Roopa Panesar – Raga Puriya Gat

Last night I listened to an absolutely fascinating live concert of Indian Classical Music on BBC Radio 3. I know very little about this kind of music, but was captivated by the energy, spontaneity and sense of excitement – not to mention the extreme virtuosity – of the playing. I wish I knew more so I’ve decided to enlist the help of the blogosphere to suggest recordings suitable for the education of an ignorant person like myself. Please offer your suggestions through the comments box below.

In the meantime, though, here is a clip featuring one of the musicians from last night’s concert, Roopa Panesar on sitar (the large stringed instrument) with the amazing Sukhwinder Singh on tabla (the small drums) and Gunwant Kaur on the tanpura. There’s a lot of improvisation in a Raga such as this, which gives it a lot of the freewheeling flavour of Jazz (complete with audience applause at particularly exciting moments) but it inhabits a sound world all of its own and is underpinned by wonderfully fluid rhythmic pulse.

2 Responses to “Roopa Panesar – Raga Puriya Gat”

  1. Sesh Nadathur Says:

    I don’t know much about Indian music, but one thing I do know is that an important element of it is that the tabla (or more specifically, the tabla played with the right hand) produce harmonics. In fact it isn’t possible for circular drums with a membrane of uniform thickness to do this – as can be shown by solving the wave equation and nothing the properties of zeros of the spherical Bessel function – which is why most drums don’t. The tabla has a patch of different density glued to the membrane, and this central loading changes the allowed solutions to the equation, this allowing the generation of harmonics.

    Could make a good undergraduate physics project for the musically minded!

  2. Have a look at Ravi Shankar pandit from 1967:

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