India is home to a form of classical music that has been refined and perfected for over 4000 years. With the even flow of evolution and the unshakeable support of theory, raga music is at once vibrant, mesmeric and sublime. At its core is an ambition to profoundly change the performer and the listener at the deepest level. Nothing less nothing more!

Raga Unveiled is a sweeping look at the architectural brilliance of a system that gave birth to a unique art form of music. For the first time on film, eloquent commentaries by musicians, Vedic scholars, and musicologists join hands with spectacular cinematography, intoxicating melodies, and rare archival footage to honor India’s legacy of music & sound in its entirety.

"A raga is a melody bejeweled with notes & emotions that colors & delights the mind"

Sage Matang, circa 700 AD

Philosophy and History

"It is impossible to divorce Indian music from the whole structure of Indian culture & philosophy."

Dr. Arnold Bake

Exploring sound as described in the Vedas.

Exploration of the development of ragas - from the ancient chants of the hymns to the folk renderings to their full glory.

Historical & social influences.

Note and Melody

"Musical sounds are first perceived as relative pitches & intervals & when they have lasted as such for some time then alone are they able to communicate to the mind any expression."

The meaning & grammar of a raga.

A medley of performances to illustrate the theories.

Graphics & charts to illumine the foundational principles.

Tempo and Rhythm

"The origin of the word Tala or rhythm is connected to the Indic metaphysics of an all embracing, comprehensive rhythm of the universe as personified in Shiva."

The unique role of rhythm and its different components.

Tala as being a basic connection between the 3 constituents of Sangeet: vocal music, instrumental music & dance.

Befitting demos and graphics to illustrate the unparallel & complex time measures.

Moods and Emotions

The ancient & deep rasa Bhava theory.

Science of how the rasa conjures up the inner worlds & moves ones being.

Demonstrations of techniques used to infuse rasa in the music..

Understanding the role of the audience & their active participation in the equation of an impactful rendering.

Improvisation

"Multitudinal disguises evolving in a thousand shapes of the same eternal aspiring theme."

Yehudi Menuhin

The hallmark of raga music - the ability to play or sing with infinite expression with total escape and abandon encased within a framework.

"The how to" of the freedom to improvise within certain clearly defined structures.

A 6 person ensemble making music on the spot comesas perhaps the highlight of this film!

Master and Disciple

"Factual knowledge cannot possibly fully interpret the subtle nuances of the raga music without the aid of person to person teachings. It is close to impossible."

From guru to the disciple – a glimpse of ancient India’s extraordinary tradition of oral transmission knowledge.

Testimonials of some of the most eminent musicians on the subject.

Lineage

The system of schools within the vocal and instrumental genres.

The social & cultural influences that impacted the creation of the "gharanas."

Training and Performance

"The ability to perform raga or rhythmic poetry requires a unique & rigorous training and dedication. To be able to improvise for hours on - by solely relying on memory, within the constraints of the raga & tala, & at once entertain................not for the weak of heart!"

Discover how one prepares to perform Indian Classical Music.

An intricate & step by step evolution of an artist in the making.

Compositional Styles

A journey from the ancient dhrupad forms & their evolution to the present Khayal styles.

Various renderings to illustrate the different forms.

Instruments

A look at the unique aspects of Indian instruments& the unmatched sophistication of their classification and range.

A glimpse at the exemplary artisans who create the "vadyas".

Points to Ponder

A word from the musicians, their opinions on the present day scene of the raga music & heartwarming pledges to keep the wonderful heritage alive.

Reviews

  • For the study of Indian Classical Music, there is no greater resource than "Raga Unveiled". Using it in the classroom is like taking your students on an in-depth research trip to India. I am grateful that such a resource exists. A true educational treasure. More

    Jackson Local Schools, Mrs. Michele N. Monigold,
    Jun 8, 2012

  • Raga Unveiled, a movie on the history and essence of Hindustani classical music is a perfect storm of filmmaking, narration, editing, music, and the key element—a singular, unselfish passion for the art. Set to debut in California this month, the documentary made its Indian debut in February and was screened in Connecticut in spring. More

    India Currents, Priya Das,
    Jul 31, 2009

  • This four-hour documentary is not only a terrific introduction to North Indian classical music, but a treasury of interviews with many of India’s greatest living musicians and music scholars. Each of its twelve sections sheds.. More

    Yoga + Joyful Living Magazine Aug.2009 review by Rolf Sovik,
    President of Himalayan Institute

  • I am a tabla player for 20 years and a bansuri student. I finished just 1 DVD, and need to watch it at least 30 more times to soak it all up. Pretty amazing archival work. Each interview left me wanting to see more. You see, prolific playing is certainly one thing to enjoy, but salient.. More

    Nishith Upadhyaya

  • On the weekend of August 22nd-23rd, the Sunnyvale community thoroughly enjoyed a truly unique and inspirational film that illuminates the essence of Indian classical music. Raga Unveiled, a documentary, received tremendous praise from viewers who had not just one, More

    Review by Shri Pradeep Joshi,
    Director of Sangeet Dhwani

  • IN RECENT times, there has not been a documentary film that has tackled such an exhaustive and intricate subject like the history [of] Hindustani music and its exponents. Full Article

    Hindustan Times Live,
    Kolkata, February 19, 2009

  • The raison d’etre of this production is the music. Divine and transporting, the performances of Raga reveal the profundity of the Veda for all to experience first hand. Such a rare treat! Along with the music, More

    Peter Trivelas and Lynn Kaplan,
    Freelance Television Producers
    March 15, 2009

  • Raga Unveiled is a unique and timeless masterpiece. Gita Desai has produced the ultimate, contemporary, guide to India's rich and unparalleled relationship between sound and the deepest levels of the soul.

    Larry Payne Ph.D. Founding President, International Association of Yoga Therapists
    March 15, 2009

  • For those like us, who love India, its ancient culture, its depth of understanding human nature, its beauty and wisdom, Raga Unveiled is a most welcome film! While the West has much to offer the East, the same is true in reverse.. More

    Gisela Litchgarn, Farmington, CT
    March 19, 2009

  • Pratima and I truly enjoyed the Hartford, CT premier of "Raga Unveiled". While the abridged version was certainly enjoyable, More

    Nutan Mehta, Avon, CT
    March 19, 2009

Contributors

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India is home to a form of classical music that has been refined and perfected for over 4000 years. With the even flow of evolution and the unshakeable support of theory, raga music is at once vibrant, mesmeric and sublime. At its core is an ambition to profoundly change the performer and the listener at the deepest level. Nothing less nothing more!

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India's eternal wisdom of well-being presented in one visually beautiful film.
From the makers of Yoga Unveiled comes a visually beautiful documentary that celebrates the artistry and origins of North Indian classical music.
Yoga Unveiled is a one of a kind documentary film that covers the most comprehensive overview of the yoga tradition in its true essence.

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