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In Hindustani Music (HM), the essence of raga is in its finest emotional behavior. It is the outcome from a perfect rendition of any raga that touches the hearts of world’s music lovers. In a raga rendition, proper utilization of silence or pause in between phrases evokes the essence of a raga. In HM, a musician improvises (modification in phrases during playing) the compositions according to their imagination and skills, a good musician must knows how to use silences effectively and aesthetically. In Hindustani classical vocal music, the amount of silence differs from one performance to another, one artist to another, even from one gharana (musical style followed by singers of a definite region) to other. Differences can be found in the rendition of a single raga by different artists, as per their breathing power and creative emotional perspective. There are many melodic exercises to increase the power of breathing (practice singing a particular note repeatedly for long duration viz. 15-20 sec approx) in all vocal gharanas and other than common approaches there are some special kinds of exercises which depict the gharana’s perspective towards a particular group of ragas. In this study, we have selected twenty (20) vocal musical pieces each of duration two minutes sung by five (5) eminent Hindustani vocalists. We have taken four ragas, viz. Bhairav, Darbari Kanada, Mian ki Malhar and Todi. The alap (introductory part of a raga) part of the aforementioned ragas has been chosen for our study as this part reveals the complete essence of the raga without any accompanying instruments. For this study, the silence or voids present in between phrases of a musical signal have been defined as ‘pause’. By analyzing these pauses along with the notes in the signal and their duration we can get an idea about the singing style of a particular artist. Both sequence of notes and pause together forms the ultimate musical structure. Also the note sequence at the onset of pause is also an important cue for style analysis of an artist as well as the emotional state of the artist. Also, we have evaluated Shannon entropy to quantify the variation in the pause length patterns of different artists while rendering a particular raga, which is essentially expected to be a cue for identifying the distinct singing style of that particular artist. The increase in entropy in our case signifies the usage of more variety in pause lengths for that particular artist and thus conveying more information content which in turn results in emotion elicitation in the listeners. In this way, we have compared the singing patterns of 5 artists taking the number of pauses of different lengths they use as the information containing parameter. The study reveals many interesting information in a completely unexplored domain of analysis of music with silence or pause. Further studies are imperative, the results of which will definitely help music learners in future to create and perform more aesthetically beautiful music.
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