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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Sitar player Som Majumdar and tabla player Sri Vinod Mishra will perform a concert and lecture on the topic "What is expected of the audience? What of the performer? What of the student?" on Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m. in the Eliot Hall chapel at Reed College. The lecture and concert, co-sponsored by Reed and Kalakendra, is free and open to the public. For more information call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

The evening serves as an introduction to the sitar and tabla and will help the listener enter the larger world of Indian classical music.

The tabla is a pair of drums typically played as accompaniment to North Indian classical and popular music. The tabla is unique in its intricate rhythm patterns and the fact that each note and combination of notes are named and have a pitch that can produce an independent line of music.

The sitar is a stringed instrument with seven main strings on a top row and a variable number of strings below the main ones. The frets are moveable with no fixed notes, so scales are adjustable. Sitar music is traditionally structured through ragas, skeleton rules for the strictly structured improvisation of long pieces. Every raga includes in its rules a context for playing such as season, time, and mood. The combination of improvisation (as distinct from Western classical music) and strict rules (as distinct from jazz) is what is original to Indian classical music and the sitar.

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