Chalan Introduction

It is with great joy that we announce the release of this introductory Chalan set for the 10 Thaats of the North Indian music system. After the release of Raagopedia, we received numerous requests for more Chalans. Panditji then began a new book of Chalans. And although it started out as a single book, with each raagas' Chalan being limited to roughly two staff lines, it quickly grew as Panditji could not leave any portion of the expansion in a scaled down form. Thus the seven volume Chalan set was born.

Presently, Chalans for all 650+ raagas given in the Raagopedia, and about 60 Rare Raagas have been composed and notated. Each volume has an average of 100+ raagas and is approximately 300 - 350 pages in length. Due to the colossal nature of this Chalan work, plans are underway to release it on a 2 CD ROM set. Please enquire for more details and availability. All Chalans have been notated in Staff and Sargam. As with any written form of music that is unmetered, we recommend you keep the basic note values as shown. Play everything slowly, and absorb the various bends and twists. These can latter be speeded up to create numerous taans (licks) and musical compositions. Try to experiment, practice fluidity rather than a regimented playback pattern, and give equal time values to each quarter note.

Don't be afraid to pause, particularly on notes that offer resolution or ones that come at the end of a musical phrase. We have tried to suggest where you should pause by using half notes or whole notes and fermatas. So keep your eyes on the note values when reading the staff!

By their inherent nature, some raagas are controvercial, and there are various schools of thought on their practice. Whenever a shadow was cast on any technical issue related to a particular raaga, a separate segment in the Chalan was set aside to cover that variation.

Some beginning raaga theory and notation information has been included and a glossary has been added at the end.

The Companion Cassettes

Computer Playback of Raagas With Sampled Sargam Vocals

All Chalans are in the Key of C. We do stress that these cassettes are computer playback of the written notations and not virtuoso performances. They sound great but their purpose is to educate the listener on the raaga's Sargam and, through that, its progression and expansion. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a system which allows a computer to enable playback of musical sequences through systhesizers.

  • We sampled the Sargam notes (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni) in a three octave range - sung by Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish.

  • We entered all the Chalans into the computer.

  • The computer reads each respective note in the Chalan, sends MIDI, and the sampled Sa, Re, Ga etc. are sung by synthesizers. We cannot stress enough the importance of such a system for a student trying to learn and understand the musical Chalan phrases. This learning-by-listening approach, while simultaneously reading the Chalan charts, will make the musical passages sink deep in your memory. Or simply turn your cassette player on while you work and the raaga will slowly become a part of your thinking! As mentioned above, all 650+ raagas in the Raagopedia and about 60 added Rare Raagas are now in the MIDI Pandit format. Each is available on cassette with a copy of its respective notation. Please enquire for details.

    Raaga Help

    Every raaga Chalan has at its beginning, the information from the Raagopedia - Raaga Name; Thaat, Play time, Vaadi, and Samvaadi; followed by its Aarohi/Avarohi in Staff and Sargam notations. To this Raagopedia information are added new pointers that will help you understand the raaga more fully. These additions are: