Indian vocal music
January 4, 2007 5:14 AM   Subscribe

While you compose that incisive comment, or scour the blogs for an interesting post, or photoshop your latest masterpiece, or whatever you do on your computer, perhaps you'd like to do it to the mellifluous strains of some enchanting Indian vocal music. Learn more here. Listen to more Indian music of almost every type (including historic film music from decades past) here. [previously]
posted by flapjax at midnite (15 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
perhaps you'd like to do it to the mellifluous strains of some enchanting Indian vocal music.

I didn't realize you knew me so well, flapjax. Great post. If you could "y2kbug" our computers and set them somewhere in December I'd vote for you on that wii contest thing.
posted by micayetoca at 5:43 AM on January 4, 2007

Didn't someone post an alternative .ram player to Real Audio somewhere on the blue semirecently? If someone could find that for me, that'd be great, because I'm just about ready to kiss flapjax for this killer post.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:19 AM on January 4, 2007

nice find. i've only heard a very little indian music, most of which i enjoy. i have a few cds of Pakistani musicsion نصرت فتح علی خان (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ). good stuff.
posted by nola at 6:50 AM on January 4, 2007

[this is good]
posted by pax digita at 6:59 AM on January 4, 2007

Man, this is sweeeet. I've been looking for something like this online since I heard a performer do this live last November. Not too sound all hippy-trippy, but listen to this realllllly loud, and you can feel the beginnings of a trance state.

Your mileage may vary.

Great post, flapjax.
posted by John of Michigan at 8:00 AM on January 4, 2007

Hey, I know I already commented and I'm not going to add anything new on this comment, I just wanted to say "this post is really, really cool" again.
posted by micayetoca at 9:06 AM on January 4, 2007

A Brimful of Asha on the 45.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2007

This is fantastic, flapjax. Thank you. It reminds me of a fantastic story told by Hindustani musicians (I heard this from Imrat Khan, who teaches at my school and incidentally is the most welcoming, friendly man/professor ever) about the power of the human voice which, due to its nearly infinite range of timbre and the melodic focus of Indian music, is revered as the most perfect instrument (this is why north Indian instruments are so vocal-sounding -- the sitar with its pitch-bending of up to a 5th on one fret, the tabla, or "talking drum," with its ability to change pitch).

Mia Tansen, who was the musical advisor to Akbar the Great when the Mughal Empire ruled India, is still named as the greatest singer of all India. At the time, though, there were other musicians in Akbar's court who were jealous of his prowess, and expressed their disconcent to Akbar. Akbar consulted with Tansen on the issue and asked him how he would respond to the claim, and so the singer proposed that Akbar hold a music festival on the edge of a forest, and there these other musicians could prove that they were indeed better singers than he. The one condition was that Tansen would be allowed to go first, to which the king obliged.

The festival began, and Tansen began to sing. His song was so melodious and powerful that the animals in the forest that the festival bordered all began to gather around him. One deer, in particular, came up to Tansen directly, fascinated by his music. Tansen removed his necklace, given to him by Akbar as an appreciation of his services and worth an incomprehensible amount, and placed it around the neck of the deer. He stopped singing, and the animals, brought out of their trance, immediately ran away. Akbar was horrified, asking Tansen why he had given away such an invaluable item. Tansen merely told him that if any of the singers there were as masterful as he, they would surely be able to recover it themselves. :)

Some similar resources for Hindustani/Carnatic classical music:
posted by invitapriore at 9:34 AM on January 4, 2007

CitrusFreak12: Real Alternative
posted by loquacious at 10:39 AM on January 4, 2007

Beware nasty popup on the last FPP link (
posted by Duug at 10:44 AM on January 4, 2007

Look for the Bombay Sisters. Oddly, they are Carnatic, despite the name which suggests the North. Gorgeous.
posted by Listener at 1:29 PM on January 4, 2007

It just keeps getting better. I was gonna say that, hey, I got to get back to work at some point, but f---- it. I'll work on my next reincarnation.
posted by micayetoca at 3:35 PM on January 4, 2007

Hey thanks to all for those kind comments and groovy links! And micayetoca, I'm starting to worry about you a little... you better get back to work! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:32 PM on January 4, 2007

drat, my computer won't let me listen to any of the music on those sites. must get some tech help for that.

But looking forward to listening sometime!
posted by nickyskye at 10:25 PM on January 4, 2007

Hey, nickyskye, that's a drag you can't get to the music. Some really lovely stuff here. Hope you can find a way!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:16 AM on January 5, 2007

« Older It's 1993 again, but recruiting's harder   |   Cars Under Covers Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments