Moving my blog over to

Dear friends,

With the recent update of my website, I now have the ability to integrate the blog directly into the website, so that is what I am doing; it just makes sense. I will no longer be posting updates here. Thank you to all of you for your interest in my musical adventures. Please click along to my website for the continuation of this blog in the future! If you would like to update your RSS subscription, this is the new RSS URL:

I hope to see you over at!


Friday, 23 October 2009

iLehra Software

As software for Indian classical music is somewhat rare, I am happy to spread news of the release of Prasad Upasani's iLehra for iPhone and iPod Touch. Unfortunately, I don't own either of these, so I am unable to do a hands-on review. (Prasadji has also programmed a great-sounding iTanpura software.)

Previously, for students of tabla and dance, one would need to buy a costly Nagma machine, or program lehra melodies into a music sequencing program. iLehra is a fully-featured lehra program, with built-in tanpura and lehra. It is possible to set the pitch, tempo, and instrument of the lehra.

Features list from the iLehra website:

Features include:

  1. Lehras in all common taals including Teentaal, Ektaal, Jhaptaal, Rupak, Dadra, Keherva, Chautal and Dhamar (more coming soon)

  2. Choice of instruments including harmonium and violin (more coming soon)

  3. Extremely accurate tempo tested to within 1 milli-second

  4. Each lehra has three variations for slow, medium and fast tempos for more natural-sounding lehras

  5. Beautiful tanpura auto-tuned to pitch and raag of lehra

  6. Wide range of tempo from 30bpm to 300bpm (bpm = beats per minute)

  7. Automatic range selection (vilambit, madhya, drut) based on tempo slider

  8. Extremely precise control of tempo by clicking on the slider endpoints (- or +). Every click changes the tempo by 1bpm

  9. Displays current matra being played

  10. Full octave of pitch adjustments from C through B with precise fine-tuning of pitch

Can be used with speakers, headset, or the internal speaker. A high-quality speaker dock is recommended for maximum effect.

The YouTube video gives a pretty good idea of what the software is like. It appears to be quite simple to use. The sound quality is decent, but can probably be improved in future versions. I'd really like to hear a nice sarangi sound. Another feature I'd like to see is the ability to program new melodies, save them, and be able to share with other users. In any case, I am personally unable to use this software since I don't have an iPhone or iPod Touch. I'd really love to see a version of this software for Blackberry! Any programmers up to the challenge?

For those tabla players and dancers with the required hardware, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this software. Available for purchase in the Apple App Store.

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