India

Regions: North India (Hindustani sangeet) and South India (Carnatic sangeet)

Cultural notes:
Hinduism is the main religion throughout India. There are also smaller pockets of Islam and other religions.
Indian music, both classical and folk, is very spiritual in nature.
Some of the oldest music known to humans is Hindu Vedic chant.


Translation: We invoke (havāmahe) the Lord of the celestial hosts (gaņānām gaņapatim), the Seer among the Seers (kavim kavīnām) who is of superlative fame (upamashravastamam). O the highest Lord (jyeşhţharājam), the veritable Brahman (brahmaņām brahmaņaspata), hear us (shŗņvan) and fulfill (sādanam) in us Thy Grace and protection (ūtibhiĥ).


Music genres and characteristics:
Raga is the primary form of Indian classical music.
A raga is defined by several characteristics: a fixed collection of notes, some characteristic motives or little pieces of melody, a time of day or year that it should be performed, emotional characteristics, sometimes an associated god, goddess, or religious idea.
Raga is largely improvised. There may be a short pre-written composition called a "gat," but the rest of the very long performance is completely improvised.
Musicians must train for many years to be considered worthy of public performance. "Messing up" is shameful at best, blasphemous at worst.
Three is a sacred number. Musicians strive to repeat ideas three times in their improv, and sometimes even three groups of three.


Instruments:
Aerophones:
Bansuri--Bamboo flute

Chordophones:
Dilruba--bowed lap fiddle
Sitar--Wooden guitar-like instrument with resonating gourd

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Membranophones:


Tabla--tabla/baya set of drums, played by one player

Videos and sound clips: