The Allegro Guitar Quartet (AGQ) performs “From Ragas to Riches,” a program for elementary school children that traces the plight of the Gitano (or Rom) people from northern India to Spain. The students hear musical influences the Gypsies carried with them and some they picked up along their way from India to Spain. All at once they receive lessons in music, history, various cultures and geography. We introduce students to the sitar, mandolin, hammered and mountain dulcimers, lute, violin and several kinds of guitars. AGQ performers are Gerald Jones, Polly Maynard, Christopher McGuire and Jan Ryberg.
Our story begins in India with young Roshan playing his Sitar for the Great Raja. Roshan is very skilled at the Sitar. By bending and wiggling the notes of his music he can make his pet snake dance, swaying first this way and then that way. But then comes the Raja’s imperial flute player, Akmed, who says, “No, you’re doing it all wrong.” A musical duel ensues. The snake becomes very confused and upset, jumps from his basket and bites the Raja on the nose. Akmed cries, “The Gypsies have killed the Raja.” Roshan and his family must flee very quickly, leaving all their possessions behind, including Roshan’s beloved Sitar. Thus begins a three hundred year odyssey through Europe and Africa that brings the Gypsies, along with the Arabs and Jews, to Spain where they create the exciting music we call Flamenco!
“From Ragas to Riches” introduces students to the sitar, mandolin, hammered and mountain dulcimers, lute, violin and several kinds of guitars.
Allegro Guitar Quartet
Gerald Jones, Polly Maynard, Christopher McGuire, Jan Ryberg
Call or email to have “From Ragas to Riches” in your school or community event.