Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Listen to Carnatic Music

I find that sometimes, students and parents alike find themselves lost in the myriad of resources available on the internet when they set out to listen to Carnatic Music. 
This is a humble attempt at a guide to help understand where to look for material, what to listen to, how to process what you hear etc.

We are very fortunate to live in an age where information is at our fingertips. That is where the catch is - information can be useful or can be a distraction. With proper guidance, you can pick the ones that you like listening to and ones that will enhance your musical knowledge.

Why listen?
Listening provides a way to build repertoire of familiar music, which will give you a good feeling when you recollect a piece of music.

It helps us form opinions about how different artists treat the same piece differently and use compositions as vehicles to show off their creativity.

Whose music should we listen to?
Listen to several musicians to begin with and figure out what you like and what you don't.
Once you figured out who you like listening to, ask yourself why do you like it? Then listen to others again and see how they all compare with respect to the specific aspect you like,

How often should I listen?
Everyday. Sometimes it can be passive listening, but try to listen actively as much as possible.

What should I do when I listen?
You can put talam or try to mimic a sangathi that you liked, or you can just enjoy the feeling it gives you.
You can also try to identify what notes there are in the raga, what could the arohana and avarohana be.
If you have heard someone else sing or play the same piece of music, you can compare and contrast.

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