Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Indian, music, arragnement, notation, elements, instrumentation
Padmavati is an original composition inspired by what I have learned about Indian Classical Music as a whole. It is by no means Indian music, but it contains fundamental elements of Indian music. The piece is written for flute and viola, which have been instructed to play as if they were Indian instruments, as well as the doumbek, a Middle Eastern hand drum that has been instructed to imitate the sound of a tabla, the traditional North-Indian hand drum. This past fall I did an Independent Study where I read about the different elements of Indian Classical music, including the significance of the different regions, the instruments, and the core concepts. Some of these concepts most notably heard in the piece are Raga and Tala. While these concepts are not easily understood to someone with a Western musical upbringing, Raga is what gives a piece its 'color,' comparable to a scale in Western notation. Tala is responsible for the pulse of the piece, and all Classical Indian pieces have defined Raga and Tala. The piece was written from January - May 2012 for completion of my Music Major with the goal to learn about music beyond the familiar Western world. It demonstrates the struggles I had to overcome, specifically the idea of no harmony, no key changes, bending of notes, and the fact that Western instrumentation will not sound like Indian instruments, no matter how hard I try. With that, I hope you enjoy what you hear today and get an understanding of what Indian Music is perceived as from a Westerner's ears.
Watman, Melanie, "Padmavati "She Possesses the Lotus" A Western Perspective on Indian Classical Music" (2012). Honors Theses. 918.