Swara Identification Exercises - Post Questions Here

To teach and learn Indian classical music
Suji Ram
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#26

Post by Suji Ram » 18 Sep 2007, 22:05

ntg,
Is this a new quiz? I thought we haven't finshed the first yet, discussing
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ninjathegreat
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#27

Post by ninjathegreat » 18 Sep 2007, 22:08

I thought I'll just put a concurrent instrumental I had gotten ready at about the same time as arun... Let the question be, and people can answer at their leisure..

Cheers
N.
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cmlover
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#28

Post by cmlover » 18 Sep 2007, 23:50

ninja
I have started a new thread for the instrumental starting with your sample wherein the instrumentals can be analyzed and discussed
Here is the ref
http://rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?pid=58812#p58812
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vasanthakokilam
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#29

Post by vasanthakokilam » 19 Sep 2007, 00:34

Do we need a separate thread for 'Swara Identification Exercises, Instrumental: Post Questions Here' now that we have a separate one for answers? If you all want it, I will do that and move Ninja's post there.
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cmlover
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#30

Post by cmlover » 19 Sep 2007, 00:39

VK
If discussions go in parallel, we can avoid confusion by keeping vocals different from instrumental. They do require some subtle difference in approach. Let us see how it works out!

Of course all questions will be posted in this thread only, not to spread ourselves too thin!
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vasanthakokilam
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#31

Post by vasanthakokilam » 19 Sep 2007, 04:07

Understood CML. I was just asking about if we need another thread for instrumental questions. I liked the fact you created another thread for instrumental answers. We will see how it goes.
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cmlover
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#32

Post by cmlover » 19 Sep 2007, 21:12

I thought we may learn by taking bite-size pieces.

Here is a vocal sample (about 9.5 secs so that our time coordinates will be synchronized).
http://www.mediafire.com/?8oioqd95vvb
Your job is to
1. Find the raga (which is easy!)
2. Find the svara pattern of the phrase.
(I already have the answer!)
3. Find the shruti (kaTTai) which should also be easy.

I will post the answer on Saturday and till then discussions can continue. The object is to explore the process of acquiring svaragnaanam. Hence always indicate the process of your thought as you arrive at an answer. Simply stating that the svaras flashed in your mind (you may be an expert or genius) though acceptablew will not help our learning process. We will appreciate the critique, advice and comments from our performers in this context sharing their own experiences.
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arunk
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#33

Post by arunk » 19 Sep 2007, 22:04

cmlover - what about the instrumental one ninja posted? We have not even started discussion on it. Arent we having too many at the same time?
(also - the raga you have chosen is not under the "easy" ones we wanted to start with)
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cmlover
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#34

Post by cmlover » 19 Sep 2007, 22:34

Arun
I agree we should not overload. Instrumental will go in parallel and I do not know whether ninja has the answer . Again long pieces with generic questions will not increase svara knowledge as much as short focussed pieces. Sometimes we are searching for a needle in a haystack in the longer pieces. The short pieces can be played in a loop quite easily and the pattern can be held easily in memory while the svaras are approximated. Though in the sheela sample the answers were right(?) by consensus you still do not know. In this case I have the answer and can justify it. Once we can do short phrases then graduating to longer ones will be a breeze. I chose a known raga though it is not pentatonic! Again complex gamakas in the pentatonic are equally difficult to decipher. Let us hear from others too!
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arunk
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#35

Post by arunk » 19 Sep 2007, 23:36

ok cmlover. But i did say that the person posting the question need not have all the answers (although i would think ninja has his answer).

The idea is for us to come up with the answer - perhaps an expert can confirm/refute our "consensus" answer". I am reasonably sure of my answer - it also agreed with Suji. Now there may be minor corrections here or there. But, the objective is to simply "make progress" - which can mean different things to different people. Depending on your "current level", it could mean
(a) get every swara in the phrase and understand why it is so
(b) get every nuance of every swara (i.e. even how the gamakas work)
(c) or get a swara here and there when you could not do before.
(d) know the pitch movement of bits and pieces of the raga, which struck to you as familiar. I mean similar to what vk said. He said he was able to see how the melodic nature of Abhogi was brought out in small phrases and wanted to understand why/how it was so.

I agree that pentatonic does not mean simple - but that not all swaras are "tightly packed" w.r.t pitch in them. So with that spacing, people who are say looking to (learn to) identify prominent swaras as a starter - may be able to distinguish more easily.

Arun
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ramakriya
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#36

Post by ramakriya » 19 Sep 2007, 23:59

cmlover wrote:3. Find the shruti (kaTTai) which should also be easy.
I do not see the relevence of finding the shruti. Only in a few cases, the ear latches on to the wrong shruti - and almost never in weighty rAgas like tODi or ShankarabharaNa.

My point is that the shruti identification as a specific katte ( a given number ) is not required while perceiving the shruti is essential.

-Ramakriya
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Suji Ram
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#37

Post by Suji Ram » 20 Sep 2007, 01:41

Let us hear from others too!
I still like the first exercise while what cml says can be incorporated into the questions. Infact it did surface in the #4 swara breakdown of first phrase which was a characteristic abhOgi phrase and I pointed how it derived from the varna.


Only participation and feedback can go hand in hand.
Last edited by Suji Ram on 20 Sep 2007, 01:42, edited 1 time in total.
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cmlover
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#38

Post by cmlover » 20 Sep 2007, 02:03

KaTTai is essentialy the issue of identifying the aadhaara shadjam which is crucial for all analyses and is indeed the corollary to correct identification of the svaras. That is all. It may not be an issue here.

Arun

One should always go from the known to the unknown. We are not having the counsel of 'experts' to validate our guesses here. Again just because the majority agree it does not mean it is right :)
I agree with your conclusions on your sample based on independant objective analysis and not on the basis of the agreement with others.

At this point we need not focus on complex gamakas. But once the raga is identified the 'usual' gamakas on the notes fall in place. Let us focus on identifying the primary notes. Hence starting with well known ragas (not necessarily pentatonic) will be helpful. It will be easier to find the svaras with the familiarity from the oft-heard phrases. I don't think we will be able to identify all the notes with their subtlities at this stage. it also does not matter for us beginners. Note that vk himself did not not advance much ahead of identifying the raga to be abhogi. I was also misled to thinking it was sriranjani from the first 10 secs and was actually toying with
S R G instead of M D S' at the beginning :)

IMHO long aalaapanas are quite distracting.
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arunk
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#39

Post by arunk » 20 Sep 2007, 02:11

Agreed.

The reason that alapana was long is (as I explained before) because I wanted the alapana to cover all 3 octaves - for people (who are maybe starting out with this) to get a good feel for the raga, and to practise identifying swaras in all octaves. I think that is essential before moving on the harder "swara breakdown for a phrase".

But shorter ones are fine too.

I thought people will not confuse that abhOgi with srIranjani because I specifically said it was going to be pentatonic :)

Arun
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cmlover
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#40

Post by cmlover » 20 Sep 2007, 02:33

Ha! Missed that clue :)
Perhaps we should learn first to identify the three octaves (and hence I stake my claim on that 'trident' before VK gets his patent on quadrants approved :)
The confusion of abhogi with sriranjani during aalaapana is quite common though not in this case with sheela..
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vasanthakokilam
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#41

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 Sep 2007, 03:14

I see there is quite a bit of activity in the answers threads but I am not opening those threds ( it is quite tough to resist that ) until I figure out the instrumental swaras. I have some hope I can do better with the instrumental piece ;)
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cmlover
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#42

Post by cmlover » 21 Sep 2007, 06:01

More power to you VK! and no dizzy spells :)
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arunk
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#43

Post by arunk » 21 Sep 2007, 19:43

How many people are working on the already posted samples #2 and #3? Can cmlover post his answers for sample #3? Can people who are working and need time please chime in?

Also, is the wait period working out? Since only the "usual suspects" are carrying the discussions in the answers thread and so I am not clear if the 48-hr waiting period (which anyway was not followed sample #3) is still mandatory. Should it be 48? 24? 12?

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 21 Sep 2007, 19:44, edited 1 time in total.
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cmlover
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#44

Post by cmlover » 21 Sep 2007, 20:38

When there are no 'correct' answers posted there is no point in a waiting time! Folks will pitchin with their own analysis and ideas. It is the question which has got to be properly structured. I am not too sure about ninja's sample since he appears to be happy with just the identification of the raga and a generic description.

If anything is to be useful as a learning exercise we need authoritative answers (since none of us are experts) and a discussion of the 'methodology' with 'objective' justification of the answer. Our discussions are more focussing on 'what' rather than the 'why'.

In short the waiting time issue is material only for posting the 'right' answer if any. Not for discussions. Also let the question be well-posed rather than being too generic and vague. I assume we are not running a 'raga' identification exercise. If it is 'svarag~nyAna' (call it dabbler if you like) then the piece should be short, well-structured, acoustically high quality, unambiguous and rich in different 'notes'.
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arunk
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#45

Post by arunk » 21 Sep 2007, 21:18

cmlover - I agree. Although I would just like to say each of us have different goals for this - we should allow for that. You are trying to inject your goals into this a tad too strong.

Arun
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arunk
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#46

Post by arunk » 21 Sep 2007, 21:26

Also the wait period is NOT for the right answer (you are still looking it like a quiz), but to start the discussion itself. This is to allow all those who want to participate in the discussion from the beginning to be able to do so and not miss out.

But then I have not heard a peep from anyone else besides the usual gang - so I am tempted to ditch the waiting or make it a max of 1/2 day or less.
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cmlover
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#47

Post by cmlover » 21 Sep 2007, 21:37

I was just voicing my views and not insisting on any. We can accommodate all without any conflict. As long as 'learning' takes place (even if the individual goals are different) it is OK by me. I am not worried that none but the 'usuals' are participating (strictly not true).
men may come and men may go but the Forum will go on for ever :)
(of course as in legal books man embraces woman :)
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arunk
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#48

Post by arunk » 21 Sep 2007, 21:58

understood. Sorry if I came out strong.
cmlover wrote:I am not worried that none but the 'usuals' are participating (strictly not true).
I can certainly understand people giving this a try but wanting to do it "privately" and perhaps not feeling up to posting their answers. They are very much free to do so - but it will helpful if they at least let us know that they are around :).
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Suji Ram
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#49

Post by Suji Ram » 21 Sep 2007, 22:12

CML, Arun,
While the whole exercise benefitted me, it would be nice if others(if anymore) send in their feedback too. Now when I listen to any alapana my mind goes into the same analysis like I did here.

Agreed the pieces should be small but not too short either. We need few phrases at least-say 20-25 sec and should be in slow pace. The mohana was indeed fast.

In 1# and 2# apart from swara breakdown our answers were spread out so we are not sure if others are going to check us unless we request (and that has happened).

As to what is the correct answer can come only from discussions-which to some extent has happened so far- and that is a good sign.

That said we need answer for the #3 :)
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vasanthakokilam
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#50

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 Sep 2007, 22:54

My situation is this. As I wrote earlier, I am intentionally not getting into the instrumental answers thread because I want to decipher it by myself without getting any input from the discussions. It has been slow due to both the lack of time and also the progress has been slow. It is an odd feeling that I see the post counts going up in the Answers thread but I do not know ( want to know ) what is going on there (Suji, you gave away the answer here in this thread for the instrumental piece ;) though it is an easy one. ). So, the time to wait is for most people who participate to have enough time to ponder over it. Don't go by my time requirements, if I give up I may start reading the thread earlier.

I agree with what all you wrote about the material we are going to study. Just one thing, if at all possible, let the ending be a bit long and not cut off abruptly and preferably ending on the AdhAra Shadja.

With respect to the exercise itself, there are some standard questions that need not even be spelled out. When we got into this, the ideas were these: a) How do you reproduce this in another instrument, just by an automatic way or through breaking it down to swaras or chunks. We do not want to lose that. b) How do you increase swara gyanam? At the individual swara levels and at the chunk level

Thoughts and analysis along these lines are common for all pieces we take up unless it is felt they do not apply.

People can then ask interesting questions on top of that if any. But again, it is not a quiz.

Regarding Kattai, it will be good if the original poster provides that instead of posing that as a question. How it helps me is, I can then adjust the shruthi of that piece to shruthi of my instrument. I can make better progress with the analysis if I have that commonality of the pitches. I do not think giving away the kattai makes a huge difference as Ramakriya opine. A sign of progress for me personally is, when I do not need that info but that is quite a bit far down the line for me.

Also, as Arun has been saying, the community answer is good enough unless the original poster has the 'correct' answer. There is no requirement that the OP has to have the correct answer since in many cases we are just trying to figure it out collectively. We may be wrong but given what has transpired so far, we may be wrong only at the lowest level gamaka details, if at all.
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