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Music to affect mood

A list of genres and music to affect mood; be it relaxed, motivated, or ready to party!

What can get you in the mood to work on a Monday morning? What can get you in the right frame of mind for a weekend of partying on a Friday night? And what can calm you down after a hectic nasty day when all you feel like doing is running around your house screaming like a banshee?

What can do all this? Drink? Drugs? Aromatherapy? No. The answer is music. Choose the right kind of music at the right time can really make a difference to your mood. Here are a few suggestions for artists and albums to help you feel relaxed, motivated, or euphoric and ready to dance the night away.

So, first off, relaxation. You`re in your car on your way home from a pig of a day at work. The phone has never stopped, your co-workers have been a pain and you feel the mother of all headaches coming on. This is when you need a little help from Karen and Richard Carpenter. Classics like "Rainy Days and Mondays", "Yesterday Once More" and "We`ve Only Just Begun" are bound to chill you out and calm you down. If The Carpenters don`t chill you out then why not try the classic album "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel. And if the likes of "The Boxer", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" or "The Only Living Boy in New York" doesn`t chill you out, it`s time for a vacation.

So Friday night finally arrives, you have a weekend of hearty partying ahead of you but you just can`t get your groove on. What can you listen to that`s going to get you dancing around your bathroom and strutting your funky stuff? The answer, of course, is disco music. And the best way to enjoy disco music is to buy a compliation CD that features all of the classic artists like Donna Summer, Earth Wind & Fire and Chic. For a more contemporary start to a weekend of wild partying, you could also try the wildly successful tunes of The Chemical Brothers` "Surrender" or the tunes of the ultimate superstar DJ, Fatboy Slim`s "You`ve Come A Long Way Baby".

Finally, the hardest challenge, music to motivate on a Monday morning. What cds should you have in your car to get you buzzing and motivated for a week of work, eat, sleep, work? Answer - Heavy Metal. It might take some getting used to, but a good dose of Metallica`s " And Justice For All" will prepare you physically and mentally to face that pile of paperwork waiting for you in your office as if you were a death sports addict preparing to jump the Grand Canyon on a skateboard. If you find Metallica a little too harsh to start with, try their recent album "S&M" which is a live concert they performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of film music legend Michael Kamen.

Of course, there are many other moods music can stimulate. For example, if you`ve just had an argument with a member of your family, I`d recommend something by Eminem.

But remember, use these tunes wisely and in appropriate circumstances. Getting down with one`s bad self may be perfectly acceptable at a party, but might not go down as well at a board meeting or a funeral.

Short Takes: Bageshree

In this edition of Short Takes , we shine the spotlight on Raga Bageshree and its allies. Bageshree is an old and 'big' rAga, its enchanting mien known to all, even women and children. It finds mention in the older treatises as "Vageeshwari." Throughout the following discussion, we assume M =shuddha and m =teevra madhyam.

Raga Bageshree

The constituent swaras of Bageshree are from the Kafi thAT (Kharaharapriya melakartA in the Carnatic paddhati): S R g M P D n. Almost all versions of Bageshree can be grouped under three main jAtis:

Audav-Shadava: R and P in avarohi prayogas.

Audav-Sampoorna: R and

Sampoorna-Sampoorna: All the swaras are taken, albeit in vakra prayogas.

Of these, the first - Audav-Shadava - is sufficient to express the defining lakshaNAs. Most of the performed versions, however, adopt the second - Audav-Sampoorna - scheme which involves a peculiar avarohi pancham-laden cluster. Let us now examine the structure of Bageshree through a set of characteristic phrases.

S, n' D', D' n' S M, M g, (S)R, S

The madhyam is very powerful, the melodic centre of gravity, as it were. In the avarohi mode, a modest pause on g is prescribed (it helps prevent a spill of Kafi). Also notice the kaN of S imparted to

S g M, M g M D, D n D, D-M, g, (S)R, S

The Raganga germ is embedded in this tonal sentence. Of particular interest are the nyAsa bahutva role of

g M D n S"

g M n D n S"

M D n S"

Each of these Arohi strips is a candidate for the uttarAnga launch.

S", (n)D n D, M P D (M)g, (S)R, S

This phrase illustrates the modus operandi for insertion of the pancham within a broader avarohi context. The touch of P occasions moments of delicious frisson. In some versions, P is explicity summoned in Arohi prayogas such as D n D, P D n D. When the clips roll out there will be opportunities aplenty to sample a variety of procedures concerning the pancham.

S g M, M g, RgM, M g (S)R, S

Observe the vakra Arohi prayoga of R. A thoughtless or cavalier approach here can lead to an inadvertant run-in with Abhogi (recall the ucchAraNa bheda that separates Bageshree and Abhogi in this region of the poorvAnga) and run afoul of the Bageshree spirit.

This completes our preamble. Pandit Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang" is on hand with his masterful precis, recorded over the telephone. He accomplishes in 4 minutes what reams of paper cannot.

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