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Sounds of India

Ravi ShankarAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Price: $7.13 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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A Short Biography

Ravi Shankar, the legendary sitarist and composer was India's most esteemed musical Ambassador and a singular phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West. As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he did more for Indian music than any other musician. He was well known for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. This however, he ... Read more in Amazon's Ravi Shankar Store

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Sounds of India + Very Best of Ravi Shankar + West Meets East: The Historic Shankar Menuhin Collection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMURW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,089 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. An Introduction to Indian Music
2. Dádrá
3. Máru-Bihág
4. Bhimpalási
5. Sindhi-Bhairavi

Editorial Reviews

Beautifully complex compositions put on display by the grandfather and teacher of World Music.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless introduction to non-Western music October 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Even in this supposedly digital age, all most Americans know about India beyond turbans and the Taj Majal is the sound of the sitar. I've never understood how anyone could hear this beautiful music and not want to learn more about it, and the tradition it comes from.
To me, classical Indian music has no equal as a source of solace and inspiration. It's impossible to give it a serious listen without closing your eyes and drifting off on a journey of imagination. It's truly an auditory narcotic: the mind simply refuses to be tied down.
It isn't just Indian, either, it's pan-Asian: the basic instruments come from ancient Persia; in the tremelos and melting notes of the lower range, one hears the echoes of a Moslem cantor. At the opposite end of the register, the plucked note progressions are reminiscent of Oriental lutes that float about like auditory calligraphy.
There are a few things that make it truly Indian, though: its origin as the artistic medium of religious expression at the intersection of all the Old World religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. It's the perfect melding of the eastern- and westernmost musical traditions of Asia. This is best realized not even in the sitar, but in the tambura, that never-ending, metallic, atonal drone in the background which performs roughly the same function that bass does in Western music. But while so much simpler in form -- every work is based on a single chord -- it's so much more in fact: it's eternal; it never changes. It's an auditory umbilical to antiquity.
In a world where lip-synching during a choreographed dance routine qualifies airheaded teenagers as "superstars," Shankar's reputation as "the Godfather of World Music" (George Harrison) is genuine. He is a visitor from another time, a thousand years ago, when one man could embody an enormous artistic tradition and a vast, ancient country.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This was the first recording of Indian music that I bought, not because I needed an introduction, but simply because it was the only decent CD of Indian music that my local record store had. Let me just say that I am so glad that I ran into this one. I don't usually like to buy albums with explanations of the music recorded by the artist; I find it much more revelatory to dive right into the real thing, and for that reason I almost didn't get this. But something told me to buy it, and once I put it on, I realized that it IS the real thing. Indian ragas are generally longer than the ones here, but Ravi manages to fit all the emotion and sincerity he puts into his 30-minute ragas into these ones as well. And I actually did learn some things from his mini-lessons.

There's not really any point in trying to describe the ragas on this album (or any other album). They're so complex and intricate that the only thing one could really talk about is the scales they use and what sort of rhythms are played. But if I've got you interested yet, then you'll buy the CD and learn about all of that from Ravi's explanations. If you don't care about that sort of stuff, then you probably won't like the music.

A little education-
Indian ragas are based on scales and modes. In fact, the word "raga" means "scale." The basic structure of a raga begins with the alap section, in which the main instrument (in this case, the sitar) plays freely, accompanied only by the drone instrument (sometimes not). This is where the basic scale is first introduced. The sitarist then introduces the element of rhythm, but very slowly. The percussion (tablas in this case) comes in and introduces the tala, which is the time signature.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK but... May 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD
As great as the music is, if you are distracted by the presence of vocals...then buyer beware. Ravi does a fair share of talking on this CD...and while the info is interesting enough...some listeners may find the vocals distracting. I would recommend the CD "Three Ragas" as the best, vocal-free Shankar CD.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By sml17
Format:Audio CD
I was first introduced to Ravi Shankar and his music through the Concert For Bangladesh album; I was a schoolboy of about 9 when I first heard it, and had the pleasure of seeing the master perform in December 1996, kicking off his "75th year" tour. One need not know the technical concepts and terms used in music (scale, metre, etc.) to enjoy this CD, although it does help. Sitar music is "feel" music, like most classical forms. Thus one is able to experience some of the composer's and/or performer's intent when listening. It is a highly recommended CD for neophyte listeners, students, and fans alike.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mera Bharat...actually 4.73 stars March 23, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I owe a lot to this album. I was just seventeen years old in 1993, in southwest Kansas when I bought it. Believe me, southwest Kansas, though I love the land, is devoid of culture outside of farmer/rancher/Mexicano. It was the first foreign music I heard, though I heard the sitar a few times in Beatles music. I bought it on a whim. It was a real daring thing for a Mexican/American in middle America. The minute I heard the first tones, I was hooked, and the rest is history. Shortly after that, I bought Vidwan: Music of South India -- Songs of the Carnatic Tradition. Since then, I have gotten countless Hindustani and Carnatic CD's, as well as music from Nepal. I wrote my senior term paper about Hindustani Music, started learning Hindi, started eating Indian food, began playing the tabla, and as a dream come true, I went to India with my wife in 2005 for two months. I guess you could say I fell in love with India, and it all started with this album. Shows you what music can do.

Onto the review - I love the main intro as well as the intros to each of the ragas. The music is very good, and although the developments of the ragas are short, they adequately express the beauty contained within the ragas. There are, of course, better albums out there, but this is very good intro to the world of Hindustani Music. Buy this and you will be pleased. For a kick, buy it with Vidwan: Music of South India -- Songs of the Carnatic Tradition, so as to get a real feel of both the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions. Both of them were released in 1968, both are very classy, and both are available on this site.

Try it out, it'll take you far like it has me...
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