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Dr. Swarna Khuntia

Introduction to Hindustani Classical Violin Playing

August 17, 2010 at 3:35 AM

Hello Dear Friends,

I am Dr.Swarna Khuntia , Assistant Professor in Violin , working at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Today  I am going to discuss Hindustani Classical Violin Playing.Well I would like to say its totally different from the way what a Western Violinist play.Different right from the holding of Instrument ,the Posture,the  Sitting Position, the Playing Techniques and of course the music also  etc. But surprisingly The Indian way of Violin playing has attended the state of high level Proficiency as far as playing techniques are concerned. Some Stalwart Musicians who has contributed to this style are Ustad Baba Allaudin Khan, Pt.V.G.Jog,Padmabhusan Dr. Smt. N.Rajam, Sishir Kana Dahar Choudhury , Pandit D.K.Datar, Smt. Kala Ramnath,Dr.Sangeeta Shankar and a few young talents.

Just to give an idea to my reader I would like to give a link from you tube where My Mentor and teacher  Padmabhusan Dr. Smt. N.Rajam plays a Morning Melody in raga Todi  in  this style and I would like to add here that she is the Pioneer of this Gayaki Ang ( The Vocal Style of violin Playing) in which she has innovated a very commendable technique to play violin as close to the Vocal Music.Tabla Accompaniment is done by Sri.Ram Kumar Mishra who is a young talented Tabla player belongs to Banaras Gharana.

This is another Evening Melody named Raga Jai-Jaiwanti in which she played a bandish set to Tala - Vilambit Ektal and in  the Other link it is set to Tala -Teental. Tabla Accompaniment is been done by Sri.Abhijeet Banerjee and he accompanied her splendidly.

So wish you Happy watching.

If any body interested to know more can feel free to write me.

Swarna Khuntia




From Laurie Niles
Posted on August 17, 2010 at 7:50 PM

 I am always amazed at how many styles the violin can handle. Thank you for these links.

From Daniel Jenkins
Posted on August 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Thank you for sharing these with us.  Could you please tell us how the violin is tuned for Hindustani Classical Violin Playing?  It sounds like it must be a different tuning than for western classical music.



From bill kilpatrick
Posted on August 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM

that was fabulous - "vocal style" indeed! - thank you.

dr. swarna khuntia's youtube site:

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 2:49 AM

>>Could you please tell us how the violin is tuned for Hindustani Classical Violin Playing?  It sounds like it must be a different tuning than for western classical music.<<

I think it is A, D, A, E, with the G string being tuned to A (the next whole note). The drone in the background is a tanpura.

From Terry Hsu
Posted on August 18, 2010 at 8:15 PM

This is all really fascinating. I wonder if you could speak a little bit about what sorts of things you do to practice this type of music. I understand there is a different scale that includes 1/4 tones in addition to 1/2 tones. And do you listen to Western music as well. Are there things that you incorporate from listening to Western music? And perhaps you could tell us a little history of the origins of Indian violinplaying. Thank  you and I enjoyed the link.

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