Melody will take us on a journey to India to meet our first artist, Falu. Use SG8, SG9 and SG10 to meet Falu and prepare your students to learn about the music of India.
There are two primary traditions in Indian classical music: Hindustani from northern India, and Carnatic from southern. Falu is trained in the Hindustani tradition, which places a special emphasis on improvisation. Both traditions are based on the concepts of raga and tala. Raga is the melodic structure, a series of notes akin to modes or scales, which establishes the color and the mood of a piece. There are hundreds of ragas; several dozen are used most widely. Tala (“clap” in Sanskrit) encompasses meter and rhythm, defining how the music moves through time. Changes to harmony are not as important in this tradition as they are in Western classical music. Instead, Indian classical music explores changing melodic shapes and ornaments, and the moods and feelings associated with different ragas.
Meet Falu Shah
Falu began her formal musical studies at the age of three in her hometown of Mumbai, India. In her early years, Falu trained rigorously under the late sarangi and vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan, and later with the legendary Kishori Amonkar. She came to the US in 2000, and began to integrate her formidable Indian classical training with a range of styles and genres, resulting in a singular sound. Her original songs and reimagining of Indian classics combine the contemporary with the ancient.
Falu’s Bazaar is an album that Falu created specifically for children in three languages—English, Hindi, and Gujarati—to introduce them to Indian culture in New York City (it is available on her website).