Title: Raga Terah
Year Completed: 2012
Duration: 8 mins
Instrumentation 1: Flute Quintet (4 C flutes and 1 bass flute)
Instrumentation 2: Flute Quartet with Keyboard
Premiere: 2014 National Flute Association Convention, Chicago Hilton 8 Aug 2014: Dianne Aitken, Molly Barth, Lisa Bost, Derek Charke, and Paul Taub


Flute Quintet: Canadian Music Centre
Flute Quartet with Keyboard: Canadian Music Centre

Raga Terah is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to create a meditative character. Raga Terah is in 13/16 time. ‘Terah’ is the English translation of the number thirteen in Hindi. Similar to the other Raga flute quartets, Raga Terah plays with several polyrhythmic patterns that define the rhythmic flavour of the piece. Flutes 3 and 4 act an isorhythmic talea, perhaps imitative of the tabla. While the other two voices provide melodic figurations. Many sounds are created with a technique whereby the flutist must enunciate the word ‘cha’ to produce the desired ‘toneless’ and rough sounding effect.


(1) A normal notehead indicates ordinary tone. However, often a combination of ordinary tone and chuffing attacks using "ch" sounds (on the bass flute in particular) should be explored.

(2) A triangle notehead indicates a “toneless” attack. Blow across the tone-hole (not into the tone-hole as you normally would) whilst using a harsh "ch", "k", or "t" articulation. For single tonguing use "ch". For double tonguing use "ch k". And for triple tonguing use "ch k t". Feel free to overblow at times capturing some of the harmonics and producing a grittier sound. Experiment with using combinations of "ch k t" for single tongued passages as well.

(3) A diamond notehead indicates aeolian sounds. Produce an airy sound using "sh".

(4) A square notehead indicates a note to be sung.
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derek charke terah quintet