Skip to content

Monthly Archives: February 2017

How To Make Music Using Computers.

Youve decided that you want to make music and become the next Will-i-am, P Diddy or LMFAO. Fantastic! There is no better time to start learning to produce and heres why:

The music production tools have become incredibly cheap for beginners to achieve professional results.
New technology is making music production techniques much easier and faster.
The music industry has changed dramatically over the last few years, transforming new artists and musicians into global superstars overnight, you too can share the spotlight.
It is very exciting times at the moment!

It really does not matter if you can not play an instrument, learning new music production techniques will enable you to be creative in other ways. Quality music invokes a full range of feelings within the listener. As a music producer, your job is to master the art that invoke those feelings.

Believe me when I say that professional-sounding music is an art. It can be taught to a certain degree, but really all it takes is time, dedication and passion.

If you have the desire to create great music, ProducerPack.com will provide you with the latest sample packs and loops from some of the worlds best producers and engineers to give you the inspiration needed to become a top producer in this very competitive industry.

What Do You Need

Nowadays almost all electronic music is written on a PC or MAC computer. Producers use music software programs to process and arrange the music so that it sounds the way they want it to sound. Although some people may use dedicated hardware, this is not always necessary. You can get by with a simple set-up, then later on down the line you can add to your studio set-up by buying more gear.

There are lots of options when deciding what to buy for your studio setup. However, to keep it simple, lets assume that there are three main “stages” of personal studios. These stages are described in the following list:

Basic Setup This studio set-up has a minimal requirement necessary for music production. It contains:

A home computer (PC or Mac). New or second hand.
Music Software. Fruity Loops, Garageband or MIDI controller.

Good Setup This studio has the tools needed to create high quality music productions. It contains:

A Computer (PC or Mac). A fairly new and up to date MAC or PC computer.
Music Software. Modern software such as Ableton , Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, MOTU Digital Performer, etc.
Audio Interface. Offers low audio latency with high quality inputs and outputs.
MIDI Interface. Possibly included with the audio interface, this device enables you to “play” instruments contained with your computer.
MIDI Controller. MIDI keyboard or guitar to control virtual instruments provided by your music software.

Pro Setup This studio has everything needed to produce any kind of top quality music. It contains:

A Computer (PC or Mac). It was purchased new within the last 4 years.
Music Software. Uses a modern package like Ableton Live, Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, MOTU Digital Performer, etc.
Professional Audio Interface. Offers low audio latency with multiple (more than two) high quality inputs and outputs. More inputs and outputs allow you to record multiple microphones at once, or process audio with external hardware.
MIDI Interface. Possibly included with the audio interface, this device enables you to “play” instruments contained with your computer.
MIDI Controller. You can use a MIDI keyboard or guitar to control virtual instruments provided by your music software.
Studio Monitors. High quality speakers enable you to listen to you songs completely “flat”, accurately reproducing the sound without audio distortions.
Acoustically-Treated Room. Room sizes and shapes greatly affect the way your songs are reproduced on your speakers, as well as how sound is recorded by microphones.
Hardware. Microphones, preamps, external processing units, etc. The possibilities are infinite.

To be really honest, the Good Setup is all you need. The Pro Setup will take your sound to a whole next level, but this is really only for the Old School veterans and enthusiasts. What ever you do, dont listen to much to the music shops, they will usually try to sell you something you dont really need. Be aware of this! If you only have a home computer and some basic music software, you already have the tools necessary to begin making really exciting music.

If you need a helping hand in the form of inspiration, why not check out ProducerPack.com. They have a huge collection of downloadable 100% royalty free sample packs and loops created by a dedicated team of highly professional music producers and engineers from around the globe. There sample packs and loops come in multiple formats and will work with almost every music software and studio set-up.

So what are you waiting for? Start making those beats and songs and become the next top music producer well all be talking about very soon.

You can check out Producer Packs online store here: http://www.producerpack.com

Sign-up for ProducerPack.com weekly newsletter to get over 1GB of FREE samples and loops to get you started.

Music Etiquette 101 – Lesson 1 Microphone Etiquette

FYI: These suggestions are shared with you based on my own personal experience and from watching many independent as well as major artists over the years. How you take it is up to you. But if you are truly serious about wanting to make it in the music industry, I hope you take these points into consideration when you are honing your craft. Read on.

Lesson #1: Microphone Etiquette

-Turn my mic up!-

-Turn the music down!-

-Turn me up!-

-Turn me down!-

-I can’t hear myself!-

How many of you have heard these phrases from an artist performing on stage? Here’s an even better question: How many of you have found yourself saying them before/during a performance? I have, and I’m not afraid to admit it. In some situations it may be the DJ or whoever’s running the sound system. In other cases it may be the sound system itself. But in most cases-and in no way is this being stated to belittle any up and coming performer, whether you sing, rap, or play an instrument-it may not be any of those situations.

Yes, that’s right: It may just be YOU.

I’ve seen many artists who will get agitated because they feel like the audience can’t hear them or they can’t hear themselves, and will automatically blame whoever’s running the sound. But there’s nothing wrong with the system; the microphones are brand new, the speakers are leveled great, and the EQ is on point. The problem is the way they are holding the microphone. If you are a professional and/or major artist-C’MON SON. (Though nowadays some major artists don’t know how to perform on stage, but that’s another topic. *cough*) But if you are just starting out, I understand. At the same time I feel sorry for most of you because you’re just jumping out there ready to make it big, yet you do not have the proper training necessary in this music industry. There are methods that lead to success, and you have to be willing to learn them. If you want people to hear you on stage, you have to learn how to use the microphone.

Holding the microphone

You can sing and/or rap as loud as you want, but the audience will not be able to hear clearly if the microphone is too far away from your mouth. No one should be watching you perform with it all the way down near your chest. For better results, the microphone should be at least 1 to 2 inches away from your mouth while you are performing. If you are a singer, the only time you should pull away is when you are hitting high notes in order to avoid your voice being too loud in the speakers, at least no more than one foot in distance.

-Cuffing- the microphone

Rappers, this is ESPECIALLY for you. We’ve heard this term, before: -Don’t cuff the mic.- To those not privy to the meaning of this term, -cuffing- is when a person wraps their hand around the ball of the microphone while speaking or rapping. From my own experience, this hurts an artist because it blocks the field of sound. It also muffles and distorts a person’s voice to the point where you cannot even understand what they’re saying.

Your hand should be gripping the handle directly underneath the ball. This will enable the microphone to better pick up sound so the audience can hear you more clearly. Now I will admit that some people feel differently about this; there are artists (moreso rappers) that believe -cuffing the mic- actually helps increase the volume so they can be heard better. Shoot, I’m actually guilty of having done it every now and then, but moreso out of habit than anything else. If you -cuff the mic- (and be honest with yourself), I recommend you do what I was doing until I habitually started holding it correctly: Practice on at least leaving enough space at the top of the ball so you have a better chance at not sounding muffled.

Keeping the microphone near you

How you hold the microphone when you’re not performing is just as important as when you are. Never should you allow yourself to let it hang to the side in between verses (this goes for backups and hypemen, too). Letting it hang as if you are about to drop it on the ground only adds more effort into bringing it back up to your mouth when it’s time to perform or speak your adlib. Not only that, it also causes that ear-splitting sound we like to call -feedback- when you get near a speaker or monitor. You are literally putting the microphone into the monitor when you let it hang.

So in order to avoid this from happening, keep your arm bent and near your body when you’re not speaking/rapping/singing. This will make it much easier to bring the microphone back to your mouth, as well as avoid putting it into the monitors.

In Closing-

Performing on stage is all about leaving a long-lasting first impression on your target audience. People who see you-fans, other artists, A&R’s and industry executive higher-ups alike-are paying attention. They’re paying attention to your stage presence as well as your energy, determining whether or not you can move crowds. But most importantly, they’re paying attention to your delivery. And, in my opinion, your delivery begins with the microphone.

Perform wisely,
Lyrical Preacher

Indian Musical Instruments Like Tambura

Most people are music lovers. You will see them waking up in the morning with the music on to start the day. It seems like their day is not complete without it. Others who are also addicts on music have their mp3 on their ears for almost 24 hours. This is also the same to persons who doesnt turn off their radio through out the day.

We are fascinated to the beautiful melody that is good to hear especially if it is accompanied by an inspiring words or lyrics that can relate to your current situation or things in your past. Music has started in ancient times even without any musical instrument. Early people have found a way to produce a musical instrument that can entertain them.

That was passed until today and you will see some musical instruments that have been created. Indian musical instruments like this Tambura are string instruments like the famous guitar. Of course, it looked like a guitar but the only difference is that it has a longer neck which is appropriate for taller and bigger males. People who are already familiar with guitar can easily get along with Tambura.

It may have different pitch from the common guitar. It has four or five strings that create a sound that is a bit deeper compared to a guitar. Indian musical instruments like this are good for classical music. Classical music is famous in prehistoric times. Music from Goethe and Beethoven are to name a few who are great makers of this.

The advantage of listening to a classical music is that, it has soothing effect that helps in calming your nerves. This might be beneficial to people who are emotionally disturbed to help them relax. The many benefits of listening to a classical music have been widely published to many medical sites.

It also enhances memory that suits for students who are studying or cramming for an exam. So, if you look at it, music does not only entertain you but it can also help you relax while it sharpens your memory. With this, you know that Indian musical instruments can help you in some way.

Marketing Your Music With Digital Download Cards

A great way for new artists to distribute music is through digital download cards. These cards are about the size of a standard business card and can display your band’s artwork or graphics along with basic information about you on the front, and on the back your fans receive a link and a code so they can download your music directly onto their phones, iPods, or computers. This quick and easy distribution of your music allows you to get your songs into the hands of your fans almost instantly. You can decide how many songs, or even videos, you want to make available to the people you distribute these download cards to. From a hosting company, they will be the one who will store your music and allow people to download the music you specify based on the code printed on the card as you purchase these digital cards. You can decide if you want to use a static code, which is the same code on every card that can be used over and over again, or a dynamic code, which is different on every card and is a one-time use code. When using a static code on your cards, the music will remain available with that code until you decide to make it unavailable. If you choose to use dynamic codes, that music can only be downloaded once with each code. Changing or adding songs, video, or other graphics available for download through this link at any time is what you are capable of with this one.

Using the digital download cards, this can be a great marketing tool for anyone who wants to get their music into people’s hands for immediate use. You will not have any problems with this one since the downloads are quick and easy to use. Your fans and potential supporters can download your music directly onto their smart phones before they even leave your concert. The weight of these cards are so light and they are easy to carry as well, allowing you to quickly and easily distribute your music anywhere to anyone. For you to eliminate burning a bunch of CD’s that you have to pack around hoping that people will pop in and listen to. Download is so fast that fans can put music directly onto whatever device they listen to music on the most, whether that is their phone, computer, MP3 player, or iPod. The chances that your songs will get listened to more often and shared with others when you have your music on their playlist.

Its a good thing that these digital download cards are fairly inexpensive too. After you order a batch, you can use them any way that you would like to market your music. This will serve as a free promotional material at concerts to fans, to friends, to potential backers, or anyone you ‘d like. This can be great as part of your merchandise, selling each card for whatever price you decide to sell it for. Any profits you make from selling download cards is yours to keep. You also retain 100 % of the rights to your music as the artist. To help you print cards and keep the music hosted on the server so it’s available for as long as you ‘d like is what the company does. A lot of people will benefit from these cards. They can have fun, inexpensive, easy to use way to market your music and get it out to as many people as possible as well.

How To Add Background Music To Your Web Page

Adding background music to the web page is the latest trend in the Internet world. Many sites, especially meant for teens and the youth, have come out with background music to hold the viewer’s attention for long. Surfing the net becomes exciting when some good music is played in the background. However, the fact is music is not appreciated by all. Before you add music to your website, remember that the music may be disturbing and annoying to some. Hence consider the following facts before you decide to add background music to your web page.

It has been observed that many people click the back button on hearing a sudden bang of music. Adding inappropriate music can also be responsible for this. You should keep in mind that not everybody accesses the Net from home. There are people who access the Net sitting in a cybercaf, or library, or their office. Music can simply restrict such people from viewing your website. Your website may have a large number of viewers, but it doesnt mean they all will still stick with you with the added bang of music.

To be on the safe side, you can always provide the visitors with an option where they can click on a link if they want to listen to music. This will best suit the interests of visitors. When the mouse pointer clicks on the link and you want the music to play, you need to put an HTML code like this Play background music. This code will work for wav and MP3 files extension. However, with embedded music there is a potential problem as every browser has its own method of implementing music. Hence you need to be sure about the software to be used.

When you upload your music file, remember many a time the music wont play automatically and hence you need to test it before you put it up. The browser needs to know how to run the file and hence you need to give the right commands by using the correct code. You need to make sure the server has correctly configured the code. Choose a good web host that supports music download. Make sure your website has enough space to download music and is not going to run out of space. Ideally you may go for a short piece of music, which would not take too much space.

Always make sure you have valid rights for the music file before you upload it. You need to modify the HTML codes to match your server so be aware of the same. You need to give commands for the file as to when it can begin. If you have commanded for the music to play automatically, it will start off as soon as your website page is downloaded. However, if you have a link to click for the music to start, you need to give commands accordingly. You also need to let the file know as to how many times the song should play or should it move on to another piece of music automatically.

Depending upon the browser you need to use softwares that make it easy for the music to play. However, it is always better to let the visitor decide whether or not to play the music. This is because you never know where the visitor may be sitting at the time of visiting your website.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Patrick Kinmonth Part 1

From fashion campaigns to opera sets, Patrick Kinmonth is a modern-day renaissance man. Now he’s turned his hand to directing!

Curator, painter, writer, stylist, art director, designer – Patrick Kinmonth is one of the most prolific creatives of today, yet his name, for many, is still relatively unknown. Certainly, you will have felt the touch of his artistic sensibilities; perhaps you saw the Anglo Mania exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, on which Anna Wintour asked him to act as creative consultant, or maybe you visited the immaculate Valentino retrospectives he designed in Rome and Paris. (If you didn’t, fear not, for in his studio sits a model for its planned arrival at Somerset House next year.) His work has been seen again and again in the pages of Vogue-, a former member of staff, Kinmonth has been instrumental in shaping the careers of many Vogue photographers and has worked on projects for Burberry, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein and others. His aesthetic reach even extends to the stage, where he has been responsible for the design of numerous operas and ballets at some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. “Patrick takes multi-tasking to new levels,” observes Anna Wintour. “At any given moment he might be writing an evocative magazine article, designing a museum exhibition that will challenge the way we think about the history of fashion, art directing a global advertising campaign for a fashion brand, or designing and directing opera. And in his downtime he will be inventing more garden fantasies for his magical house in the English countryside. He is truly a renaissance man for the twenty-first century.”

Kinmonth is one of that rare breed of artists who are happy to admit that they find greater freedom and creative stimulation in working with other people. Yet his latest incarnation – as a director – may change all that. This month he follows successful productions of Madame Butterfly and Samson and Delilah with an even bigger undertaking – a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Vocal Futures, a charitable foundation which aims to entice a younger audience to the opera, and opens with a performance in an old concrete laboratory hidden away in Marylebone. At last, it seems, he is assuming his place centre stage.

Walking around the light, airy studio the 54-year-old inhabits in Chelsea, one is struck immediately by the diversity of his work: stacks of books, scale models of forthcoming exhibitions, tubes of paint and posters for opera productions all clamour for his attention. Kinmonth, currently tanned a deep mahogany after a holiday in Ibiza with his friend Mario Testino, is immaculately dressed in a crisp white shirt and blazer – in which a pocket square is placed just so. After graduating from Oxford with a first-class English degree, Patrick’s first ambition was to become a painter. His path was diverted, however, when a chance entry into the Vogue Talent Contest in the early Eighties led him to a position as arts editor He turned his hand to everything, from writing to photography sittings to styling. “Vogue applied me wherever it felt the ointment was necessary,” he observes drily. A calm, authoritative presence, he is charming, speaking with care and consideration in a clipped accent, every sentence littered with references that demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of art, music and fashion.

House Music – The Origins

Establishing “House”

The birth of the words “house music” is a hotly argued question amidst artists and DJ’s. Some people assert it originated from a night club called “The Warehouse” where longtime resident Producer/DJ Frankie Knuckles played a distinctive brand of dance music until 1982 when the establishment closed down. Knuckles himself suggested he initially witnessed the term when driving by a bar on the south side of Chicago that hung a sign in its window reading “We play house music”. DJ Leonard “Remix” Rroy suggests the sign was likely a reference to the style of soulful songs one would listen to at your own house.

A second sentiment is that the phrase referenced the production of music in the residences of groundbreaking DJ’s and dance producers. These early creations would be recorded with synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers. Many others assert that “house” references the relationship of particular tracks with their respective DJ’s, as in the house DJ’s played their very own house records.

The Fathers of House Music

The Chicago night club scene of the early 80′s was spurred by DJ’s spinning a number of styles of music like disco, hip hop, funk, pop, and R&B. The beginning of somewhat economical electronic instruments led to some DJ’s crafting their own combination of existing tunes by mixing in drum machines and effects.

Seen by many to be the very first original house music record, “On & On” by Jesse Saunders was published in 1984. The album’s prosperity ignited a wave of tracks from the earlier DJ’s attempting their hand at putting out house music. The music soon branched off into subgenres of house such as deep house and acid house.

Through the support of club DJ’s such as Lil Louis, Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, and radio stations like WBMX, house music quickly gained popularity in Chicago. Concurrently, house began to spread to nearby DJ’s and producers of Detroit, Michigan. Artists like Marshall Jefferson helped push house outside of Chicago with his hugely well known track “Move Your Body”. From the middle to late 1980′s artists such as Larry Heard, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Farley Keith, and Steve Hurley, persisted to popularize the style.

Now, house music is more prevalent than ever and can be heard in a variety of forms in night clubs spanning the earth. The genre has continued to fork off into subgenres including progressive house, electro house, techno house, breakbeat, and the list goes on. House isn’t just a style of music, but is a religion protected by loyal followers the world over.

Forget About IPad Mini Chose Chuwi V88 Mini From SpeMall!

CHUWI Tablet V88 MiniPad Rockchip3188 Quad Core 16 GB HDMI Bluetooth IPS Display is the first quad core Tablet 7.9 – the CHUWI and Rockchip3188 chipset, one of the best of the moment (supports quadcore processors but also has Bluetooth and HDMI) is capable of superior performance tablets that have built-in or chipset TEGRA3 Samsung Exynos 4412, but at a much more affordable price.

The 1 GB DDR3 (optionally you can choose the version with 2 GB, double the majority of tablets on the market, even than the iPad Mini but much faster because it works DUAL CHANNEL) makes any application or 3D compatible games to run smoothly, so use your Tablet CHUWI V88 MiniPad Quad Core to hardcore gamers will be a real pleasure. Moreover, the Tablet comes with IPS screen, with a resolution of 1024 * 768 pixels, (similar to that on the iPad Mini) which enable the display of the image clear, vivid colors of a true beauty visible from almost any angle.

Although the initial storage capacity is 16 GB, it can be enhanced with 32 GB via a microSD card (something impossible to achieve on the iPad Mini, for example), so that you have more room for music, movies or your favorite games. The back casing aluminum alloy keeps a lower temperature on components inside. Behind the device Camera 5MP with auto focus, able to achieve high quality pictures for mobile devices category it belongs to.

CHUWI V88 MiniPad Quad Core comes preinstalled with Android Jelly Bean (the fastest Android of the moment) thus increasing once again working speed of the device. With superior performance tablets that have incorporated or TEGRA3 Samsung Exynos chipset, Bluetooth and 4412 HDMI with built-in screen and camera similar to those used by Apple in their mobile devices, but with the price nearly in half, make the CHUWI V88 MiniPad Rockchip3188 Quad Core 16 GB HDMI Bluetooth IPS Display a tablet with an excellent price/performance ratiobeing one of the best and popular tabs of the moment.

Welcome to join in ourFacebookand get more the latest information of tablets.

The Kota – Primitive tribe of Nilgiri District, Tamilnadu, India

The Kota – Primitive tribe of Nilgiri District, Tamilnadu, India. K.R.Meenakshi, Research Scholar, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai.

Kotas are found only in the Nilgiri District. Kotas in the olden days were the only one of all the hill tribes who practiced the industrial arts and they were therefore essential almost to the very existence of the other tribes and castes of the Nilgiris. This paper is an attempt to understand their social, economic and political culture of Kota tribal community in the Nilgiri District of Tamilnadu.

Key worlds: Kota tribes, Ethnographic features. .

INTRODUCTION

Kotas are found only in the Nilgiri district, that too, they are found living only in seven settlements, referred to by them as Kokkals. Most of these Kotas settlements are located on the Nilgiri upper plateau. Kotas are referred to by different synonyms like Kotas, Kohatur and Koter. There are a few stories regarding the origin of the Kotas in the Nilgiri district. One story was recorded by James Wilkinson Breeks. He stated according to a Kota legend that, the Kota, the Toda and the Kurumba were real brothers and that they were the earliest inhabitants of the Nilgiri hills. These three, as the legend goes, were created from three –. of the God’s (Kambatrayan) perspiration. That separation took place when God asked each of them what they wanted one of them said. -Give me the talents of art- and he become a Kota, who later proved to be an able blacksmith, musician, hunter, potter and rope and umbrella maker, another said, -Give me buffalos who can be my friend, relative and saviour and he became a Toda dairy man. Give me the power to destroy those whom I do not like-, said the third brother and be became a Kurumba possessing powers of sorcery and black magic which the other two dreaded. According to a belief of the Kota, some centuries ago when the Badagas were taking refuge in the Nilgiri hills from the oppression of Tippu Sultan in Mysore, the Kota, in order to protect them, distributed themselves in different geographic regions of the Nilgiris and subsequently smaller units in each region merged together and thus the seven present villages were established. They, however, rearranged themselves to maintain their socio-cultural exclusiveness with regard to the others, which even today is apparently seen.

Social Organisation

The social organisation is the network of relations existing among individuals and groups in a society. The Kota society is a patrilineage i.e. a descent group whose membership is based upon a rule of patrilineal descent. Patrilineal descent is a cultural principle which automatically affiliates a child at birth through his father to a descent group that consists of all Kinsmen who are related to him through his male ancestors. As with other tribal societies, Kotas do not have separate social divisions based on territorial or occupational levels. But Kotas have a unique social feature of Keri (street) system that regulate their marriage alliances. The social organisation has developed among the Kotas in such a way that, a Keri corresponds to a clan, and the members of a Keri itself has become a social grouping of kinsmen. Each Kota settlement has three or four Keris and they are named differently and they enable easy identification from one another on the basis of the layout of the Keris. Marriage ceremony called Peddege-Chiko is a simple function among the Kota. Among the Kota a man may not marry a girl of his own Keri. Previously child marriage was common among them, but now a days they prefer adult marriages, but pre puberty alliance fixation is still prevalent. The modes of acquiring mates are marriage by elopement and marriage by courtship cum negotiation. According to the courtship type of marriage, a Kota boy selects his mate and when they approve of each other, he informs his parents of his desire to carry her. The courtship may last for any period but neither the parents nor the Kota adults condemn or gossip about it. The forms of marriage among the Kotas are monogamy i.e. the marriage of one man to one women, and also polygamy i.e. the marriage of one man to two or more women at one time are prevalent. Most of the Kotas prefer monogamy. The Kota practice polygamy, but a man may marry a second wife only with the expressed consent of the first wife. This is done normally when the first wife has not been able to give birth to children or produce a male child divorce is allowed in the community compensation for divorce is to be given to the wife. The children are the liability of the father in a case of divorce. Widows are permitted to remarry a Kota family acquires membership through marriage, birth and adoption.

Economic Organisation

The Kotas are the only artisan community on the hills of the Nilgiris. Thus Kotas have been smith in gold and silver, they are carpenters, blacksmiths, potters and musicians. Every Kota settlement had one forge and a work shed, where all the Kota blacksmiths used their native bellows, pincers and hammers. They used to bring metal from Coimbatore city in semi finished form, full of impurities and make a variety of tools and implements for agricultural as well as ritual purposes. The Kota women were traditionally able potters. Pots were made out of the locally available sticky clay, without anything mixed in it except water to the extent absolutely needed. For the pots of Kotas, Tiruchigadi and Sholur Kokkal were popular. A few Kota women make ornamental clay models of different animals, dolls, and vessels fro which there is some demand from foreign tourists and other visitors to their settlements. Kota carpenters are experts in preparing ornamental wooden doors, cots and window panes with ethnic designs and are in demand outside their settlements. Nowadays due to changes in the landscape of the Nilgiris hills, development of market centres and due to economic advancement Kotas got involved in agriculture and horticulture by tilling their own lands and growing vegetables and tea. The Kotas also grows vegetables like garlic, cabbage, onion, carrot, green peas, etc. The Kotas have now started selling milk to the Nilgiri Milk Cooperative society and also to private tea shop and to neighbouring non tribals. They also sell ghee and other milk products. Every Kota settlement has one or two teams of traditional musicians with their traditional musical instruments. If male musicians play musical instruments, other Kotas, males or females or both start dancing to the tunes of the Kota music. In Nilgiri district the non tribal rich people, official and even new Hindu temples founders feel that Kota music and dance is very auspicious. The Kotas provide their music and exhibit their dance skills by taking money as honorarium.

Political Organisation

Political organisation in a community concerns the allocation of power and authority to make decisions beyond the personal level that is decisions which effect the community as a whole so the political organisation, refers, usually to the means of maintaining order and conformity in a society. The headman or chieftain of a tribal society maintains social control in his community. The tribal chief’s position is also governed by the community’s political institution through some rules of succession. Kotas live only in seven villages in the Nilgiri district. In all these villages, Kotas have their own tribal council called -Koot’ or -Koottu’ which maintains the social control among the Kotas in their respective villages. A Koot has no formal leadership. In spite of the absence of the leaders, there are a few important persons of the Kota society such as Kota Poojaris, Munthakannan, Terkaran and Sastragars (ritual elders) besides elected Kota village headman, referred by them as Pittakar, who have a greater say than others in the affairs of the Kota village. The Koot meetings take place as and when aggrieved individuals or parties summon it to discuss problematic issue. A Koot of the Kota can be summoned by anybody over any issue on any day. A Koot is normally held at the Kolaval ground. The meeting takes place mostly after dusk. Any issue is first heard from both the parties concerned and discussed and then the elder men voice their individual opinions regarding the merit of the issue.

Religious Beliefs And Practices

In every Kota settlement, they have a wide area and a sacred temple complex in which temples are theme for God Kambatrayan, Goddess Kambateeswari and in some place a temple for God Kannatrayan. They do not have deities inside the temple. The emblems of a bow and arrow can be seen at the top of all these temples. Kotas consider Mondays as the most auspicious days and consider new moon days as the day of spirits of the dead and therefore it is not sacred for observing any ritual offering puja to the temple in the form of milk in the main sacred activity of the Kotas through their priests. Kotas celebrate festivals like Nambi festival to pacify the souls of the dead person sowing and harvest festival and Sivarathri festival. They believe that a few events like sound of the crow, crossing of the cat and snake and presence of widows can prognosticate the success or failure of day to day activities of life. Kotas usually dance to the tunes of their music during their festivals and also celebrating their life cycle rituals.

Conclusion Most of the Kotas have reached main stream development and they are aspiring to live as a national citizens outside their traditional habitat of the Nilgiri hills.

Reference

1.Basu A, -A demographic study of the Kotas of Nilgiri hills-, Journal of Indian Anthropological Society, Vool.7 no.1, March 2010.

2.Jakka Parthasarathy, -Social symbiosis among the indigenous communities of the Nilgiri hills-, Journal of man in Asia, Vol.III, 11 Dec 2007.

3.I Verghes, -Preisthood among the Kota of Nilgiri hills-, Vinyajati, No.2, April 2011.

4.Yoganandham G, -Impact of tribal development schemes in Nilgiri district with special reference to the Kotas: A study, Dept of Economics, University of Madras, June 2001.

5.A K Ghosh, -The Kota of the Nilgiri hills: A demographic study, Journal of Bio-sociological Science, Vol.8, August 2006.

6.I Verghese, -The Kota: Their dreaded life of Kurumba Sorcery-, Bulletin of the cultural research institute, No.1 and 2, Sept 2005.

Celtic Music — Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki

Consider the instruments used by your favorite celtic group — certainly, there’s a fiddle … and there may be a tinwhistle and perhaps some bagpipes. There’s probably a guitar and a bodhran (a sort of handheld drum) — but what about those other stringed instruments?

You may find a mandolin or a mandola in the group — and perhaps a bouzouki. In fact, a bouzouki may take the place of the guitar. What makes these instruments useful in celtic folk music?

First off, you’re probably familiar with a mandolin. It’s a small (pretty much violin-sized) strummed or plucked instrument — you can finger chords on it and strum it, or you can pluck individual strings to play a melody. Mandolin’s are common to most types of folk or country music. They have essentially the same scale length as a violin (the strings are about the same length) — in fact, it’s normally tuned exactly like a violin — GDAE! This makes it very easy to learn both instruments.

The mandolin has a high, ringing tone. When playing accompanying chords, the mandolin’s high pitch and sharp attach have an almost percussive effect … making it an excellent rhythm instrument. Since the mandolin isn’t loud when individual notes are plucked, most solo playing requires a fast and repeated picking technique.

The mandola is a little larger than the mandolin — giving it a lower pitch. Some tune it a fifth down from a mandolin — CGDA. Some folks even tune an entire octave lower — although the scale length isn’t really long enough for proper intonation. The lower tones alter the effect of strummed chords — instead of a sharp and ringing attack (like a mandolin), the effect is much closer to a guitar where the chords flow naturally to the background. Sharp and bright chords jump to the forefront of a song — sometimes this is good, but usually you want your rhythym instruments to be complimentary, not a featured solo instrument.

If lower is better for chord playing, then why not go all the way to an octave mandolin? Tuned like a mandolin to GDAE … except an octave lower … the octave mandolin also has a scale length close to a guitar. And here’s where we start running into problems!

How far can your fingers stretch? Most chords on a guitar span 4 frets at the most — with 3 being the most common maximum stretch. Mandolin chords often span 4 frets — with some having a 5 fret span. When played on a short scale mandolin, this stretch isn’t a problem. When the scale length approaches 2 feet or so (about a guitar’s scale length), the required fret stretch is simply too much for most players.

A bouzouki has this same problem — originally used for Greek folk music, a bouzouki is tuned like an octave mandolin. This lower tuning makes it ideal for a celtic rhythm instrument — except for the required fret stretch.

Because of this, you often see bouzoukis or octave mandolins tuned differently for celtic music — GDAD. Chord fretting in this tuning is much easier and the longer scale length (a few inches longer than an octave mandolin) results in deep, long sustaining chords — making a bouzouki a perfect rhythm instrument for celtic music!