for to understand my point (whether you agree with me in the end or not).

1. you must experience it in live demonstration and/or participation.
2. your theoretical paradigm must accept the phenomenal reality that a note is not just a note but predominantly a note with a complex tapestry of overtones (with different instruments obtaining variable exposition of same).
3.
.....And forget reference to harmonium, this really isn't really relevant to the discussion surely, I'm sure we are all aware of the harmonium's deficiencies, just as we can start to appreciate Martin's reference to the failure of equal temperament in western music to address intonation issues.
Thirdly, no! Let us not forget the harmonium because it so often happens, in ICM, that a lack of appreciation for microtonal distinctions between intervals and WITHIN a note is premised on a keyboard apprehension of music and one cannot deeply embrace a microtonal modal tradition as is dhrupad on the basis of
a) an equal tempered (unnatural) 12 semitone instrument, with
b) singular note articulation with a paucity of overtones, and which
c) arrangement cannot be customised.
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.
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Re: Changing Sa's revisited

Post by ragamala » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:41 am

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.

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