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Raga Music - Essay Example

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Raga Music

The raga cannot be written down like other forms of music because of the complexity in its keys and notes; therefore, Persons interested in learning the music or understanding its meaning have to listen to it over a long period. Raga is associated with colors, animals, emotions, and magic among other factors (Titon 12). The notes, melodies, and organization of the raga are similar to those of the maqam music. The maqam is an Arabic music played in the Middle East region of the world. The music contains ornamental patterns and phrases that are similar to the Indian raga (Titon 12). This similarity between the two music genres indicates that there is a relationship between Arabs and Indian. The relationship is further manifested in the similarity in the cultures of maqam and Hindu. Researchers argue that the relationship between maqam and Hindu make it difficult to separate the two music. An example of a music that is categorized as maqam and raga is the Sufyana Kalam (Titon 15). The Vedas culture that is practiced in India was brought about the Aryans who settled along the Indus valley during the revolutionary period (Titon 268). The Aryans intermarried with Indians while they settled along the valley, and this assimilated their culture into that of the Indians. The culture values horses and cattle besides agriculture. The culture believes in numerous gods and goddesses most of them which are made of calves. The Vedas culture also has hymns, which are in form of poems that the Indians recite in memory of their origin and beliefs. The culture also speaks the Vedic language, which was originally spoken by the Aryans (Titon 268). The Indian classic music, which contains consists of sounds of high and low notes originates from the Vedas culture. The Vedas culture believed that sound was the greatest charming thing to both human beings and animals. The culture had a theory known as the Gandhara Veda, which was metaphysics of various sounds (Titon 269). The sounds in the music differ according to the emotion that they expose, for example, tranquility, loneliness, and sadness among others. The classic music of India such as raga contains these elements of the Vedas culture. The music is based on the four Vedas hymns that contain the beliefs of the culture such as magic, gods and goddesses, and praising the calf among others. The Moghul Empire played part in the development of classic music in India, which is a fusion of Hindu and Islam (Toton 277). The rulers of the empire allowed the Islams and Hindus to mingle with each other in all aspects. Akbar, the first ruler of the Moghul Empire was also the first to show interest in images and texts of musicians. During the reign of the empire, the music was not sung, but rather it was spoken and written in form of texts. The rulers controlled music by allowing musicians to sing and dance within the royal grounds. The palaces of the empires were painted with images of musical texts indicating that they valued music. The empire contributed in the development of the music by allowing musicians from Islam and Hindu origin to sing and dance together. Before the ruling of the empire, Islams and Hindus did not mingle with each other; thus, music was not common at that time, and it was prohibited in some regions (Titon 278). Karnataka Sangeeta is a classical form of music that is mainly sang in the southern parts of India. The music is a fusion of Persian and Indian culture. Karnataka Sangeeta is similar to Hindusthani music in that it is not preserved through writing; in this music, every performance is considered to be original and unique. The music is preserved in form of images and sculptures, which ...Show more


The raga is an Indian music that is played in ascending and descending melodic movements to express the emotions of the singer. Raga is more of a method of expressing one’s emotions than it is entertainment music (Titon 11)…
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Raga Music essay example
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