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Indian Classical Music
There is no direct relation between self-bondage and Indian classical music except for their durations, both have a range from a few minutes to hours and their official standings in western places - quite exotic. Well, getting from music to dance, from dance to belly dance, to harems and then to slavery, there are links if you really want some Wink

But the real reason, why I am talking about Indian classical music here is that I discovered it for myself a while ago and I would like to give others the same opportunity.

A wealth of music is available on youtube, but you need to know, what to look for. Good starting points are Ravi Shankar (sitar), his daughter Anoushka Shankar (most of her music is not exactly classical but who cares), Gundecha Brothers (vocal), Ali Akbar Khan (sarod), Kushal Das (sitar)...

The better source might be which is not restricted to 10-minute pieces. There you can find classical northern (hindustani - my preferred style), classical southern (karnatic) and a lot of other Indian music (folk, bollywood, pop etc.). All recordings I have listened to so far are pretty good quality. Unfortunately, many links don't work but the other ones make up for that trouble.

What to listen for: Unlike western music, indian classical music includes a lot of improvisation to explore the musical potential of a given "Raga". A raga is a melodic concept representing a specific mood. Ragas could be compared to scales in specific keys in western music, except that they are much more defined and the keys in western music pretty much lost their - always heavily debated - individual moods. However, there is a certain number of Ragas only, one of them is the very basis of any composition and will be adhered to almost perfectly. Ragas often include specific melodic patterns, key notes and ornamentation. This and the basic scale of a specific raga distincts one from the other. The second base consists of the Taals. These are rhythmical patterns. These replace the western concept of measures (4/4, 3/4, 6/8 etc.) and can result in quite odd rhythms when translated into western measures. We are used to counting 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3 and expect that each count represents the same duration during a piece. This is not so in Indian music. Indians count in measures and these can be of mixed types inside a composition. A typical classical composition often starts exploring the raga and the real composition follows, usually with drums. Indian classical music does not know the concept of modulatian and counterpoint by the way, so the development of the music is hard to detect for a western listener.

A few links to getting started:

Anoushka Shankar (relatively easy listening, good for starters):

(if Indians had invented rock music, it could sound like this) - not exactly classical music of the classical type, very contemporary

(I would call this crossover, typical indian female vocalist here, beautiful song)

still Anoushka Shankar, but this time "real" classical music and a few nice pics - she looks as good as she plays Smile

Anoushka Shankar and her father (and teacher) Ravi Shankar (less emphasis on easy listening)

Incredible vocal music, very distant from any kind of western music. The first piece poses the smallest challenge to the listener, the third one intruduces many delicacies of classical indian vocal music which have no counterpart in western music. The second one comes in the typical song structure, the real song starts around 4:00 (for the impatient).

I would like to hear from those, who give this music a try, even if you don't like it in the end - just please don't give cheap comments such as "doh, that's boring noise" Wink
I absolutely adore Indian classic music! And have a big collection. Tabla, santur, bansuri, ghatam, kanjira... Oh my ...
BTW, one of my favourite kanjira solos:

[my-youtube width=425 height=344][/my-youtube]

Selvaganesh ;-)

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