An Analysis of The South Indian Classical Music

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Words: 594 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Nov 20, 2018

Words: 594|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Nov 20, 2018

When listening to music which comes from regions such as South Asia, there are a lot of common aspects to their music and conduction of songs. To begin, specifically in the song ‘Vina Bheri’ there are a lot of instruments being utilized to create the overall rhythm of the song. I would say this song works together to form more of a rhythm for dancing than a melody.

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The first instrument used in this song is very obviously the sitar, which is a instrument which is commonly found throughout music produced in South Asia, and is identified as an chordophone, due to the fact that it consists of several long cords stretched across a wooden body to produce its sound. The sound the sitar produces is very distinct and easy to tell apart from other chordophones because the sitar has a characteristic 'lush background drone' which is produced from its sympathetic strings resonating with the plucked string.

After that it is evident that there is also some use of membranophone in the song, because we hear someone hitting a very hollow sounding drum in the background. The instrument they use in their classical Indian music is very similar to bongos, but has some mild differences. The instrument is referred to as the tabla, and it made up of two connected drums, one bigger than the other that are played by beating one’s hand on the surface. The interesting thing about the tabla being played as a membranophone in the song is the fact that a lot more goes into playing them rather than just ‘beating them with your hand’. The hands and palms are utilized in complex configurations to create the vast variety of rhythms and sounds we hear in the song Vina Bheri. The complex configurations that produce the various sounds are reflected in mnemonic syllables; so a lot more thought is put into playing them than just ‘beating’ them.

Another interesting aspect to the song is the use of the singer’s voice. Often times we don’t think of voice as an ‘instrument’ as we would a guitar or flute, but the vocalist can manipulate and control their voice just as one would play an instrument. This is especially exemplified in the song Vina Bheri as we hear the singer’s voice go through various changes to reflect the pace and rhythm of the song. At times she utilizes methods that sound a lot like influences of throat singing where she is able to control the vibrations of her voice.

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The singer’s voice plays a lot into the structure of the song, seeing as it starts off very slow and builds overtime inciting an element of suspense. In a lot of Indian classical music the themes of their songs revolve around Hinduism and great tales of Hindu deities. These performances which include music and dancing are referred to as ‘Raga’, where the performers dance to the classical music and dress up in elaborate festive wardrobes to depict these epic tales of the deities. They spend years mastering dances, which include various difficult facial muscle movements and finger movements. The songs range in pace, beginning slow as they enter into the story and when the story becomes suspenseful the music reflects that. I feel that this song abides by the structure of Raga because it utilizes the same genre of Indian music and is structured the same way where the pace speeds up over time and the instruments and vocal range also shift to accommodate the speed and tempo of the music.

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An Analysis of the South Indian Classical Music. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
“An Analysis of the South Indian Classical Music.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018,
An Analysis of the South Indian Classical Music. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2023].
An Analysis of the South Indian Classical Music [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 05 [cited 2023 Dec 2]. Available from:
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