Sunday, July 03, 2016

Notes, Emotions and Classical Music

Benjamin Zander on "Transformative Power of Classical Music". This would count among the most cheerful and engaging TED video's I have seen.

While explaining how music connects to our deepest emotions, Zander says at one point, "This is a B. The next note is a C. And the job of the C is to make the B sad. And it does, doesn't it?"

In fact it does. This made me wonder if there was any connection between Western classical notes that evoke a particular emotion, and their equivalent in the Indian classical "Swara-maala". In the Hindustani classical tradition, Raagas that evoke a feeling of sadness ("Karuna" / Compassion) are - Desh, Vihag and Peelu.

If B and C are considered equivalent to Sa and Re across scales, does this combination figure in Desh, Vihag and Peelu as well?

Amongst the three, the combination of B and C (or, roughly, Sa and Re) seems to be there only for Raag Desh, and that too only in the ascending notes (Aaroha).

Is this because the Karuna has a much deeper meaning than just "Sad"? Or am I missing something here?


* Western / Indian Note Equivalents -
* Mood and Nature of Indian Classical Ragas -
* Raga's -
* Solfege -

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