Indian Classical Music Revision

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Sitar – A string instrument with approximately 20 strings. This is the main melody instrument in Indian Classical Music.
Sarod – A fretless instrument similar to the lute. Can play long glissandos.
Bansuri – A flute made from bamboo
Shehnai – Similar to an oboe
Tabla – Indian drums played with the hands and fingers.


Raga – a scale or set of notes used to form a melody in Indian Classical Music
Drone – A note or set of notes repeated throughout a piece. It does not change.
Tala – A cycle of beats that repeats. Often plays the Tintal.
Tintal – A rhythmic cycle that is 16 beats long divided into four sets of four beats. A bit like a 4/4 time signature.

Structure of Indian Classical Music

Alap – The opening section. Usually slow and improvised. No fixed tempo. Only includes melody instrument and drone.
Gat – The tabla enters and there is a clear pulse. Still lots of improvisation.
Jhala – Final section. Music builds in excitement and intensity. The raga and tala become more complex/virtuosic.

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