Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

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Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

Post by Kirya » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:01 am

This is a wonderful presentation from the TED talks in Mumbai that explains many characteristics of ICM in a delightful video presentation.

She (Dhanashree Pandit-Rai) sings out many examples so it is very instructive and clear. IT is about a 15 minute video - well worth the time

Are there other similar introductions or other material on the web that others could share.

I also own the DVD Raga Unveiled which is a 4.5 hour dive into ICM and is also highly recommended. You can see a quick overview at
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Re: Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

Post by nicneufeld » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:53 pm

Great little talk, an excellent intro particularly to the ornamentation styles. Enjoyed it!

I'd love to watch that documentary, but I'll have to save it for a rainy day as I've not got the dinars on hand!

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Re: Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

Post by Kirya » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:57 pm

I want to first state that I have no relationship with the creators of the Raga Unveiled but I think it is the best in-depth overview of ICM with so many specific musical examples that a viewer walks away with a real understanding of the music, philosophy.

This is what they cover in the 4.5 hours -- even just watching the first 2 hours will give viewers a really good sense for the scope of ICM from multiple dimensions


Raga Unveiled Synopsis

Philosophy and History

Here, the fundamental understanding of pure sound as understood by the sages is expressed. Its primary purpose to attain Self Transcendence is covered.

Sound as described in the Vedas, the chantings of the hymns, the more basic folk or deshi renderings, to the development of Ragas all culminate beautifully and bring you to the modern era. The historical and social influences are also covered.

Note and Melody

The meaning of raga and its grammar is clearly unfolded through the help of interviews, demos and beautiful and informative visual graphics. Many wonderful performances are also interspersed.

Tempo and Rhythm

The unique role of rhythm as an equal limb of Raga music is most articulately emphasized. All the different components of the Indian rhythmic system are laid out, followed by befitting demos and graphics. Its brilliance shines forth through the explanations and performance clips.

Moods and Emotions

The Rasa's or moods and emotions in a raga are described and the techniques by which they are infused in the music are beautifully demonstrated by many stalwarts. Covering the importance of the audience in this equation brings out a very unique aspect of this music.


The hallmark of the raga music being the ability to play or sing for unlimited time, is driven very clearly in this chapter. A fantastic example in the form of a 6 person ensemble making music on the spot is perhaps the highlight of this film!

Master and Disciple

The extraordinary system of oral transmission of knowledge from teacher to pupil, and all the subtle nuances of this relationship are covered.


Some light is thrown on the system of schools or lineage within the vocal and instrumental genres.

Training and Performance

The ability to be able to perform for such lengths of time and improvise requires a certain extraordinary type of grooming and training system and dedication from the disciple and the guru. Here a glimpse of this is shown leading into how one prepares to become a performer.

Compositional Styles

The journey of the older Dhrupad forms to the present Khyal singing is well explained. Some of the major light classical genres are illuminated. Wonderful renderings of each genre makes this chapter delightful to view.


The classification of the instrumental categories are explained. Some unique aspects of Indian instruments are covered. A great tribute is paid to the instrument makers as well. Also covers a sweeping look at the cottage industries that create these exquisite instruments.

Points to Ponder

Here, many great musicians voice their opinions on todays influences on the musical scene with some heartwarming pledges to keep this wonderful heritage alive.
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Re: Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

Post by Raga_Mala » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:48 am

I too am not affiliated with RU but I agree it is a wonderful documentary. I own it and have quite enjoyed it. I have even used it for teaching World Music units to students.
"Not all is good that bears an ancient name,
Nor need we every modern poem blame;
Wise men approve the good, or new, or old;
The foolish critic follows where he's told."
-Kalidas, Malavikagnimitra I.i.2
Trans. Arthur Ryder

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Re: Great Intro to ICM Characteristics

Post by `hege » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:18 am

It may be a while before I see the documentary but I sure enjoyed the ICM Characteristics video. For me, great to be able to name the ornamentation...
Thanks for posting the link Kirya :)

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