Raaja University

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Raaja University

Post  ravinat on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:11 pm

Everybody has their own way of learning music - some learn from gurus, some go through private tuition and others take formal university courses. Without exception, both Western and Carnatic music schools have two common streams to it. 

1. Music theory
2. Music history

Music theory is the dry grammar that can bore most performers. Music history is an equally dry topic that covers the historic development of music. Western classical music makes this distinction and CCM does not go that deep. When it comes to music history the WCM world clearly identifies music development into ages such as romantic, baroque etc. The Carnatic world is not that structured. It's more of Trinity and days before and after. I always thought that someday in the future there will be a university that teaches both these schools of music with strong examples from one composer - Raaja. It has to somehow come out with two more large course topics:

3. Folk music and paradigms
4. Crossover, fusion and integration of musical systems

For topics 3 and 4, the course developers have to create their own materials as none exists as reference. I must call our CSR for his excellent work in illustrating WCM with Raaja examples in his blog that is sort of a precursor to such an effort. I am not sure if we have anything on CCM with Raaja as the center. I know that Narayanan tried to do a few lessons to get the ordinary listener to appreciate the nuances of Carnatic music. However, it is not structured the way CSR did it. 

This topic will look at what modern universities such as Open MIT/Coursera offer as courses on WCM and also some internet sites that try to structure Carnatic lessons. While Raaja has spoken off and on about his desire to contribute to a music university, it has not borne much fruit. We will be successful once there is agreement on the topics under these 4 main streams. Once we agree on these streams, it will trickle down to course topics which will trickle down further to chapters within these courses (or lessons). 

This thread may face an early death or get expanded depending on participation levels. No one person can contribute to all topics. The man with that knowledge has no inclination in detailing this. However, if such an endeavor bears fruit - who knows - someday , there will be courses on Coursera/Udemy on Raaja university.

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Re: Raaja University

Post  ravinat on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:15 pm

Here is the course syllabus on Open MIT on Western Music theory:

This course covers the following topics.



  • Elements of music

  • Practice and mastery

  • In-tune singing

  • Relative solmization

  • Ear training and sight-singing

  • Meter and rhythmic patterns

  • Melodic and rhythmic dictation

  • Individual and ensemble work

  • Two- and three-part work

  • Pitch names

  • Intervals

  • Scales and modes

  • Key signatures

  • Functional harmony

  • Chord progressions

  • Harmonic analysis

  • Harmonic dictation

  • Score reading


You can cover every topic in this with Raaja examples. This will cover the music theory stream. Most of this has been covered by CSR in his blog. 

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/music-and-theater-arts/21m-051-fundamentals-of-music-spring-2007/syllabus/

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Re: Raaja University

Post  ravinat on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:36 pm

Here is a typical Western Classical Music History syllabus that is taught in Universities in the West:


Lesson 1The Age of Enlightenment (1730-1770)

  • Age of Enlightenment (1730-1770)

  • Opera

  • Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

  • Age of Enlightenment and the Middle Class

  • The Early Symphony

  • Keyboard Music

  • Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia (1723-1787)

  • Assignment 1: Public Performances of the Age of Enlightenment


Lesson 2Classical Music in Vienna

  • Classical and Neoclassical Architecture and the Classical Style

  • Characteristics of the Classical Style

  • Ternary Form

  • Sonata-Allegro Form

  • Rondo Form

  • Theme and Variations Form

  • Classical Instrumental Genres

  • Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

  • Maria Theresia von Paradis

  • Assignment 2: Compare Mozart and Haydn


Lesson 3The Music of Beethoven

  • Ludwig Van Beethoven

  • Beethoven and His Early Piano Works

  • Beethoven's Middle Period: 1802-1814

  • Beethoven and Napoleon

  • The Opera Fidelio

  • Beethoven's Late Period: 1815-1826

  • Beethoven's Death

  • Assignment 3: Review a Classical Era Piece


Lesson 4The Early Romantic Period

  • Romanticism

  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

  • Music in Paris

  • Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

  • Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)

  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

  • Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

  • Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

  • Assignment 4: Compositions by Robert and Clara Schumann


Lesson 5Romantic Opera and Nationalism

  • Opera in the Nineteenth Century

  • German Opera: Carl Maria Von Weber (1786-1826)

  • Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

  • Opera in Italy: Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

  • Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

  • Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

  • Assignment 5: Concept of Nationalism


Lesson 6Vienna, Prague, and Russia

  • Music in Vienna

  • Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)

  • The War of the Romantics

  • Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)

  • Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)

  • Russian Music: The Kutchka (The Five)

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

  • Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

  • Alma Mahler (1879-1901)

  • Assignment 6: "War of the Romantics"


Lesson 7End of the Romantic Era, England and Italy

  • England at the End of the Romantic Period

  • Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

  • Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958)

  • Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)

  • Opera in Milan after Verdi

  • Assignment 7: Elgar’s Enigma Variations


Lesson 8Impressionism: Debussy, Fauré, and Boulanger

  • Timeline: End of the Romantic Period

  • Impressionism

  • The Poetry of Verlaine

  • Claude Debussy: His Harmony and Music

  • Gabriel Fauré

  • Lili Boulanger

  • Assignment 8: Summation of the Romantic Era


Lesson 9The Early Twentieth Century: Strauss, Stravinsky, The Six, and Ravel

  • Timeline: The Early Twentieth Century

  • Richard Strauss (1864–1949)

  • Music after 1900

  • Russia: "The Silver Age"

  • Maurice Ravel

  • Music after World War 1

  • Assignment 9: John Williams Movie Scores


Lesson 10Atonality, Twelve-Tone, and Serial Music

  • Timeline: The Twentieth Century

  • Atonality

  • The Twelve Tone Method

  • Anton Webern

  • Rebecca Clarke

  • Alban Berg

  • Milton Babbitt and Serialism

  • Assignment 10: First Installment Final Project


Lesson 11Composers in the Twentieth Century: Ives, Copeland, Seeger, Barber, and Chávez

  • Timeline: The Early Twentieth Century

  • Béla Bartók (1881–1945)

  • Charles Ives

  • Ruth Crawford Seeger

  • Aaron Copeland

  • Samuel Barber

  • Music in Latin America

  • Assignment 11: Second Installment of the Final Project


Lesson 12Music after 1945: Chance, Electronic, Textures, and Minimalism

  • Timeline: Contemporary Music

  • Krzysztof Penderecki

  • Chance Music: John Cage

  • Electronic Music

  • New Textures

  • Steve Reich and Minimalism

  • Joan Tower

  • John Adams: Transformation of Minimalism

  • Returning to the Known: Music of the Recent Past

  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

  • Assignment 12: Last Installment of the Final Project




https://online.berklee.edu/courses/music-history-of-the-western-world-2-classical-romantic-and-modern



Though it may be hard to illustrate every form of WCM history with Raja's work, he is the only composer who can be used to illustrate at least 30 to 40% of these composers.

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Re: Raaja University

Post  ravinat on Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:06 pm

Unlike the Western world and universities, it is not easy to find course syllabus of Carnatic music taught in universities in India. Nor is it easy to find an authoritative course on the history of Carnatic music. 'Documenting' has never been part of the Indian culture and music is no exception. Please correct me if I am wrong.

As I tried to find some information on the historical perspective of Carnatic music, I did find some interesting sources. Here is a nice visual on the history.

http://www.musicnamaste.com/history-of-carnatic-music/

Hers is a nice youtube video:



Most history is very scant and it stops with naming 6 or 7 important composers/contributors. To me, this is a huge flaw, as a grand system that has survived thousands of years cannot be the contribution of a handful.

Contrast this to Western classical music where they not only divide things up into ages, but also trace the development of their music by several contributors/composers during each era.

I am sure there are a lot of hidden sources for this and perhaps I do not have access to it...

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Re: Raaja University

Post  app_engine on Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:15 am

Great initiative, ravinat sir!

Obviously, contribution here needs in-depth knowledge - and I'll be a happy reader to be around Smile

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