Music & India Homework
There's a famous quote attributed sometimes to Blaise Pascal, sometimes to Winston Churchill, sometimes to Abraham Lincoln, and sometimes to George Bernard Shaw (!): "I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I wanted to write a short one but I didn't have time." In other words, being concise takes a lot of work! Please say your full thoughts about the topic you choose, but condense them to the most economical form, the smallest number of words needed. The most important thing to cover are literal sound descriptions and emotional identifications.
Where do the words "India," "Hindu" and "Hindi" come from etymologically? What are the Vedas and when were they created? How are the Vedas transmitted from generation to generation? How is this different from the Jewish/Christian method of preserving religious ideas? What is a "Mantra" in the original Hindu sense?
Describe the Sound of Vedic Chanting. (Hear examples of Vedic Chanting here, here, and here.) What is the purpose of Vedic Chanting?
(Please make use of our new resource page here to help with the answers.)
Extra question for the Junior-Senior High Level: What are the two meanings of Shruti?
Extra Credit: Describe the sound of the Sitar. Examples here and here. What is the usual job of the sitar when it is not a featured solo instrument?
Extra Credit: How is the improvisation in Indian classical melody related to the pathas?
How is the Indian clasical progression similar to, or different from, the order of movements in the standard, traditional Western Classical Sonata, such as a Mozart Piano Sonata? (See the Mozart Sonatas on the album below)
Extra Credit: A raag means a certain defined emotional theme or flavor. Is the speed of the music at a given moment a distinguishing feature of a raag? Does tempo set one raag apart from another? Explain why or why not.
P.S. You may find the chapter on "Time" in my book relevant or helpful. Also, the chapter on "Scale" addresses some of the modes in Indian classical music.