Indian classical instrumental is a much sought after genre of music all over the world today. Gone are the days when listeners from Western countries could not make out if the instrument that was being played was sarod or sitar. The only sound that convinced Westerners that the music is really Indian was the constant drone of the tanpura. But thereafter, of course, the sounds of the sitar strings became recognizable everywhere and even got featured in a few Hollywood movies of the 1950s and 1960s. The sound was also noticed by many Rock bands of the West and some experimented with it in their music.
Bismillah Khan – Malkauns (Shehnai) :
Hariprasad Chaurasia – Pilu (Bansuri) :
Ali Akbar Khan – Gour Sarang (Sarod) Vocals: Asha Bhonsle :
Anoushka Shankar – Shuddha Sarang (Sitar) :
Note: Please inter-change the names of the last two songs after you download them. They were wrongly named while uploading.
Indian classical musicians worship their instruments as if the Goddess of knowledge, music and art, Saraswati, bestowed them to them herself. During the Monterey International Pop Festival of 1967, legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix smashed his guitar all over the stage and later burned it into flames at the finale of his performance. Another guitarist, Pete Townshend, followed suit by breaking his guitar into bits and pieces. In sheer contrast, Pandit Ravi Shankar, who also participated, lifted the sitar to his forehead as a mark of respect for the art and the instrument. Recently, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was seen weeping when his sarod was damaged during a flight. Herein lies the divinity of Indian classical music.
India has a rich source of instrumental music with its innumerable kinds of musical instruments be it classical, traditional or folk. The mild and melodious tunes of bansuri or the healing sound of sitar, each one soothes the mind and soul. Instrumental music can be used as the best kind of meditation music. The beautiful sounds of instruments help the mind and soul to relax and concentrate on a single thought.
Indian classical music is a part of the Indian heritage, and is said to be found in the oldest scriptures, namely the Vedas. Indian instrumental music is a part of the classical music and is a much revered tradition of India. Globally, Indian instrumental classical music has greater acceptance than classical vocal music. The reason attributed for this is that the lyrics in Indian vocal music are incomprehensible to people other than Indians. Presented here are four of the most delightful performances on various instruments.
Adnan Sami has a special command on Indian classical music notes. He developed his musical style and technique on the Piano, evolving a new sound, which he pioneered and ultimately introduced to the world, thus becoming the first person to play Indian classical music on the electric Piano. As a classical concert pianist, Adnan Sami has had the honour of giving performances before heads of governments such as President Mitterand of France, President and Prime Minister of India, President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and Prime Minister of Sweden. Apart from this, Adnan has performed for prestigious music festivals to sold-out stadiums of his concerts all over the world.
Ecstasy, a 1990 album, is part of Adnan Sami’s journey into the world of Indian classical music, a world that he, unfortunately, abandoned in the later part of his career. Ecstasy has four tracks including one in Raga Khamaj. I am skipping this one as it has already been featured in one of my earlier posts, and was also part of Adnan’s earlier album. It is surprising, but no details about Ecstasy is available anywhere. The whereabouts of the accompanyists, like the Tabla player, are unknown. Can someone find them, please?