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what draws the line of difference?


(@panacea-everlast)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Sir,

I deadly need your quick, prompt response or else I must be going mad.

I was told that the Indian music is base on melody and the Western music is on harmony rather.

But am not stil clear with the concept. Both the music use chords and its corresponding scales.

Harmony, to my knoledge is playing to or more notes at a time.

In short, I want to know when a music is said to be based on harmony and when is it based on melody.

Please, i can't wait. My patience is wearing thin has been searching it for long. I can play a new guitar technique without geting bored all day but I can't wait to know this topic.

Waiting...


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

We don't get called "Sir" very often round here.

Music from the Indian subcontinent is very different. Most of what I've studied is in song form, but the logic should still hold.

Check out the "Ghazal" - an adaptation of a Persian poetry form, the "khayal" (and make sure you check out the "sargam" which is the equivalent of our doh, re mi etc,) the "dhrupad" and the "thumri." Some of these have their roots in Hindu devotional music.

That should give you a good start

Western art music - start with the lessons on this site, especially "Theory without tears."

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 974
 

I was told that the Indian music is base on melody and the Western music is on harmony rather.

But am not stil clear with the concept. Both the music use chords and its corresponding scales.

Waiting...

No, TRADITIONAL Indian music isn't chord based.

Don't think of harmony in the general sense of notes sounding at the same time. Think of it as a system of intentionally combining notes to exploit the unique effects that can be produced depending on how they're combined. It's like the dawn chorus in the morning. You can hear hundreds of birds all singing their own songs regardless of each other. Is that harmony? It's a striking effect, but it's not harmony in any meaningful sense of the word. Now, if someone could organise those birds to sing according to a fixed plan that exploited the additional qualities produced by combining their melodies - that would be harmony.

Let's say Western and Indian musicians all started off like the dawn chorus with no organisation. After numerous complaints from family members that their music sucks, and that even the dawn chorus sounded better than they do, they decided to get more organised, but in different ways. Western musicians began combining notes and enjoyed the exciting new harmonic effects that were created by doing it in very specific ways. Indian musicians focused on melody and produced new and exciting melodic phrases and complex rhythms, such as some mentioned above by Alan. Different notes might be used together but mostly as a simple drone like you hear in sitar music, or else as a way to have a colourful sound (Indonesian Gamelan orchestras are the leaders in that field) but with no attempt to organise the combinations into chords like the Western musicians did.

Of course, moderm Indian music like Bollywood, etc, uses Western harmony freely, just as Western musicians are free to feature Indian instruments and Indian sounding melodic phrases.

*Note - there is some archaelogical evidence of harmony existing in ancient times in the middle East. It's not fully understood or accepted and nobody knows why it died out. Mid Eastern traditional music is also non chord based.


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