Hindustani classical music is an ancient art, where musicians perform ragas, or scales of notes with specific rules as to how one can move up/down the scales, which notes can be emphasized, what time of day they can be performed, what kinds of moods they evoke, and what phrases can and cannot be used. In this Honors thesis, I performed Raga Maru Bihag, an early night romantic raga. I performed three compositions within this raga, in slow, medium, and fast speeds. The majority of the performance was improvised, as is typical of Hindustani music. In addition to providing video footage of the performance, I have included an essay covering the history of Hindustani classical music, a stylistic analysis of my performance, and the cultural significance of the concert. The history section covers major developments in the art starting from its inception in 2500 BCE and details the contributions of important figures in Hindustani classical music. The stylistic analysis of the performance breaks down each and every element of the raga's presentation and development, with video links accompanying relevant descriptions. Lastly, the cultural significance section discusses the importance of the audience's behavior, artists' behavior, setting, invocation, gestures, etc. Collectively, the thesis will introduce the reader to Hindustani classical music and use a specific performance as a point of reference to showcase unique elements of the art style.
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