The concept of Raga has evolved over the last 15 centuries or so, since the term Raga was first seen to be used in the 7th century.
The forms of presentation of the Raga kept on changing over the centuries, and developed from the Prabandha, through the Dhrupad, to the present day Khayal.
A musical performance has many attributes which need to be understood first at the preliminary or the macro level. We then go on looking at these with progressively more and more detail.
So if we keep the performance or the khayal presentation at the top surface, then the progressive depths will look something like this….
Starting from the top, we will begin exploring the depths of this ocean, step by step. We will need to keep moving between the levels, and coming back to the surface to see the connections between the micro level details and their application in the higher level concepts and the performance.
Initially, you will find a lot of terminology ( not jargon!) to face, but there is no need to be intimidated by it. We are going to understand all these terms, right down to the concept level, not just definitions, in due course.
So let us begin with a typical khayal performance of today. The following AV clip should give us a glimpse of one…
In the next few posts, we will look at the Raga, Tala and the Bandish at the macro level, and then carry on getting deeper within their structures……