Hindustani music is a form of North Indian classical music that originated in northern India around the 13th century. It is performed mainly by singers, accompanied by instruments such as the sitar, tabla and harmonium. Its influence extends beyond North India, having a major influence on the music of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. Let’s take a look at the 5 unique aspects of singing Hindustani music.
1. Raga-based structure: Hindustani music is based on the raga system, which is a melodic framework built from a set of notes and associated rules. Most performances are based on one or two ragas, which are chosen according to the time of day, season, or another context.
2. Improvisation: Improvisation is a key element of Hindustani music, and even the most experienced singers can create unique renditions of a song. Singers often use improvisation to explore the various moods and shades of the raga.
3. Layakari: Layakari is a technique used to add complexity and rhythm to the music. It involves creating intricate rhythmic patterns through variations in the speed and length of the notes.
4. Alap: Alap is a section of a performance that introduces the raga. It is often performed at a slow tempo and gradually builds up energy as the piece progresses.
5. Taan: Taan is a type of improvisation in which the singer creates intricate melodic patterns using the notes of the raga. These patterns can be repeated or varied in a number of ways.