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Rāga

(177 words)

Author(s): Moser, Heike
[German Version] (lit. “dye, passion, red”) denotes in both North and South Indian music the musical mode. The definition of a rāga covers the fixed base tone, the central tones, and the group of permitted tones that make possible the improvised development of a theme or the composition of multi-part art songs (South India), as long as specific rules and stylistic features (ornamentations and melisma) are observed. Moreover, the emotional mood plays an important part: in North Indian music it is related to times of …

Rasa

(280 words)

Author(s): Moser, Heike
[German Version] (lit. “taste, essence”) is primarily a term from Indian aesthetics and poetics that includes archetypal moods, the essence of what can be experienced, and of human feelings as such. The oldest written source is thought to be the Nāṭyaśāstra, a dance and theater manual, dated to the 2nd century (Kūtiyāṭṭam, Indian ¶ dance). It already lists eight of the nine moods current today: śṛṇgāra, “erotic mood”; hāsya, “comic”; karuṇa, “compassion”; raudra, “terrifying”; vīra, “heroic”; bhayānaka, “terrible”; bībhatsa, “revolting,” and adbhuta, “wonderful”; the l…