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GCSE Music Analysis - Rag Desh Performed By Anoushka Shankar

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General Points:
- Anoushka is the daughter of the very famous Indian musician Ravi Shankhar.
- This version was recorded live in 2001.
- It was recorded at a concert in New York.

Anoushka Shankar with Sitar.

Anoushka Shankar with Sitar.




The 2 instruments in this piece are the Sitar and the Tabla.

- A Sitar is a plucked string instrument.
It has a very long neck and seven main strings which are used to play the melody. There are also 12 sympathetic strings on a Sitar. These strings are not plucked but resonate with the other strings to create a the characteristic 'shimmering' sound.

- A Tabla is a pair of drums.
The right drum is smaller, thus higher pitched, and made of wood. It is called the dayan. The left one is larger and made of metal and is called the bayan. The musician plays the Tabla mainly with their fingers.


This version of Rag Desh uses 2 tals (cycle of beats).
The Jhaptal is a 10 beat cycle (2 + 3 + 2 + 3)
the Tintal is a 16 beat cycle (4 + 4 + 4 + 4)


- This section is played by the Sitar only.
- It is slow with no regular beat or pulse.
- The melodic line is decorated with slides and pitch bends which are called meends.
- The Tabla enters a few seconds after the Gat begins.
- The Sitar plays a fixed composition in a moderate tempo.
- The Sitar and the Tabla improvise.
- The tempo increases towards the end of this piece.
The music is fast and virtuosic.
- The Sitar strings are strummed to create rhythmic excitement.


Your GCSE Music Guide on May 02, 2017:

There are three full versions of Rag Desh, any could come up for Section A and Section B.

These are the 3 versions that you need to learn and revise:

1) Rag Desh - Anoushka Shankar (2001)

2) Rag Desh - Chiranji Lal Tanwar (2004)

3) Rag Desh - Steve Gorn and Benjy Wertheimer (2004)

All of these versions are different e.g. they all use different instruments and have a different structure.

Gcse on May 25, 2016:

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What's the time signature for this piece?

GCSE Teacher on May 12, 2016:

You wont need that for the exam, its the only piece not needing it.

Yes on October 25, 2015:

The piece is based around a raga which is the equivalent of F major

Thanks... on September 02, 2015:

Does anyone know about the tonality of this piece?

Skylarana on February 10, 2015:

Thank you so much for your pages you are going to help me so much with my GCSE!!!

name on November 04, 2014:

no tambura just a sitar and tabla the drone is played by the sitar.

Ims on October 27, 2014:

The drone is formed from sympathetic strings beneath the main melodic strings on the sitar and another instrument: the TAMBURA.

Sasha on March 11, 2014:

You forgot the Drone that goes on in the background!

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