The mission of Kamal Music Center is to offer music as a unifying force. The Center of Indian Music celebrates the diversity offered in Indian music by offering different courses in music. If Kamal Music Center does not satisfy you than no one can. If you have urge to learn music, Kamal Music Center is right place to develop your talent. Please note that the minimum age for all courses is 5 years. We believe it’s never toolate to learn music. In fact, our oldest student is 70 years old.
North Indian Vocal & Instrumental Music
Vocal music is a genre of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instruments, in which singing (i.e. vocal performance) provides the main focus of the piece. Vocal music typically features sung words called lyrics. A short piece of vocal music with lyrics is broadly termed a song. Vocal music is probably the oldest form of music, since it does not require any instrument besides the human voice. The vocal tradition is especially strong in Indian music.
It goes without saying that the song is probably the most ancient form of music. Vocal music occupies a considerable part of the Natya Shastra. Contemporary musical forms are built up from very well-defined structures. These structures such as a primary theme, a secondary theme and other elements form a structured framework in which a largely improvised system of music can work. The Vocal Forms of Indian Music are Kheyal, Bhajan, Tarana, Dhrupad, Dhammar, Dadra, Gazal, Geet, Thumri, Qawwali, Kirtan or Dhun, Shabad, Ginans, Hymens, Lakshangeet, Film Songs, Folk Music and Swarmalika.
The Dholak is a North Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese double-headed hand-drum. It may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tensioning: in the former case rings are used for tuning, though the dholak is mainly a folk instrument, lacking the exact tuning of the tabla or the pakhawaj. It is widely used in qawwali, kirtan and various styles of North Indian folk music.
It was formerly much used in classical dance. The drum is either played on the player’s lap or, while standing, slung from the shoulder or waist. The shell is usually made from sheesham or shisham wood (Dalbergiasissoo). The process of hollowing out the drum (its resultant shape and the surface of the drum’s interior, whether left rough-hewn by a drum carver or carefully smoothed) determines the tone quality of a dholak.
The dholak’s right-hand head is a simple membrane, while the left-hand head is of a greater diameter and has a special coating, a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch. The high-pitched drum head may also be played using a thin (1/4″/6 mm or less) long (over 14″/30 cm) stick of solid rattan or hardwood (rattan is preferred for its flexibility), and the low-pitched drum head is played either by hand or using a somewhat thicker, semiangled stick, roughly the shape of a small hockey stick. The drum is pitched depending on size, with an interval of perhaps a perfect fourth or perfect fifth between the two heads.
It is related to the larger Punjabi dhol and the smaller dholki. Similar drums with similar names are found elsewhere in western Asia. Indian children sing and dance to the beat of the dholak during prewedding festivities in many Indian communities. It is often used in Filmi Songs.
Esraj / Dilruba
The esraj is a string instrument found in two forms throughout the north, central, and east regions of India. It is a young instrument by Indian terms, being only about 200 years old. The dilruba is found in the north, where it is used in religious music and light classical songs in the urban areas. Its name is translated as “robber of the heart.” The esraj is found in the east and central areas, particularly Bengal, as well as Bangladesh, and it is used in a somewhat wider variety of musical styles than is the dilruba.
The Dilruba originates from the Taus and some argue is the work of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, whilst that of the Taus was the work of Guru Har Gobind (the sixth guru of the Sikhs). The Dilruba was then produced to replace the previously heavy instrument (the Taus). This attempt was intended to ‘scale down’ the Taus into what is now known to be the Dilruba. This made it more convenient for the Sikh army to carry the instrument on horseback.
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel-Sachs, flutes are categorized as Edge-blown aerophones. Flutes are the earliest known musical instruments. A number of flutes dating to about 40,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe.
The bamboo flute is an important instrument in Indian classical music, and developed independently of the Western flute. The Hindu God Krishna is traditionally considered a master of the Bansuri. The Indian flutes are very simple compared to the Western counterparts; they are made of bamboo and are keyless. With his virtuosic blowing technique, Hariprasad Chaurasia has turned the Bansuri (bamboo) flute into an instrument of beauty. Blending the musical traditions of India with imagination and innovation, Chaurasia has reached beyond classical music to create a sound of his own.
A harmonium is a free-standing keyboard instrument similar to a reed organ. Sound is produced by air, supplied by foot-operated or hand-operated bellows, being blown through sets of free reeds, resulting in a sound similar to that of an accordion. The British introduced harmoniums to North India during the colonial period. At the peak of the instruments’ Western popularity around 1900, a wide variety of styles of harmoniums were being produced. These ranged from simple models with plain cases and only 4 or 5 stops (if any at all), up to large instruments with ornate cases, up to a dozen stops and other mechanisms such as couplers.
Expensive harmoniums were often built to resemble pipe organs, with ranks of fake pipes attached to the top of the instrument. The last mass-producer of harmoniums in the West was the Estey company, which ceased manufacture in the mid-1950s. As the existing stock of instruments aged and spare parts became hard to find, more and more were either scrapped or sold. It was not uncommon for harmoniums to be ‘modernized’ by having electric blowers fitted, often very unsympathetically.
The majority of Western harmoniums today are in the hands of enthusiasts, though the instrument remains popular in South Asia. The South Asian harmonium has undergone changes, however, from the Western prototype. South Asian music is based on melody, rather than harmony, which makes two-handed playing unnecessary, and South Asian musicians are used to sitting cross-legged on the ground or kneeling to play, Kamal Music Center offers Harmonium Training along with Vocal Music.
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purling, but usually doesn’t feature an intricately carved grille like a Baroque era mandolin. Mandolin music was used in the Indian Movies as far back as the 1940s by the Raj Kapoor Studios in movies such as Barsaat, Awara etc.
Adoption of the mandolin in Carnatic music is recent and, being essentially a very small electric guitar, the instrument itself bears rather small resemblance to European and American mandolins. U. Srinivas has, over the last couple of decades, made his version of the mandolin very popular in India and abroad. Many adaptations of the instrument have been done to cater to the special needs of Indian Carnatic music. This type of mandolin is also used in Bhangra, dance music popular in Punjabi culture.
The Tabla is a popular Indian percussion instrument used in Hindustani classical music and in popular and devotional music of the Indian subcontinent. The instrument consists of a pair of hand drums of contrasting sizes and timbres. It consists of a small right-hand drum called the ‘dayan’ and a larger metal one called the ‘bayan’.
The term tabla is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which simply means “drum.” Playing technique involves extensive use of the fingers and palms in various configurations to create a wide variety of different sounds, reflected in the mnemonic syllables (bol). The heel of the hand is used to apply pressure or in a sliding motion on the larger drum so that the pitch is changed during the sound’s decay.
The Naal is a popular Indian percussion instrument used in Light Hindustani Music. Naal drum originated in India and is a wooden two headed drum. It is a double ended drum it sounds like a cross between dholk and Tabla. It is a drum with a barrel shaped shell. The left side resembles the bayan (large metal drum of the tabla) except that it uses dholak masala (oil based application) on the inner surface instead of a syahi (permanent black spot).
The right head is unique in its construction. Goat-skin is stitched onto an iron ring. In the centre of this skin is a syahi, similar to tabla except much thinner.
The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages.
It derives its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber. Used throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in Northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the sitar became known in the western world through the work of Pandit Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s, particularly after George Harrison of The Beatles took lessons from Shankar and Shambhu Das and played sitar in songs including “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”.
Shortly after, The Rolling Stones used sitar in “Paint It, Black” and a brief fad began for using the instrument in pop songs.