Music at School


Indian Music

Indian Music Structure Sheet

I’ve uploaded the sheet for filling in Indian Structure and their features:



The term “cyclic” refers to musical structure. It is where a composer will use sections of music and repeat them over and over again (like a cycle) before moving to the next section. It is common in Gamelan and Indian Music.

Indian Structure

  • There are lots of terms assoicated with Indian Structure (how the music is organised). Here are some important terms:
  • Alap – generally the first section. Slow and in free time. The raag is introduced through improvisations on the sitar. This helps to set the mood of the music. The sitar is often accompanied by the tambura that plays a drone.
  • Jhor – the beat starts (not neccesarily the drums) – just a regular sense of pulse. The music that had been improvised not starts to become more rhythmic. The music also becomes more elaborate and the tempo increases to a moderate pace.
  • Jhala – this is a fast section that has exciting drum patterns. This section is often used to show off the abilities of the players.
  • Gat- the final section which gets faster and faster to the end. This is where the drums introduce the rhythm cycle known as the tala and where the composition is “fixed”. / Bandish – this will replace the Gat it there is a singer. Musical dialogue takes place between the singer and the instrument. The sarangi ( violin type instrument) often accompanies the singer

They are the main sections, but within those sections you can also expect to hear rhythmic structures such as:

  • Vibhag
  • Vibhag Khali

Indian Instruments

Here are some indian instruments that you should know about:

  • Tabla Drums
  • Dhol drum
  • Sitar (plays meend & tan techniques)
  • Tambura (bass Sitar)
  • Voice
  • Surangi (looks like a violin and is played when there is a voice)
  • Bansuri (flute)

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