Quiz Questions

Chapter Eight

1. The term introduced in the chapter that refers to the note-by-note expansion of a raga in performance (as well as other manifestations of a raga’s “growth”) is

a. alap
b. barhat
c. jhala
d. tala

2. Although India has great religious diversity, the majority of the population is

a. Muslim
b. Hindu
c. Buddhist
d. Christian

3. The oldest style of Hindu religious chant, based on ancient Hindu scriptures, is

a. Vedic chant
b. Bhajan
c. Qawwali
d. Bhangra

4. A distinctive difference of Sufism compared to other forms of Islam is that in Sufism

a. many gods are recognized
b. it is believed that religious images should be cherished
c. it is believed that music may serve as a pathway to the divine
d. all of the above

5. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan became an international star singing a style of Sufi music called

a. bhajan
b. bhangra
c. qawwali
d. veda

6. The “two great traditions” of Indian classical music discussed in the chapter are

a. Raga and Tala
b. Hindustani and Karnatak
c. Bhangra and Bhajan
d. Bhajan and Rahman

7. Bhangra is a musical style that

a. originated in Punjabi folk songs
b. is often featured in Bollywood films
c. is very popular among diasporic communities outside of India
d. all of the above

8. Hindustani and Karnatak music are similar in that they both

a. use raga as a basis of melody
b. use tala as a basis of rhythm/meter
c. were strongly and equally influenced in their development by Islamic cultures
d. A and B, but not C

9. Hindustani and Karnatak music are different in that

a. Hindustani music is more focused on singing
b. Karnatak music has had more recognition outside of India
c. the specific ragas, talas, and music-related terminologies differ in the two traditions
d. music is associated with dance forms in Karnatak but not in Hindustani traditions

10. Which of the following features is NOT a part of traditional Indian classical music?

a. single-line melody
b. harmonized melody
c. rhythmic accompaniment
d. drone

11. Members of a gharana are typically united by

a. affiliation with particular film production companies
b. a shared style or approach to musical performance practice
c. membership in the same Sufi devotional clan
d. exclusive use of one specific tala throughout their lives

12. According to Ravi Shankar’s “An Introduction to Indian Music,” a raga is

a. a rhythmic cycle of sixteen beats
b. akin to jazz
c. a precise melody form
d. a type of tabla

13. Which of the following define a Hindustani raga?

a. an identifying set of pitches
b. specific melodic ornaments
c. specific extramusical associations
d. all of the above

14. Which of the following is NOT a standard feature of a tala?

a. a basic, skeletal rhythmic pattern in the drumming part
b. a strong first beat called sam
c. a flexible rhythmic pattern in which the number of beats can change from one cycle to the next
d. a specific pattern of relatively stronger and weaker beats

15. The alap section of a raga features

a. a tala metric cycle
b. melodic improvisation
c. drumming accompaniment
d. all of the above

16. The gat section of a raga features

a. a tala metric cycle
b. drumming accompaniment
c. passages of improvisation
d. all of the above

17. During the gat, the “growth” of a raga is evident in

a. slow and abstract movement without meter
b. a gradual and steady increase in tempo
c. patterns that become longer and more complex
d. B and C, but not A

18. The skeletal drum pattern that outlines the basic rhythmic structure of a tala is called the

a. tali
b. theka
c. tintal
d. tihai

19. The “empty” or weak beat in a tala cycle, marked by a silent wave of the hand when keeping tal, is called

a. sam
b. tali
c. khali
d. tintal

20. A rhythmic pattern that is repeated three times in succession at the conclusion of a performance is called a

a. tihai
b. triloka
c. tintal
d. tala

21. Ravi Shankar believed that Indian raga and American jazz

a. were essentially the same since both featured improvisation
b. were closely related because both featured similar types of complex rhythms
c. were resolutely distinct, despite the fact that both feature improvisation and exciting rhythms
d. were so fundamentally different that Indian musicians and jazz musicians should never play music together

22. Although Ravi Shankar was generally tolerant of new contexts for Indian music, he was strongly opposed to

a. the use of Indian instruments in jazz
b. the use of Indian instruments in rock
c. the use of drugs by audience members at Indian music concerts
d. all of the above

23. Which of the following influential recordings was the first to be recorded?

a. Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin’s West Meets East
b. Ravi Shankar and Bud Shank’s Improvisations
c. The Beatles’ “Within You, Without You”
d. The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”

24. The group Shakti

a. featured John McLaughlin on guitar
b. featured Ravi Shankar on sitar
c. was formed by A. R. Rahman in the 1980s
d. all of the above

25. Playback singers are famous in India for __________ in Bollywood films.

a. appearing
b. appearing and singing
c. singing, but not appearing


1. “Ishq” (disk 2, track 20) is an example of a

a. Hindu devotional song
b. Sufi song
c. Hindustani classical improvisation
d. none of the above

Answer: b

2. In the spoken introduction of “Raga Sindhi-Bhairavi” (disk 2, track 23), Ravi Shankar plays a scale that

a. sounds exactly the same ascending as descending
b. sounds different in the descending than in the ascending
c. derives from Indian notes “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Da Ni”
d. B and C only

Answer: d

3. After Ravi Shankar’s spoken introduction of “Raga Sindhi-Bhairavi (disk 2, track 23), the piece begins with

a. an improvised, non-metric alap
b. the main composition section called gat
c. a rhythmic cycle of 16-beats
d. all of the above

Answer: a

4. The part of “Raga Sindhi-Bhairavi (disk 2, track 23) in which the drums enter (at 5:52) marks the beginning of the ____________ section

a. alap
b. jor
c. gat
d. jhala

Answer: c

5. The song “Barso Re” (disk 3, track 3) is

a. sung by the actress in a Bollywood film
b. sung by a singer who does not appear in the film
c. based on raga improvisation
d. none of the above

Answer: b

6. Which of the following recordings do NOT combine elements of Indian music with jazz or pop music?

a. “Raga Sindhi-Bhairavi (disk 2, track 23)
b. “India” (disk 3, track 1)
c. “Joy” (disk 3, track 2)
d. “Barso Re” (disk 3, track 3)

Answer: a


1. Discuss similarities and differences between northern (Hindustani) and southern (Karnatak) Indian musical styles. What historical events have helped to shape these two traditions?

2. How does a raga develop in a musical performance? What are the four formal sections of a raga that are presented in this chapter?

3. Discuss how Indian classical music has become a prominent component of global popular music. What are some ways in which Ravi Shankar, John Coltrane, and John McLaughlin have contributed to this phenomenon?