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.
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.
In order to further understand the South Indian system, We have, on the next page, included the Chart of 72 South Indian Melaas (Melaas are the Carnaatic counterpart to North Indian Thaats). Some believe the present 10 Thaats were selected from these 72. Although opinions differ on this it is a fact that the Carnaatic Mela scheme is very comprehensive.
On the chart we have marked the North Indian corresponding Thaats. For example Hanumat Todi Mela is N. I. Bhairavi Thaat, and Mechakalyaani Mela is N. I. Kalyaan Thaat. The complete work on the 72 Melaas with recorded Kritis is presently being prepared. Please enquire for details and availability.
Finally, we would like to thank all of you that have shown enthusiastic support for these projects. Special thanks to Ralph Abraham for his ever present helping hand in reading and editing these pages. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Robben Hixon for his untiring help in creating the Sargam fonts for our publishing program, and most of all a special thanks to the rest of the Batish family members that have kept the Publishing and Recording portion operating allowing us to concentrate fully on these works.
Shiv Dayal Batish