Classical Music

I was looking for an MP3 of a song from the classic Hindi film Tansen -- didn’t find it, but I stumbled upon this wonderful website: The Dovesong Foundation. It has texts and sheet music and MP3’s for western as well as world music (Middle East, China, India, Persia) -- but here’s what it has for India: North Indian classical MP3s. The ragas are listed by the appropriate time of day for their performance. When you click on the page for each raga, you find a number of different MP3s, of different musicians’ explorations of the same raga. By listening to the interpretations of different artists, you can really get a feel of the raga. There are still ragas that are not represented, of course -- and unfortunately, the great South Indian Carnatic tradition isn’t represented at all. But it’s a wonderful site. And don’t miss the articles, including one with stories about the effects of different ragas.

raag Kanada: With uplifted sword
and, in the other hand, the tusk of an elephant,
the divine form of Kanada is lauded by the hosts of heaven.

I found another interesting link at the same time: Sadarang, a site about Pakistani classical music -- a tradition which is shared with North India. It has some sound samples; the gallery page shows pictures of musicians. This page is organised by gharana, or traditional school (e.g., the Delhi gharana, the Gwalior gharana, and so on); the pre-1947 masters of each school are the same for both India and Pakistan.

I’d welcome any other suggestions about Hindustani or Carnatic music sites, especially those where one can actually hear the music.

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