Chapter 5

959 words 4 pages

1. Why does the Indian classical tradition dominate the musical image of South Asia in the west?

The classical music of India has gained most of the attention of outsiders probably due to the colonization era that has brought Indo-European invaders (Aryan Civilization) into their territory between 2000 and 1500 BCE due to the presence of rich resources. However, Indian music, unlike the communal music of Africa and Southeast Asia, is individual and often virtuosic and can be both vocal and instrumental. The Hindustani one (North) is more appealing to the Western society as it is more instrumental based, whereas the Carnatic (south) one is more vocally oriented. Another factor that attracts the Western attention
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The central themes of qawwali are love, devotion and longing (of man for the Divine). A group of qawwali musicians, called a party (or Humnawa in Urdu), typically consists of eight or nine men including a lead singer, one or two side singers, one or two harmoniums (which may be played by the lead singer, side singer or someone else), and percussion. If there is only one percussionist, he plays the tabla and dholak, usually the tabla with the dominant hand and the dholak with the other one (i.e. a left-handed percussionist would play the tabla with his left hand). Often there will be two percussionists, in which case one might play the tabla and the other the dholak. There is also a chorus of four or five men who repeat key verses, and who aid and abet percussion by hand-clapping. Songs are usually between 15 to 30 minutes long and tend to begin gently and build steadily to a very high energy level in order to induce hypnotic states both among the musicians and within the audience.
Filmi songs , however, are not part of the classical raga tradition and most of such films encourage an escapist experience for the audience. Bollywood is the most productive cinematic producer with over 2000 films per year since it started in 1931. Its music breaks away from the more traditional side by the Westernization of the production softwares and instruments (synthesizers, playback


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