The most difficult test pieces for instrumental musicians an

To teach and learn Indian classical music
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tamilc
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#1

Post by tamilc » 12 Mar 2009, 19:22

Hello
Can you suggest what are the most difficult passages (I need to make top tests for professionals) to perform for

mridangam
veena
flute
vocal

Thanx!
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appu
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#2

Post by appu » 12 Mar 2009, 19:44

Just out of curiosity, Why are you making these tests, when you doubt your knowledge of the most difficult passages. BTW the most difficult test is one that is simple.
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Nick H
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#3

Post by Nick H » 12 Mar 2009, 22:18

:lol:

Good answer!

And if he doesn't know what he is testing for, how will he judge the result?

Take two vocalists, for instance: one may be able to master beautifully some difficult-raga alapana; the other may be able to get an audience on their feet with power of lungs and tongue and some super-fast, rhythmically difficult thillana. They may not share each other's speciality, but who will pass the test?

Speaking as a novice, though, here's my suggestion: get any of these people to perform/accompany something very, very, very slow! :)
Last edited by Guest on 12 Mar 2009, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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tamilc
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#4

Post by tamilc » 13 Mar 2009, 10:16

nick H wrote:And if he doesn't know what he is testing for, how will he judge the result?
The testing has to be COMPREHENSIVE (for ALL parameters).
(so there may be needed several pieces to perform)
Last edited by tamilc on 13 Mar 2009, 10:17, edited 1 time in total.
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vasanthakokilam
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#5

Post by vasanthakokilam » 13 Mar 2009, 11:05

This may not be much, hope it serves as a starter for the flute. These may not be the most difficult things to do but it may separate the beginners from juniors.

Playing proper Begada Ma and Thodi Ga on the flute is a challenge.

Any raga that requies a smooth transition from Ga to Pa and Pa to Ga. Like in Mohanam, what is stated as elongated 'G' is actually a smooth transition from G to P back to G. Uday demonstrated how to do that in a different thread a while back.

For some fun, ask them to play, SR2SD2N2D2M.... P... S... in the madhra sthayi ( as in a navarasa kAnaDa'ish flourish ) and verify that the mandhra 'M' 'pEsifies' properly.

M2 G3 R2 S N3 D2 M2 N3 D2 M2 G3 R2 S, starting in the higher octave and ending in the middle octave and verify that a flat M2 with no oscillations is heard and that there no trace of Panchamam.
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bilahari
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#6

Post by bilahari » 13 Mar 2009, 11:55

Appu's response reminds me of an MDR anecdote where he's examining senior students and as one by one they walk into the exam room, he asks each to render the sarali varisais in three speeds and most of them fail (having prepared elaborate pieces)! He then comments about the importance of fundamentals and gives a masterly demonstration of the sarali exercises.
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srikant1987
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#7

Post by srikant1987 » 15 Mar 2009, 12:02

bilahari wrote:Appu's response reminds me of an MDR anecdote where he's examining senior students and as one by one they walk into the exam room, he asks each to render the sarali varisais in three speeds and most of them fail (having prepared elaborate pieces)! He then comments about the importance of fundamentals and gives a masterly demonstration of the sarali exercises.
The problem is that after you've learnt all these elaborate kritis, people (even MDR) might still tolerate small slips in your rendition of these kritis, but it is atrotiously embarrassing (?) to make a mistake with saraLi varisai, etc.
So when someone (especially MDR) asks you to sing saraLi varisai, you get tense to breaking point, and end up making the very mistakes you were scared of.
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Vmahajanam
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#8 Re: The most difficult test pieces for instrumental musicians an

Post by Vmahajanam » 16 Apr 2018, 18:34

Could anyone direct to the link by Uday on smooth playing of Ga - Pa - Ga in mohanam referred in this discussion.

Thanks,
Vijay
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SrinathK
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#9 Re: The most difficult test pieces for instrumental musicians an

Post by SrinathK » 22 Jul 2018, 10:32

Surprised the violin isn't on the list.

You want a tough test piece? Play a scale in 4 octaves on the violin up and down - then do it in a few degrees of speed, different bowings (detache, continuous legato, spiccato, stacatto, soft, loud, bow at the tip / nut). Then do them on 3 strings, 2 strings and if you dare, one string (for that your instrument better be up to the task). Then do that with one finger as well (Parur school speciality).

With and without gamakas.

If you're game on and familiar with western techniques and playing on two or more strings, you also need to play in 3rds, 4ths, 6ths, octaves, two fingered octaves and tenths, chord progressions, arpeggios and artificial harmonics and even double harmonics :o And if they're nasty, they might ask you to play it with C# (that is equivalent to a prati madhyama rAga without panchamam like hamsAnandi, which means string crossings are tough).

Many a famous violinist has been reduced to jelly by this method...this is hard enough to rattle even Paganini. Jascha Heifetz practiced them daily, and several of his students who were top level concert violinists were terrified when he'd ask them to play scales.
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