Prabhanda is an ancient Indian word used for a group of pieces, similar in a way to a Western suite.  The composition consists of eight pieces for cello and piano and draws largely from the techniques of the ragas and talas of India.  Prabhanda was written in 1982 for the duo Rohan and Druvi de Saram.

1. Ampari-Kirtan: Ampari is  district of Bandaraduira in Sri Lanka where most melodies cover a scale of six notes, which means it is non-Buddhistic, since Buddhist chants have a range of only five notes.  Kirtan is a devotional song of Bengal.

2. Alaap:  This movement, which follows the previous one without a break, is the introductory slow movement of a raga composition.

3. Tihai: Tihai is a short melodic and rhythmic phrase, which is played in unison.  This means the melodic line is echoed by parallel rhythm and this is played three times.

4. Alaap two.

5. Jhalla: This is the third section of a raga composition.  It is in this movement that an element of pulse is introduced.  The main feature is the repetition of the tonic note after every melody note is played.

6. Kirtan two.

7. Ragatal: Raga (scale) and Tal (rhythm) are two of the main features of Indian music and in this movement the melodic and rhythmic elements are used in the form of tans (variations).

8. Gat: This is the final section in a raga composition with well-defined rhythmic patterns set on a particular tal (rhythm) which in this piece consists of fifteen beats. 

© John May 1982.

Concerts by Work

Title Date Venue Professor
Reid Lunch-hour Concert Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Reid Concert Hall with Ahrend organ