Ragas in Indian Classical Music:
Indian music of all types, in general and classical music, in particular, is based on raga (melody) and tala (rhythmic cycles). Musical notes of different series in their consecutive order of pitch within an octave form the basis of a raga. The Raga is a framework encompassing a set of rules prescribed for the melody, for the movements up and down the scale, for which notes are to be prominent, which notes or phrases are to be avoided, and so on. The framework also allows for endless variations within the set of notes. Thus, a raga is a particular arrangement of notes and melodic movements. However, it should be noted that as ragas were transmitted orally from teacher to student, some ragas vary across regions, traditions and styles.
Ragas are many and each has its own distinctive quality and feel. There is also a broad time cycle that is followed while rendering a Raga. A raga is more than a scale. Many ragas share the same scale. The underlying scale may have five, six or seven swaras. Ragas that have five swaras are called audav ragas; those with six, shaadav; and with seven, sampoorna . Those ragas that do not follow the strict ascending or descending order of swaras are called vakra (nonlinear) ragas. Ragas are differentiated from each other by the prominence of certain fixed notes, and by the sequence of a particular note or distinctive phrases.
In Indian classical music, all ragas are rendered and improvised spontaneously, but it is almost impossible for a beginner to understand how these improvisations are done and its concepts.
Here, we are providing many ragas with composition and improvisations through pre-composed alaap and taans, which will help the aspirants to understand and know the concepts of rendering and improvisations in a raga.