A Scientific Research Department in SRA, set up in 1980 has carried out research and development work on various aspects of Indian Classical Music, both vocal and instrumental, using modern scientific methods & techniques. The department has applied scientific methods to observe and standardize various musical techniques and parameters such as pitch, timbre, shrutis, and different types of alankar and styles of music. SRA’s unique infrastructure, where specialised musical training by traditional gurus co-exists with elaborate scientific research work gives it the unique capability to undertake such research in future.
A systematic scientific investigation into the perception and production of music requires a multidisciplinary approach. The pitch, the articulation of vowels, and the beauty of voice and rhythm, each of this unfolds its own vista.
Modern science has given us insights into the physiology of voice production and the theory of articulation and perception. Technology enables us to precisely analyse these.
While considerable scientific research has been done in Western Music, a systematic investigation had not been undertaken into Indian Classical Music. This remains one of the primary reasons which drove ITC SRA to carry out detailed research and probe into the physiology and psychology of speech and music. Interestingly, the neuro-physiological processes in music and speech were found to be the same.
Areas of Scientific Research
ITC-SRA’s Scientific Research Department has conducted detailed research in the following areas:
- The parameters determining the effectiveness of timbre in Indian Classical Music and speech.
- The phonetic quality and articulation patterns in Indian Classical Music vis-à-vis Western Classical Music and Indian speech.
- The Alankars in Indian Classical Music, namely, Taan, Meend, Gamaka etc.
- Nasality in speech and music, the acoustic and perceptual cues of nasality, the degree of nasality and effect of nasality.
- Musical scales, consonance and dissonance, shrutis and the intervals used in the Indian Classical Music performances.