In the broad sense a rãga is a set of rules or constraints that binds the performance of a singer or a musician in such a way that it induces a certain emotion or mood in the minds of the listeners. Although the raga is governed by certain rules, not every set of notes that follows those rules becomes a rãga. This is because the rãga has to ‘induce an emotion’ and that is what makes this concept abstract and intriguing.
The raga is not a scale or a tune or a mode. It is more like a framework that binds all these things together.
Each rãga has a name and generally an associated time of day when it is best performed, depending on the mood it projects.
The following are some of the characteristics associated with a rãga:-
For a raga there exist several compositions or songs which obey the rules of the raga. The words generally relate to the mood being conveyed by that raga. A singer or musician sings or plays the notes in various combinations playing the static compositions and embelishing them and adding improvised parts in between. A typical performance could go on for an hour or even two. The success of the performance depends on how effectively the musician builds up the desired mood.
Posted by Manu Mahajan. Last updated on 27th June 06.
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