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      Ragatime: Glimpses of Akbar’s Court at Fatehpur Sikri

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017) (EVA)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      11 – 13 July 2017

      Visual Music, Hindustani classical music, Raga Bilaskhani Todi, Fatehpur Sikri, Mian Tansen, Emperor Akbar

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          Abstract

          ‘Ragatime’ is a piece of Visual Music in the form of a raga that recreates the sights and sounds of Akbar’s Court at Fatehpur Sikri. As the centre of the Mughal Empire for a brief period in the 16 th century, Fatehpur Sikri was remarkable for its architecture, art and music. Akbar’s favourite musician, Mian Tansen, was responsible for developing a genre of Hindustani classical music known as dhrupad; it’s the principles of this genre that I’ve encapsulated in my own interpretation of Raga Bilaskhani Todi. Ragatime starts with a free flowing alap which, as tradition dictates, sets the rasa (emotion or sentiment) of the piece. The following section, gat, is announced by rhythmic drumming which signals the soloist to begin an extended improvisation on the Raga’s defined note pattern. It is the subtle differences in the order of notes, an omission of a dissonant note, an emphasis on a particular note, the slide from one note to another, and the use of microtones together with other subtleties, that demarcate one raga from another. To Western ears, raga is a musical form that remains ambiguous and elusive; only a declared master of the art, or guru, can breathe life into each raga as he or she unfolds and expands it. Similarly, a raga’s tala, or rhythm, requires a freedom of expression that embraces the ‘rhythm of the universe as personified by Shiva, Lord of the Dance’. It’s a tradition that goes back 2000 years or more when ragas were an integral part of Vedic ceremonies in Hindu temples. For a short time, Fatehpur Sikri was the setting for Akbar’s inspired patronage of the arts; it was a place where music and raga performance flourished. Tansen’s fame lives on; even for present day raga performers, his compositions are regarded as being as relevant now as when they were first performed at Akbar’s court.

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          Most cited references 3

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          Revealing the Colours of the Apocalypse through Visual Music

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            Revealing the Colours of the Apocalypse through Visual Music

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              The Ravi Shankar Foundation.

               R Shankar,  R. SHANKAR (2017)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                July 2017
                July 2017
                : 304-310
                Affiliations
                London NW8 9RE

                UK
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/EVA2017.61
                © Trickett. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2017, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)
                EVA
                London, UK
                11 – 13 July 2017
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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