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Overview of Indian Classical Singing and Tips for Beginners


An Overview of Indian Classical Music

The classical music of the Indian subcontinent is known as Indian classical music. It is commonly referred to as Marg Sangeet or Shastriya Sangeet.


It has two major traditions: Hindustani classical music from North India and Carnatic music from South India. These traditions did not emerge until the 15th century. The traditions separated and evolved into distinct forms during the Mughal rule of the Indian subcontinent.


Hindustani music emphasizes improvisation and exploration of all aspects of a raga, whereas Carnatic performances are typically composed of short pieces. However, the two systems continue to share more features than they do differences.


Music can be a social activity as well as a spiritual experience. The spiritual power of music deeply impressed ancient Indians, and it is from this that Indian classical music arose.


Classical music, for those who take it seriously, entails unwavering devotion and a lifetime commitment. But the thing about music is that it can be taken as seriously or as lightly as you want. No matter how deep or shallow your involvement, it is a rewarding experience.


Raga and tala are the two fundamental elements of Indian classical music. The raga, which is based on a diverse repertoire of swara (notes including microtones), is the fabric of a deeply intricate melodic structure, whereas the tala is the time cycle.


The raga provides a palette for an artist to create a melody from sounds, whereas the tala provides a creative framework for rhythmic improvisation using time.


The space between the notes in Indian classical music is often more important than the notes themselves, and it traditionally rejects Western classical concepts such as harmony, counterpoint, chords, and modulation.


Complete History of Classical Music Ancient India


The Vedic literature of Hinduism contains the origins of music in ancient India. The first Indian ideas combined three arts: syllabic recital (vadya), melos (gita), and dance (nrtta).


As these fields evolved, sangeeta evolved into a distinct genre of art, comparable to contemporary music. This most likely happened before the time of Yska (circa 500 BCE), as these terms appear in his nirukta studies, one of the six Vedanga of ancient Indian tradition.


Some Hindu texts, such as the Samaveda (circa 1000 BCE), are structured entirely around melodic themes; it is sections of the Rigveda set to music.


There are two ways to organise the Samaveda. A part is based on musical metre, and another is based on the rituals' intended purpose.


The verse is written into parvans (a knot or member), or the swaras (octave notes) are either shown above or within the text; in other words, this embedded code of swaras is like the skeleton of the song.


There are roughly 12 different forms for the swaras, and various combinations of these swaras are used to sit under the names of various ragas.


Two musical genres—Gandharva (formal, composed, ceremonial music) and Gana—emerged in the early Hindu traditions (informal, improvised, entertainment music).


Both the Gana and the Gandharva music suggested singing, as well as celestial and divine associations. According to Rowell, the ancient Tamil classics make it "abundantly clear that a cultivated musical tradition existed in South India as early as the last few pre-Christian centuries."


The Vedic Sanskrit musical tradition had already become widely known throughout the Indian subcontinent.


The Language of Indian Classical Music

One of my favourite aspects of Indian classical music is that it is taught in the same manner as a language. Once you've mastered the fundamentals of language, such as syntax and vocabulary, you can begin to construct your own phrases.


Once you've mastered the fundamental notes, you'll be introduced to ragas (similar to musical themes) and encouraged to start improvising and creating your own tunes. It is not difficult to improvise melodies in a raga that you are familiar with.


I lack the talent required to become a performance artist, but I can make spontaneous music, which is an endless source of delight.


It doesn't take much to improvise little pieces of melody here and there, but it becomes more difficult when you try to improvise in synchronization with the rhythm, and becoming an artist capable of hour-long extemporaneous performances is a completely different story.


A performance must have a defined framework, contain certain parts, advance coherently, reach a climax, and be brought to a close, and meet certain requirements.


All of it requires decades of study and training, and it is uncommon to find an artist who can be taken seriously before the age of 40.


Tips for Singers to Keep their Vocals in Best Condition


1. Keep Yourself Hydrated


It is important to stay hydrated in order to maintain your vocal cords healthy and lubricated. Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating things such as caffeine and alcohol. Even famous vocalists advise consuming eight glasses of water per day.


Drinking water aids in the production of vibration and modulation in your voice. Your tongue plays a crucial role in singing, and if you aren't drinking enough water, it will be more difficult to enunciate. Dehydrated vocals will not sound as good.


2. Warm up your voice Regularly


A proper vocal warm-up both prepares your voice for singing and protects it from harm. Before you sing, try exercises such as lip trills, sirens, and humming. Simple warm-ups are advised, particularly for auditions and performances (just as runners warm up for a marathon).


Take a classical music approach and perform glissandos (descending scales) and staccatos (punctuated breathing exercises) as well as messadivoce (controlling intensity of volume). Before a contest, professional athletes always warm up.


They frequently do some stretching and brief running before engaging in any strenuous workout. Warming up your voice before each practise will make it less fatigued and less likely to be damaged.


3. Take Breaks and get Adequate Sleep


Excessive use of your voice can cause vocal fatigue and injury. Take regular rests to rest your voice and prevent overworking yourself. Your voice, like you, requires a break. So, make time for silence every day, especially if you're on tour.


Sleep is a big deal that impacts everything in life. If you don't get enough sleep, you will naturally feel sluggish and sleepy during the day, and you may even get brain fog. Caffeine can cause dehydration and harm to your vocal cords.


So, try to get enough sleep. Most people should sleep seven to eight hours every night. There's probably nothing wrong if you require a little less or a little more.


4. Healthy Diet and Quit Smoking Anything


A balanced diet can assist maintain your vocal health by giving your body with the vitamins and antioxidants it requires. Incorporate plenty of fruits and veggies into your diet.


To keep their voice in shape, professional singers generally eschew a variety of beverages and foods. If you want to be a great singer, you will have to make some sacrifices. Avoid foods that are salty or spicy since they can irritate your throat and voice cords.


Smoke is an irritant that expands your voice cords, so no finger wagging here. And, as a reminder, New York bars are smoke-free, so you can perform in any place without worrying about secondhand smoke.


5. Record Yourself and Listen


There is a distinction between how you perceive your singing and how others perceive it. You might be surprised to hear your own voice for the first time. You'll notice all of your flaws and hear where you're going wrong.


You'll learn how to use your voice chords and larynx to produce a better sound under the supervision of a skilled tutor. The larynx is a muscle structure that forms the airway to the lungs. But first, you must identify your issue areas.


It will force you to become a better listener, and whether you want to be a vocalist or an instrumentalist, having a strong ear is essential. Use a Voice Recorder to record your voice performances and listen to them critically.


6. Follow Your Favorite Singers


Listening increases your enthusiasm for singing. There are many genres and kinds of vocalists to listen to, including classical, folk, country, rock, and others. Listen to vocalists who sing in the style you want to replicate.


Listen to outstanding singers who often sing in a style with which you are not as comfortable or familiar.


You never know what you'll learn from them. As you listen to more vocalists, you'll notice a wide range of differences in style, voice quality, techniques, and other factors.


Finally, you should sing in a style that suits you. Listening to a variety of singers will help you choose which type of music your voice is most suited for and what methods you'll need to master to sing in that style.


7. Try Playing with High Volume


Singing a song at the same volume from beginning to end might get tedious. When you've gotten used to a music, experiment with altering the volume throughout.


This may assist you in emphasizing different words and expressing emotions at precisely the perfect time.


When you emphasize the proper words at the right time, you will pique the listener's interest. Variety enhances the flavor of your singing.


8. Seek Out Proper Training


You will have some success with your singing if you follow the advice above and use additional resources. But, all too often, that isn't enough.


When there is no one to direct your singing, you are more likely to make mistakes and harm your vocal cords. Alternatively, your undesirable habits and tactics may need to be changed afterwards.


A trained vocal coach or instructor can assist you in discovering your voice and avoiding costly errors. They can assist you in laying a solid foundation so that you may apply what you learn and flourish in your profession, no matter where it leads you.



Conclusion


To summarise, maintaining excellent vocal health is critical for singers to perform well and avoid harm. By following these basic tips, you can help keep your voice in good shape and grow as a performer.


We encourage you to join the Bhardwaj Music Academy if you want to improve your singing talents and take your enthusiasm to the next level. Our professional and dedicated instructors give individualised tuition that is targeted to your specific requirements and goals. Our academy provides a variety of courses such as vocal training, music theory, and songwriting. Bhardwaj Music Academy, with its cutting-edge facilities and friendly community of like-minded individuals, is the ideal place to hone your skills and pursue your musical love. So, what are you holding out for? Join us today to realise your best singing potential. You may become the best version of yourself and achieve your musical goals with our skilled guidance and friendly environment.

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