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Re: Morning versus Evening Ragas

Dear Doug and List,

Here is a webpage that discusses the concept of playing/singing time for Ragas:

the trouble with the above page is that it does not explain the concept of Vaadi Swaras, so let me try to explain. The Vaadi Swara of a Raga is the "principal" note of the raga i.e. loosely speaking it is sung most often. Roughly, If the Vaadi swara of a raga is in the first half of the octave, then it is a morning raga else it is an evening raga. There are finer classifications that I will skip in the interests of clarity. One could conceivably therefore detect the vaadi swara automatically and thus deduce whether it is to be sung in the morning or evening. The rules for play time are more strictly observed in North Indian Classical Music. I believe that the concept is known among South Indian Musicians but not strictly observed.

The above basically provides a look-up table approach to the problem. Whether such notions of a preponderance of a certain note evoking a certain time of day are universal is I think open to debate. People like me who have grown up in India have been exposed to the cultural context so we are perhaps culturally conditioned to hear a raga and think of it as a morning or evening raga. Whether a non-native hearing the music for the first time reacts the same way is open to debate I think.

My two cents. For a deep dive into such topics, please see http://www.parrikar.org/raga-central
Among others.

Best Regards,

Ajay Divakaran, Ph.D.
Technical Manager
Vision and Multi-Sensor Systems
Sarnoff Corporation
201 Washington Road
PO Box 5300
Princeton, NJ 08543

Phone: 609-734-2204
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-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Justin London
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 4:16 PM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Morning versus Evening Ragas

Dear Doug & List,

Enculturated listeners as well as experts certainly can do this.  The
association between Ragas and times of day is characteristic of North
Indian musical practice, I believe.  You can/should look up "Raga" and
"India" in the Grove Dictionary of Music (Oxford Online).  Another
good/related source is:

Widdess, Richard (1995) The Ragas of Early Indian Music. Clarendon
Press (OUP).

I suspect your interests might be along the lines of "what in the
acoustical signal distinguishes one raga from another" and this is
tricky to tease out.  To give a western musical analogy, the
difference between a Baroque minuet and a gigue rests on a few
characteristic features (mostly in terms of characteristic rhythmic
figures and tempo), but also depends on lots of features in common
with Baroque music more generally (e.g., timbres, intonation systems,
basslines, etc.).

All best,
Justin London

On Sep 2, 2010, at 1:00 PM, Douglas Eck wrote:

Maybe this isn't the perfect list for this question, but I suspect
I'll get an answer or two.

I'm curious about morning versus evening ragas.  Can musical experts
tell them apart?  What are the qualities that define a morning versus
evening raga?
Is it something that would show up via an acoustical analysis of the
audio drawn from lots of morning and evening ragas?

Citations would be great. Or just some observations.

Thanks in advance,
Doug Eck
Dr. Douglas Eck
Research Scientist, Google
Areas: Music and Machine Learning

Justin London, Professor of Music (and other stuff)
Carleton College
Department of Music
One North College St.
Northfield, MN 55057 USA
fax 507-222-5561

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