Raga Unveiled Synopsis
Philosophy and History
Here, the fundamental understanding of pure sound as understood by the sages is expressed. Its primary purpose to attain Self Transcendence is covered.
Sound as described in the Vedas, the chantings of the hymns, the more basic folk or deshi renderings, to the development of Ragas all culminate beautifully and bring you to the modern era. The historical and social influences are also covered.
Note and Melody
The meaning of raga and its grammar is clearly unfolded through the help of interviews, demos and beautiful and informative visual graphics. Many wonderful performances are also interspersed.
Tempo and Rhythm
The unique role of rhythm as an equal limb of Raga music is most articulately emphasized. All the different components of the Indian rhythmic system are laid out, followed by befitting demos and graphics. Its brilliance shines forth through the explanations and performance clips.
Moods and Emotions
The Rasa's or moods and emotions in a raga are described and the techniques by which they are infused in the music are beautifully demonstrated by many stalwarts. Covering the importance of the audience in this equation brings out a very unique aspect of this music.
The hallmark of the raga music being the ability to play or sing for unlimited time, is driven very clearly in this chapter. A fantastic example in the form of a 6 person ensemble making music on the spot is perhaps the highlight of this film!
Master and Disciple
The extraordinary system of oral transmission of knowledge from teacher to pupil, and all the subtle nuances of this relationship are covered.
Some light is thrown on the system of schools or lineage within the vocal and instrumental genres.
Training and Performance
The ability to be able to perform for such lengths of time and improvise requires a certain extraordinary type of grooming and training system and dedication from the disciple and the guru. Here a glimpse of this is shown leading into how one prepares to become a performer.
The journey of the older Dhrupad forms to the present Khyal singing is well explained. Some of the major light classical genres are illuminated. Wonderful renderings of each genre makes this chapter delightful to view.
The classification of the instrumental categories are explained. Some unique aspects of Indian instruments are covered. A great tribute is paid to the instrument makers as well. Also covers a sweeping look at the cottage industries that create these exquisite instruments.
Points to Ponder
Here, many great musicians voice their opinions on todays influences on the musical scene with some heartwarming pledges to keep this wonderful heritage alive.