on 27 May 2010
This is a recording of Raag Bhopali, an evening raga, quietly and warmly meditative.
Ignoring the very technical aspects of the music, this recording is of music for the end of day, starting quietly and leading up to a fast beat but still warmly gentle piece. The melody is carried on the bamboo flute (or bansuri) which has an attractive sound well suited to someone coming fresh to Indian music.
The important rhythms are from two drummers, one on the double drum, the tabla, which is capable of tuned beats as well as simple taps, and the other a double headed drum, the pakhawaj.
There is the usual drone in the background, but as no tambura player is given, this must be from a digital box - not as good timing as when the stringed instrument is used, but very common at concerts.
This raag CD takes the general raga form of four tracks. There is the introductory solo or Alap, followed by the slightly more rhythmic Jod. Then follows two more formal parts, the Gat, with the drums playing along with the rhythm. These two parts are in two differing rhythmic structures (Taals) which are very well developed and have a remarkable formal structure - here we have Rupak Taal (seven beats) and Drut Teen Taal (Drut being equivalent to allegretto, fast, teen is four measures of four beats = 16 beats).
The musicians are excellent, the music relaxing and the audio quality is superb. An excellent introduction to Indian music and a good listen if you are learning to appreciate the more technical aspects if Indian music.