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CCC JAM session summary – April 2015

posted Apr 27, 2015, 8:39 AM by CCC Editor   [ updated May 5, 2015, 6:17 PM ]

Hello everyone, 
This is Geeta Shankar and I chose the topic of harmony in Carnatic Music as the CCC JAM session topic. I've always been mesmerized by the beauty and impact harmony can have on a piece. However, it is obviously implemented more often in Western music, which is another reason why I was even more curious to apply harmonic devices in Carnatic music. 

We chose the English Note by Madurai Mani Iyer to practice four-part harmony. The different vocal parts were Soprano I, Soprano II, Alto, and Tenor. The Sopranos had a shruthi range of G#-B. The altos had a shruthi range E-G. The tenors had a sruthi of D or lower. Some of the chords we implemented in our arrangement were major triads, subdominant chord, and dominant chord.

Fun Fact: A major triad can be sung as S G3 P 
A subdominant triad can be sung as P N3 R2
A dominant triad can be sung as M1 D2 S

I introduced the concept and piece by sending the participants a recording of all the four parts sung together and a notation of all the different parts. CCC's bright students were able to sing their respective parts within a matter of ten minutes of practice in their sections. 

The performance came out well for just the 2 meeting we had! Based on the success and inspiration of this piece, I am curious to see what our musical minds can create next.

Thank you,