Wheeler, Michael

A Practical Method for Taus, Dilruba, and Esraj – Level 1: Beginner

The three popular Indian string instruments taus, dilruba and esraj are so closely related to each other in terms of playing technique, history and repertoire that they can be treated together in one textbook.

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A brief introduction to the history of the three instruments is followed by practical chapters on their structures, handling and tuning. Next is an overview of concepts and terms of the Indian music tradition and two chapters with basic exercises for left and right hand, systematically developing the skills for playing simple compositions. Finally the book includes five chapters with exercises and songs in the five Indian scales Bilawal, Kafi, Bhairava, Kalyan and Asawari.

The good didactic treatment is impressive. Beginners are taken by the hand and carefully guided step by step. Several chapters end with questionnaires for checking the learner's understanding of that chapter, thus encouraging a more than superficial study of the presented information. Occasionally there is room to make one's own notes. Numerous figures illustrate what has been said. Again and again there are references to further sources like books, films and websites. The layout is pleasantly large and clear. The parallel use of Western staff notation and Indian letter notation offers alternative access options. And the selection of music from classical ragas to Sikh kirtans, folk music from Afghanistan and the Punjab to Bengali Tagore songs offers a rich variety for different tastes - making the book a treasure trove for singers and other instrumentalists, too!

A Practical Method for Thousand, Dilruba, and Esraj can be used very well as a basis for self-study. But it is also suitable as an accompanying material for studying with a teacher. In order to avoid confusion in this process, the book repeatedly points out the many different possibilities of playing techniques that are used in different traditions. This can be seen as an invitation to try things your own way - which is a good first preparation for making your own technical and artistic decisions at a more advanced level.

The author Michael C. Wheeler studied Western music and world music in Great Britain and the USA, and learned sitar from Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, Indian singing from Haresh Bakshi and taus from Surinder Singh. He works as a composer, musician and music pedagogue.

The three popular Indian string instruments taus, dilruba and esraj are so closely related to each other in terms of playing technique, history and repertoire that they can be treated together in one textbook. A brief introduction to the history of the three instruments is followed by practical chapters on their structures, handling and tuning. Next is an overview of concepts and terms of the Indian music tradition and two chapters with basic exercises for left and right hand, systematically developing the skills for playing simple compositions. Finally the book includes five chapters with exercises and songs in the five Indian scales Bilawal, Kafi, Bhairava, Kalyan and Asawari.

The good didactic treatment is impressive. Beginners are taken by the hand and carefully guided step by step. Several chapters end with questionnaires for checking the learner's understanding of that chapter, thus encouraging a more than superficial study of the presented information. Occasionally there is room to make one's own notes. Numerous figures illustrate what has been said. Again and again there are references to further sources like books, films and websites. The layout is pleasantly large and clear. The parallel use of Western staff notation and Indian letter notation offers alternative access options. And the selection of music from classical ragas to Sikh kirtans, folk music from Afghanistan and the Punjab to Bengali Tagore songs offers a rich variety for different tastes - making the book a treasure trove for singers and other instrumentalists, too!

A Practical Method for Thousand, Dilruba, and Esraj can be used very well as a basis for self-study. But it is also suitable as an accompanying material for studying with a teacher. In order to avoid confusion in this process, the book repeatedly points out the many different possibilities of playing techniques that are used in different traditions. This can be seen as an invitation to try things your own way - which is a good first preparation for making your own technical and artistic decisions at a more advanced level.

The author Michael C. Wheeler studied Western music and world music in Great Britain and the USA, and learned sitar from Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, Indian singing from Haresh Bakshi and taus from Surinder Singh. He works as a composer, musician and music pedagogue.

132 pages, 22 x 28 cm, laminated paperback, numerous notations and coloured illustrations.132 pages, 22 x 28 cm, laminated paperback, numerous notations and coloured illustrations.