Use of Drones

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s1owpoke
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by s1owpoke » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:47 am

I have been using this for years http://taalpulse.net/download.html

Be sure to check it out as well. You have a nice drone that can be customized, tabla with many taals and a lehra harmonium and I think flute as well in many raags.

Let me know what you think

Peace
S1owpoke

"Real music is not for wealth, not for honours or even the joys of the mind... but as a path for realization and salvation."
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

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Raga_Mala
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Raga_Mala » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:13 am

Stephen David wrote: I got busy last night and didnt get to try this again. But after these discussions and also reading the stuff about drones on this website, I am not so sure anything but an mpg/wav file is really needed. Why the software?????

For example, if you only need a single drone ("Sa") or even a two note drone ("Sa-Pa") and there isnt a lot of variety, why need software?
Primarily the software makes for maximum ease of manipulation. For instance, as you know, Sa and Pa are merely relative terms--but "Sa" can be at any fixed pitch. For a vocalist or instrumentalist who plays in different keys, it may be easier to have a program which can reset the drone to the tonic you would like, rather than having to have a separate .wav file for every tonic.

Also helps people who aren't tech savvy and may not know how to alter/manipulate the sound files to be long enough for real practice.

Finally, many tanpura programs are boxed in with other features that are far more difficult to emulate: for instance, lehara-creators, theka-repeaters, etc etc
"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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Raga_Mala
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Raga_Mala » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:15 am

Stephen David wrote:
Problem is that... I know nothing about tambura or the theory behind use of drones in ICM.

I have enough to focus on just learning sitar. So I dont really want to get involved in the music theory behind selection of drone notes.
I'm sorry, imo, this is approaching the issue backwards. The nature of the drone is connected to most of the fundamental ideas about ICM, tuning and raga. If you don't wrap your mind around those matters soon, sitar practice will be worthless.

You don't have to be a master theoretician, but practice of sitar playing technique with no knowledge of the theory will get you nowhere.
"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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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by nicneufeld » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:41 pm

I think Stephen and I joined (and started sitar) right about the same time and this was an earlier post. I know he was reading "NAD" by Sandeep Bagchee so I'm guessing he's shored up his theoretical foundation quite nicely by now! :D

Haven't seen him around, hope he's still playing. Of course the fact that I haven't seen him around may mean he's spending more time practicing! I should do likewise! :mrgreen:

theprosperone
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by theprosperone » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:20 pm

Raga_Mala wrote:
Stephen David wrote:
Problem is that... I know nothing about tambura or the theory behind use of drones in ICM.

I have enough to focus on just learning sitar. So I dont really want to get involved in the music theory behind selection of drone notes.
I'm sorry, imo, this is approaching the issue backwards. The nature of the drone is connected to most of the fundamental ideas about ICM, tuning and raga. If you don't wrap your mind around those matters soon, sitar practice will be worthless.

You don't have to be a master theoretician, but practice of sitar playing technique with no knowledge of the theory will get you nowhere.
Actually Stephen has a pretty good approach. There is SO much theory out there that you could easily get yourself bogged down and confused before you're ever able to play some murchana or scales. The music theory behind choosing a drone note is related to Raga theory and a lot of students do not start learning a raga months into their studies. Changing drone notes can be a nice way to add some unique flavor to raga performance but its hardly something a newbie should be concerned with dissecting. Instead it seems most teachers start their students off with basic scales, learning SaReGaMaPaDhaNiSa, getting a feel for the instrument itself and so on.

Personally I think this approach is nice. I've been playing for 3 years and I feel comfortable playing alap/gats in only 2 ragas. You see other folks who have played for 6 months, can hardly play more than a gat or two yet they are trying to learn 15 different ragas. You can't put the theory before being able to actually play your instrument otherwise you're just wasting the theory. As I've had 3 different great teachers tell me, learn to play the sitar first and build up your technique. Later down the line you'll be able to learn plenty of ragas once you have the skill set to do so. Before anyone asks how many ragas you know, they'll want to know how well you can simply play Yaman. If you can't give a proper rendering of the most basic taught raga, why branch out into more and more? I think sometimes because our brains can catch on faster than our hands, its a tendency to put the cart before the horse. I know its been tough to be patient for me but my guruji quickly showed me that until I have a good grasp on the mechanics and physicality of playing my instrument, I'm best focusing on that and not flooding myself with theory and ragas that I have no chance at doing any justice so far.

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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by nicneufeld » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:28 pm

Those are good points. I think there is some degree of theory that is beneficial or even requisite to the beginner. Understanding the basic concepts is critical, but I would say on drones, what I've done heretofore is say, Pa Sa' Sa' Sa, and that's about the size of that. Put it this way...whatever ragas there are that really require a drone that is different than that, are not probably the ragas a brand new beginner should be learning! :D

I'm an avid listener of a great many ragas, but right now, still just an aspiring player of one (yaman). Knowing me it probably has more to do with my natural laziness and reluctance to retune the taraf, but it is what it is! :D

theprosperone
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by theprosperone » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:52 pm

Speaking of Yaman, I LOVE playing with the Tanpura at NI SA SA SA instead, sounds great! :D I think as far as learning the theory behind drone, you can just figure out the possibilities for each raga as you go from one to the other. I got put in my place at a lesson once when my teacher played a taan in Yaman starting with lowest Tivra Ma on Baj-tar and going up MA DHA NI RE GA MA DHA NI RE GA MA PA and back down MA GA RE SA NI RE GA RE SA NI DHA PA MA GA RE SA NI DHA PA and repeat. Then he played it super super fast after we had practiced Jhalla for about 30 minutes straight and zooms up and down through the taan several times, looks at me and tells me that when I can do that I'll be able to really dig in and learn whatever I want in Yaman. :lol: Two years later, still trying to get that Taan! :lol: :lol:

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nicneufeld
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by nicneufeld » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:41 pm

theprosperone wrote:Speaking of Yaman, I LOVE playing with the Tanpura at NI SA SA SA instead, sounds great! :D I think as far as learning the theory behind drone, you can just figure out the possibilities for each raga as you go from one to the other. I got put in my place at a lesson once when my teacher played a taan in Yaman starting with lowest Tivra Ma on Baj-tar and going up MA DHA NI RE GA MA DHA NI RE GA MA PA and back down MA GA RE SA NI RE GA RE SA NI DHA PA MA GA RE SA NI DHA PA and repeat. Then he played it super super fast after we had practiced Jhalla for about 30 minutes straight and zooms up and down through the taan several times, looks at me and tells me that when I can do that I'll be able to really dig in and learn whatever I want in Yaman. :lol: Two years later, still trying to get that Taan! :lol: :lol:
Lol, your basic aroha/avroha form, just at frenetic speed! :D One thing I've found humbling is to play melodic lines from western music (even childrens songs to please my three year old daughter) and I realize that I'm much clumsier than I may have thought. Things that are pretty swift on a guitar can be hard to negotiate up the neck of a sitar...well, for beginners at least.

Ni Sa Sa Sa I can see being good for Yaman. I sometimes using my tanpura simulator use that as a second tanpura to add that yearning quality to it, that seems to embody shuddh Ni...I'm not sure if Ni is a vadi or samivadi in Yaman (yes, a quick web search would probably clarify but I'm being lazy) but it along with Ga seem pretty pronounced, particularly with that ubiquitous 'Ni Re Ga run.

Another favorite is Ga Pa Sa' Sa for "major scale" type ragas. However, what has happened is I get those confused slightly and hear what I think is Sa Ga Pa 'Pa, when in fact it is Ma-Dha-Sa'-Sa instead, which results in me hearing a raga completely outside of the correct tonic. I still haven't gotten my head around Nikhil Banerjee's Hemant in Amsterdam 1970...its just a mindbinder once you've listened to it a certain way enough times!

Christianamr
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Christianamr » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:55 am

The relevant info about tambura tunings is spilt between this topic and another one :

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5054&hilit=tambura+tuning

I checked both because I was trying to find info about a specific raag in Asavari thaat ( ? ) that has the tambura tuning with shuddha Ni , which is a little bit strange for me because of the clash between shuddha Ni in the tambura and the komal ni in the raga performance of the singer . This clash between two nishads in different octaves is a no-no in Jazz theory , voicing aesthetics and arranging , so this has shaken my ears after hearing it . But I can not remember where I have heard it , but it was by some famous performer . Somehow or other I had the impression having read about the tambura tuning for this raag somewhere in this forum ...
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

Christianamr
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Christianamr » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:37 pm

Christianamr wrote:The relevant info about tambura tunings is spilt between this topic and another one :

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5054&hilit=tambura+tuning

I checked both because I was trying to find info about a specific raag in Asavari thaat ( ? ) that has the tambura tuning with shuddha Ni , which is a little bit strange for me because of the clash between shuddha Ni in the tambura and the komal ni in the raga performance of the singer . This clash between two nishads in different octaves is a no-no in Jazz theory , voicing aesthetics and arranging , so this has shaken my ears after hearing it . But I can not remember where I have heard it , but it was by some famous performer . Somehow or other I had the impression having read about the tambura tuning for this raag somewhere in this forum ...
Ok , I found the concerning raag again : Darbari

From another forum

http://www.mombu.com/music/indian/t-tan ... 77519.html
I've noticed that quite a few vocalists tune their tanpura to include
Shuddha Nishad for Darbari. Haven't come across any instrumentalists doing
the same, who tend to follow the Sa-Pa-Sa tuning.

Given that this swara is actually not used in Darbari, it seems a bit odd.

One particular example stands out in mind: Rajan & Sajan Mishra's Darbari
which starts out with a loud tanpura sound with Shuddha Ni in it - sounds
very jarring IMHO.

Is this common practice?

Cheers

Rahul

---------

Rahul,
At times I have heard a Sa Pa Sa in Malkauns! Ustad Amir Khan used to
tune the tanpura in shuddha nishad for malkauns many times. I have some
recordings. I dont know if its a common practice or not but shuddha
nishad in malkuns sounds good to my ear.
Adwait
http://www.adwaitjoshi.com
http://www.swarganga.org

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

The use of shuddha Nishad as I know, was started by Karim khan and
company. If, during a Durbari recital the nishad was sounding
jarring... the tanpura was probably not tuned properly. Tuning to
nishad across all ragas has got nothing to do with the swaras in the
given raga. It basically gives a kick to the Shadja played on the
Tanpura. As you may have observed, more and more people are using
Nishad even in Nishad-varja ragas.... basically because it sounds good.

Mukunda
Quite exhausting explanations there ....
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

Christianamr
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Christianamr » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:44 am

I also found that on another topic:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7678&start=30#p47642
jaan e kharabat wrote: have gone to many recitals and I've yet to see musicians fine tuning the drones when starting a new rāg except in some cases when to go to a Sa-Ma tuning from a Sa-Pa one or when a string has gone off key due to over playing or environmental reasons. Some GREAT musicians even have a standard tuning that they use for everything, e.g. Bhimsen Joshi uses Sa-Ni for everything including rāgs that don't have a Ni. There are recordings of Amir Khan's Darbari, with tanpuras tuned with a Shuddh Ni!
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

Christianamr
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Re: Use of Drones

Post by Christianamr » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Another relevant topic from another forum :

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.musi ... ng=d&pli=1
BTW, how *does* one tune a five-stringed tanpura? Or for that matter,
a six-stringed one of the type favoured by Amir Khan and his
followers? Also, I believe with a tanpura of this sort, one can switch
from ragas that feature the pancham to ones that don't, without having
to change the tuning. (I have a recording of Khansaab shifting from
Darbari to Lalit without a pause). How does this work?

---

Generally the extra string on a five stringed tanpura will be tuned to a
strong note in the raga being sung or played. For instance, in raga Yaman
one would tune the additional string to the Ni (samvadi in Yaman) below Sa
to give an additional flavor of Ni within the drone. Likewise, in Bhupali
one could tune the additional string to Dha below Sa. Since the added
string is usually the same gauge wire as the standard Sa strings it probably
would not be advisable to tune it to any swar above the Sa itself.

My guruji once showed me a 6-stringed tanpura he'd had made for him. One
unique tuning he demonstrated was in Malkauns, as follows: Ma, komal Dha,
komal Ni, Sa, Sa, lower octave Sa. This did give a very rich sound,
although I could see where it could also be overkill, having 4 notes out of
5 within the drone.



>Also, I believe with a tanpura of this sort, one can switch
>from ragas that feature the pancham to ones that don't, without having
>to change the tuning. (I have a recording of Khansaab shifting from
>Darbari to Lalit without a pause). How does this work?


Not really sure, unless one were to simply avoid touching the Pa string.
I'd also assume that with a 6-string tanpura for Darbari one of the strings
would probably be tuned to komal Ni, with another string possibly tuned to
komal Dha. This would of course prevent a seamless transition into Lalit.
सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .

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