Tuesday, September 07, 2004

First Few days of class...

When I first realized I'd be taking this class, I had no idea what it would be like. Well now its started and I have to say that I'm loving it! We have already started singing some of the songs that they sing in South India. I find it informative and great for me, as a new singer, that when the indians are singing these songs/pieces, having a pretty voice has nothing to do with it. Whatever the sound of your voice, it is unique in its own way. When singing these songs, the indian's focus is on pitch, rather than tone color or having a beautiful voice. Hearing Professor Johnson talk about his experience with living in India was VERY interesting to me! I can't imagine such a culture shock! I really enjoy learning about how different their musical lifestyle is. The Indians will start very young, living with his or her Guru. The Guru will teach him by ear, with nothing written down(oral transmission). As the years go by he or she will learn more and more, and the hours will get more intense. He or she will spend LOTS of time with their guru.
Another thing that was very interesting to me was how they have their concerts. During a concert people will be walking around, talking, singing a long, tapping the beat, or yelling things at them such as, "nice!", "beautiful", etc. Also, there are no pieces written down on a program. Everything is just played by the musician on the spot. Sometimes people will also make requests.
Although we have just began this class I find it very interesting and really enjoy singing the raga exercises/scales. They have a VERY unique and cool sound to them and I am looking forward to learing and singing more!