A publication of the Batish Institute of Indian Music and Fine Arts

Editor's Note

by Ashwin Batish

As you try your best to understand what makes Indian music tick, you might want to take comfort in the fact that the classical music of India is not an easy concept to grasp let alone learn. There are easy concepts that seem to fit quite well in the "Western" sort of musical sense. But there are many areas that are strange and foriegn to the Western ear.

I have had many many students that are very good musicians in the Western tradition and that have come before me and when asked to perform Indian music they tend to over play a lot of the gamaks (ornamentations). There is also a tendency to hear Indian music with the traditional melody start as being the 1st beat of the composition. There are also issues about quarter tones, how many notes in an India scale, rasa, time of play etc. that seem to intrigue the most interest.

The important thing to remember is that the music of India is first and foremost a mega base of melody and rhythm. Perhaps the richest in the World! To make it easier on yourself it is best to listen, as much as possible, to live, as well as recorded music. There are now many fine vendors that are catering to the public a huge library of classical Indian music. One has to simply do a search on one of the popular search engines and you are transported to the various web sites.

I appreciate all the numerous emails full of thanks and questions about Indian music. I am glad this magazine is providing some of those answers to you all. Please continue to keep in touch and keep your mind fertile and questioning as this will only build your understanding of this very unique art form called Indian music

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