19th May 2006 at 01:00
KS2 A characteristic feature of north Indian music is the use of constant drones with changing scales above. Explore the use of drones using repeated sustained notes a 5th or a 4th apart - eg CG, GD or GC, DG. Play these on keyboards, string instruments or regularly struck chime bars. Which instruments can play the shifting microtonal intervals that help give Indian music its distinctive sound? Not the fixed notes of xylophones or pianos, but sliding fingers on guitar strings, electronic keyboards with wobble effects, and the shifting human voice.

KS3 Explore the principles of raga and tala (See: cnx.orgcontentm12502latest and the different tuning system of North Indian music (See: cnx.orgcontentm11639latestNoNop12a Select different groups of notes and make up tunes using those notes; then listen to the effect of choosing a different group of notes while playing a similar pattern within them. Try to play the slow accelerando rhythm found in many pieces of North Indian music. Guess and then time the increase in pulse in different performances.

KS4 Investigate some of the music of the remarkable Khan dynasty. Listen to the work of the great sitar player Vilayat Khan en.wikipedia.orgwikiVilayat_Khan his younger brother Imrat Khan who plays the surbahar (bass sitar) en.wikipedia.orgwikiImrat_Khan and Imrat's son Wajahat Khan who plays the sarod Wajahat has collaborated with many Western ensembles including string quartets, symphony orchestras and jazz groups.

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