The Score Magazine June 2018 issue! - Page 32

NAVYA C Raaga & Emotions A Deeper Study The concept of Raaga ( Scale in Western Classical Music) is quite the backbone for the foundations of Indian Classical music- whether it is Carnatic or Hindustani. A raaga is defined as the range and combination of notes which when performed together-create a great meaning to the listener. While Music as a whole itself has the inherent ability to express any emotion with mastery and poise, Indian Music has the credit of being the most complex as well as exquisite approach to the concept of Raagas. From times immemorial, there is a strong belief that a set of particular raagas are greatly known for evoking certain emotions. The similar approach is also followed by classical composers from the musical trinity comprising of Thyagaraja, Muttuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastry. For example, a raaga like Mohana is extensively used for positive devotion and also sublime love. However, a deep melancholic feeling like sadness or pathos is straightforwardly presented in a raga like Shivaranjani or Hindustani raaga Puriya Dhansri. There is a great history that the raaga Bilashkani Todi was created by Tansen’s son Bilas Khan and used for extreme sadness as well. Coming to western classical music, a “happy” scale is inherently the C major scale (which has all the white notes) and various pentatonic combinations of the same. Any optimistic or happy song along with a celebration composition is evidently done in a major scale and that instantly gives a positive feel. However, when it comes to darker songs or sad undertones, classical composers like Mozart, Franz Schubert also chose minor scales (the greatest example is Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony no.7). Conventional music teachers also encourage the students to think on these lines when it comes to songwriting. Interestingly, the similar approach has been used by film composers which led to great limitation as far as raaga choices are concerned. For example, a raaga like Abheri is totally confined to devotional numbers and Subhapanthuvarali became confined to feelings of estrangement or separation. But a new wave of thought began which defied such rules and led to great expansion of boundaries in music. The usage of raaga is such a convention that a raaga like Madhyamavati is typically used only for concluding a concert in Carnatic Music. However, a new wave of thinking has begun which pondered over this link between a raaga and an emotion. This led to a fresh idea that a scale need not be the only obvious choice when it comes to evoking a feeling. In short, the composer’s approach towards a raaga( scale) which makes a differen ѽѡȸ))Ё܁ѥͻeЁٔɱ䁑)ɅѡɅݡЁ͕́eЁѕѼ)䁍х̸]Ѡȁٕչх)չՔɽѥɔ܁Ёͥͥѥ)ݡ܁ɥ齹́əɵ)ͥ%͡аɅ́Ս役ѡѕ́Ёɥ͕)%͡аɅ́Ս役ѡѕ́Ёɥ͕́)]ɱͥ ͥͥͥѥձ)́ɥѡ͕́ȁɕ͕ЁЁݥѠѡ)ݸ٥Յ屔9܁ ɹѥ͕́Ս)́ȹ4 Ʌ-ɥ͡ɕɅɔɅ́) ɹѥ ͥͥمѕѡͥѥ)ݥѠѡȁɕѥչѕЁѡ͍)Qѥ͔ѡ͕ȁ́ɔѡх)ɅѡȁѡЁѡѥѡɕѥݱ)Q́٥Ёݥɕ䁽܁́ͥͥ)ݡ́Ёٕɔ饹Ѽɕ͠ɕє()Q)Mɔ5饹)͍ɔ