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Learning the Sitar

David Courtney & Srinivas Koumounduri - Learning the Sitar Book

The sitar has been popular since the 1960s. Since that time it has always had a considerable mystique among musicians. It also has an undeserved reputation for being difficult to play. This book/CD set cuts though the mystique and misapprehensions and presents the material in a simple fashion that is easily understood both by Indians and non-Indian musicians alike.

Learning the Sitar begins with basic background information, including a discussion of Indian music, the history of the instrument, the parts and other important terms It then moves on to basic exercises and finally finishes with some simple compositions in Bilawal, Kalyan and Kafi. This is covered in a mix of staff notation as well as traditional Indian Sargam notation.

Contents
Preface
Introduction
Different Approach to the Music
Different Approach to the Instrument
Purpose of this Book
History
Before the Sitar
Invention of the Sitar
Historical Figures
Basics of Indian Music
Melodic Fundamentals
Harmony
Key
Musical Notes
Just Intonation vs Equal Temperament
Intervals
Register
Drone
Parts of the Sitar
Basic Parts of the Sitar
Functional Breakdown of the Strings
Stringing and Tuning
The Strings
Attaching the Strings
Specific Tunings of the Strings
Auxiliary Strings
Positioning of the Frets
Basic Technique
Sitting and Holding Position#1
Sitting and Holding Position#2 (Ravi Shankar Style)
Women's Sitting Position
Mizrab
Right-Hand Position and Striking
Bols
Left-Hand Technique
Getting Started
The “Ra” Stroke
Exercises
That
Bilawal That
Kalyan That
Kafi That
Khammaj That
Asawari That
Purvi That
Bhairav That
Bhairavi That
Marwa That
Todi That
Rag
Aroh Avaroh
Jati
Pakad
Ornamentation
Other Characteristics
Tal
Clapping and Waving
Sam
Tabla
Theka
Prakar
More Technique
Dira
Chikari
Bilawal That
Rag Bilawal
Gat in Rag Bilawal
Kalyan That
Tuning
Exercises
Rag Bhupali
Beginner's Gat in Rag Bhupali
Kafi That
Tuning
Exercises
Rag Bhageshri
Gat in Bhageshri
Conclusion
Appendix 1 - Resources
Appendix 2 - String Gauges
Appendix 3 - Further Reading
Appendix 4 - Glossary
About the Authors 

Learning the Sitar is despatched within 3 - 5 days

 

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