How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano & Indian Raags for Piano Made Easy & Rāga Jogiya Kalingra “Aroma of Saffron”

How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano (2016)


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258-page book by composer John Pitts, with sheet music for 24 raags, step by step instructions and hundreds of musical examples to try out.

This collection of 24 raags will be enjoyed by good amateur pianists through to virtuosic professionals. It is suitable for any pianist who enjoys discovering new music, or who has an interest in music from other cultures, or who knows the pleasure of jazz noodling and wants to explore a rewarding and fresh (but centuries-old) form of improvisation.

Indian raags have an extraordinary musical heritage dating back several centuries (from the area that is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) – a truly unique musical genre of fascinating melodic beauty and rhythmic intricacy – freely combining elaborate composed melodies with carefully rehearsed improvisation.

But now the amazing world of Indian raags has been opened up in this sympathetic but thorough reinvention for piano solo (or duet or two pianos) by an award-winning British composer (www.johnpitts.co.uk).   Read more here...  Watch video samples from the book.



Indian Raags for Piano Made Easy (2018)

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34pp, Publ.9Jan2018, Intensely Pleasant Music

This book is a collection of six Indian raags, re-imagined for piano, and simplified for fledgling pianists (both children and adults).  The purpose is to provide an introductory experience of classical Indian music-making in an easy, hands-on way at a piano, offering a very accessible first encounter with improvisation.  It is designed for near-beginners (pre-grade 1) through to early intermediate players, and can be used as a stepping stone to the much bigger volume for more advanced pianists: How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano (Intensely Pleasant Music, 2016).

The first three raags are each presented in three versions – “really easy”, “easy” and “quite easy/not so easy” – so that students and their teachers can quickly find a best fit for their level, and add complexity when ready.  Read more…



Rāga Jogiya Kalingra “Aroma of Saffron” (Christmas 2019)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1650187777  (Currently only available from Amazon)
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The word rāga literally means ‘to colour’, and from that also ‘to induce passion’ or ‘emotion’. The musical term rāga refers to a performance, within the melodic and structural conventions of Indian classical music, that evokes a particular emotion. Rāga Jogiya Kalingra “Aroma of Saffron” evokes a mood of wonder:

It is night-time. Strong breezes blow through purple fields of the beautiful saffron flower, its red stigma the source of the world’s most expensive spice, releasing wafts of powerful fragrance.

This through-composed Rāga Jogiya Kalingra “Aroma of Saffron” is a solo performance piece for piano lasting around 16 minutes. It is a fully fleshed-out version of the musical material from the 12th rāga/raag in the book How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano (2016) by British composer John Pitts, and is suitable for advanced pianists.

Indian rāgas have an extraordinary musical heritage dating back several centuries (from the area that is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) – a truly unique musical genre of fascinating melodic beauty and rhythmic intricacy – freely combining elaborate composed melodies with carefully rehearsed improvisation.

With improvisation being such an important element in the performance of Indian rāgas, sheet music of a through-composed and fully-notated rāga may seem like a contradiction in terms. However, this piece, with its notated sections of ‘improvisation’, is designed to serve two purposes: 1) as a model example of how to follow the ample instructions in rāga improvisation for owners of copies of How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano; and 2) simply as a performance piece in its own right for classical pianists who are used to playing entirely from written music.



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