Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

It's only cool if no one's heard of it.

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HexagonalBolts
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Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby HexagonalBolts » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:12 pm UTC

I posted this in the wrong place before, so I moved it here.

Although its doubtful as to whether I will get any replies (Oh you most inferior and uncultured of people!) I wanted to ask if anybody else had an interest in traditional music? Whether it is just a curiosity from stumbling upon this post, frequent listening, or playing an instrument, I'd be interested to hear about your thoughts, what you enjoy and why. Please listen to some and see what you think, you might be surprised, I would normally listen to some of the heaviest music you will ever hear (katalepsy) and yet still I'm in love with traditional music. Also, most of us are probably pale and pasty 'indoors' kind of people with little idea of what goes in the outside world (I certainly am), so this'll do you some good... in some way.


I play the sitar, despite being a fairly average smelly Caucasian British teen.

My favourite sitarist is Ustad Shujaat Khan. He's very graceful and, to sound a bit corny, 'at one with his instrument':
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pCuIKOhQbi8

I also like the sound of the Surbahar (think of it as a bass sitar). This is Ustad Imrat Khan, another famous Indian musician:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KCtjrsu4dFk

Persian/Iranian music is very powerful, it often reminds me of Turkey which is one of my favourite countries to visit, especially when they call out the prayers and they echo through the valleys. This is a video I discovered a while ago that I really enjoy:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=df6x9AgAW-Y&feature=PlayList&p=37BB779625C5DE95&playnext=1&index=3

Kayan Kalhor is a very talented Iranian Kamanche player, the Baglama in this is sooo Turkish. This video is a really interesting mixture of interview and music:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq7sjNibuwE

I discovered this Bulgarian singing a few months ago and found it very interesting to listen to, especially after the first minute. If you've seen either of the Ghost in The Shell films, it reminded me very much of some of the singing within that:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mrcgDhpS3uo


I want to learn to play or at least own an accordion, a Chinese stringed instrument, and a violin within the next 5 years.
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby Encarnacion » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

Hey now, careful with that "inferior and uncultured" business. Just about everyone who can has their "thing" they enjoy and could show up a lot of people with their knowledge of that particular thing.

I don't play any instruments, but can certainly appreciate the work of people that do. One of my friends that I lived rooms away from in college was Assyrian, so I would listen in to what she would play a lot and enjoyed getting to hear her Senior Recital program being practiced out and in its completion. Said recital included some Assyrian music.

Also, I was raised in Arizona, a state of the USA with a fair amount of American Indian tribal influence on its culture. Even from childhood I enjoyed Pow Wow music, and still do, especially when homesick for Arizona. It is also not bad for "burning the midnight oil", as it is high energy but with lyrics most people will not be distracted by. Include in this any African tribal music, though it does not evoke nor provoke homesickness for me. There is just something in rhythmic drums and otherwise a capella singing/shouting/chanting that does my psyche some good. When a more modern group like Proto-Kaw references this kind of music, I do get a big kick out of it as well.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby HexagonalBolts » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

The inferior and uncultured thing was meant to be extremely ironic! Sorry if it came off as obnoxious!... maybe it is bad British humour or something? I'm just about one of the most ignorant and uncultured of nincompoops you will ever encounter with an equally disastrous self-esteem :mrgreen:

Do you know any of the kind of instruments she would play or listen to? I've never heard the term Assyrian before that's very interesting

American Indian culture fascinates me (One of my friends showed me a rare ceremony some tribes apparently did... o-kee-pa I think it is called... where they pierce the skin of their stomach, and then suspend themselves by hooks from the piercings. Apparently it is a transcendental experience? He was going to try it)

African tribal music is great as well, I should probably listen to more, I don't know much about it :)
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby JBonzo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:53 am UTC

Just to pitch in a bit of my experience with traditional music: I'm from St. Louis, USA. I love many kinds of music (rock, blues, jazz, classical, et al.), and I play a variety of instruments (primary for undergrad: jazz vibraphone). I discovered Hindustani music and quickly fell in love with it. A year and a half ago (between my jr. and sr.years) for study abroad, I spent a month in Benares, India studying sitar. It was incredible -- the musical population there is phenomenal (think Vienna), and all the performances I saw were free. It was grueling (practice goal: 4 hrs. / day), but it was worth it. I've been able to continue my studies somewhat since I got back. You should consider taking a trip to India sometime, which is more affordable than you might expect. It's a fantastic place, the people are generally wonderful, and the food is amazing (especially if you're a vegetarian, but even if you're not). I can't wait to go back some day.

Hindustani music never ceases to amaze me in its beauty and expressiveness, and in the remarkable skill of its performers. Growing up with Western music, I wouldn't have expected much from music without any harmonic component, but the incredible strength and breadth of emotion in Hindustani music blew my mind. I love it.

Also, now I'm spoiled by just intonation.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby HexagonalBolts » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

That sounds really amazing where *exactly* was that? And how did you organize to study sitar there for a month?

I would love to do that

Also I am a vegetarian haha :)
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby JBonzo » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

Hey, sorry for the long delay.

My program was with an educational NGO called Nirman, located near BHU in Varanasi. How I found out about it and set it up through study abroad at my university is a very long story, but if you are interested, you should go to http://www.nirman.info and look at the study-abroad programs (they're very helpful, so contact them if you have any questions). They provided food and housing -- and lots of general help, info, & comfort -- and arranged my lessons. If you're interested, you should definitely go! Nirman is great, but if for some reason that doesn't work out for you, keep looking. I had to put in a lot of hours searching, documenting, getting my passport and visa, etc., but it was more than worth it. I'm definitely going back to India some day, hopefully with better Hindi (not really necessary in an urban area like Banaras, but much more fun and interesting).

So check it out. If you're really interested, you should pursue it. I thought I was crazy at first for wanting to take such a big trip, but as I worked more on it, it seemed more and more realistic and eventually I was on a plane to Delhi. I could go on all day about my trip, so I'll just stop myself here and say that it was a big part of my life and has been ever since.

Oh, and if you do go, beware the chai -- it's delicious! I came back hooked on the stuff.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby Jackpot » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

BARF! FART! COFF

Sorry about those. Good stuff with the ethnic music. You might be interested in these ;)
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby ofwolf42 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:48 am UTC

I'm not sure if you only refer to traditional Asian music or not. But either way here's some Irish traditional:

Can't have Irish music without a fiddle, this is Tommy Peoples:
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=jHqFlS3gNMs

Here's the Uillean pipes (like the bag pipes except that they don't make you want to hurt people):
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=aF3fW4Nox9U

For anyone interested in Irish music I recommend listening to solo players or duets. Too many players can ruin the sound (in my opinion).
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby Kesho » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:15 am UTC

Here is some weird and wonderful music from a Macedonian folk dance:
Sitna Lisa With a bit of searching, you can find some smoother, saner versions of this song, but I love how wild it is.
Anouar Brahem is an oud player and composer who is from Tunisia. One of my favorite songs by him is La Nuit des Yeux.
Another artist I like is the Malian folksinger/guitarist Rokia Traoré. Here is a song of hers called Dounia.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby helkaraxe » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:54 am UTC

I lisent various kind of music, Rock, Classical, New Age. Also I like very much Folkloric music, from different cultures. For example I like Irish music as well as Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and also the folkloric music of my country, Cuba, it is a music that shows the syncretism of the two principales cultures that originated my country, in one side the pagan African culture and in the other side the Cristian culture from Spain. I recommend you to lisent it, it have a percussion unique in the world.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby a386 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:25 am UTC

This stuff is awesome and i totally totally don't get enough of it, thank you for the recommendations in your first post. I wish i had any idea how microtonal scales and things worked, maybe i'll go to india and learn. I would love that. I've listened to some turkish saz music that i really liked. Have you ever heard any Tuvian throat singing? If you haven't you absolutely should find some it's incredible.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby knight2417 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC

I listen to a lot of Irish music. Much of it is based on the original...umm...irish music... Bands like the Pogues have a lot of great traditional stuff in their music. I Also like the Canadian bands Great Big Sea and Spirit of the West who have great traditional Canadian sounds.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby a386 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:00 am UTC

felt the need to come back here because recently i have been getting into listening to and trying to feebly kind of imitate some indian ragas, carnatic or hindustani. i love this drone stuff and i love all the improvisation on mood and it all of it is so great and wide and deep and fascinating. i'm trying to imitate it on guitar basically by bending a lot? i can't afford an instrument that's made for this sort of thing right now. has anyone ever seen people perform these sorts of things on violin, but they hold the violin all crazy? i think it's beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emg2r8wj8i4

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby Qoppa » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

a386 wrote:Have you ever heard any Tuvian throat singing? If you haven't you absolutely should find some it's incredible.
Tuvan throat singing is really cool. I saw Huun Huur Tu live a few years back.

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby godonlyknows620 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:17 am UTC

Carnatic classical singer here :)

Sadly though, I have never had the chance to learn in India. Though I do have an excellent teacher who was a professional in India, so that's pretty close, I guess.

Maybe I should take a workshop or something next time I go there...

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby poxic » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:45 am UTC

a386 wrote:has anyone ever seen people perform these sorts of things on violin, but they hold the violin all crazy? i think it's beautiful.

That actually looks like a more sensible way to hold a violin. I'd be able to do that for a short time, but the Western crook-of-the-neck thing would hurt like hell. (Neck problems suck.) I'm also impressed by how well the instrument blends in with the traditional sound, and adds to it when bowing multiple strings.

Western classical violinists would probably cringe, but then they don't like fiddlers either.
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby a386 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

godonlyknows620 wrote:Carnatic classical singer here :)

Sadly though, I have never had the chance to learn in India. Though I do have an excellent teacher who was a professional in India, so that's pretty close, I guess.

Maybe I should take a workshop or something next time I go there...


oh man i would love to take a trip to india. i'm actually starting as a jazz major at a conservatory soon so maybe some kind of study abroad program? i wonder what's offered.

as for western classical violinists, the stuffy amongst them can shove it. no patience for the closed of mind.

i live around NYC and last night Bela Fleck did a show in central park with Toumani Diabate, and some friends and i went and it was packed and we couldn't really get in but there were lots of campers outside so it was still pretty ok, you could hear it. anyway, Toumani plays the Kora which is this traditional african harp and it's GREAT and i found an album of his and you should check it out. it's so so self-sufficient, a lot of the compositions involve playing a bassline and like an ostinato and then improvising over the whole thing all at the same time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DEKQjj6 ... re=related

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby Ended » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

I like the tabla (Indian tuned drums). They are beautifully expressive: beats correspond to linguistic syllables, so pieces can be spoken as well as played. There is a wonderful demonstration of this here.
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby ginadagny » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:28 am UTC

Music from the caucasus is so so beautiful. I especially like chechen folk songs, like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7CFbDmt-48

I just want to get up and lezginka :D

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:59 am UTC

i grew up around greek traditional music. it's pretty cool although i have no desire to play it.


also to the OP:

dude SITAR IS AMAZING! i've seen it used in some "rock/folk" bands in amazing ways. also electric sitar. wow. ok i'm done.
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby diotimajsh » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:55 am UTC

HexagonalBolts wrote:I discovered this Bulgarian singing a few months ago and found it very interesting to listen to, especially after the first minute. If you've seen either of the Ghost in The Shell films, it reminded me very much of some of the singing within that:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mrcgDhpS3uo
I highly recommend buying the CD, entitled Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Gorgeous stuff.

(I tried to link to it on Amazon.com but the forum doesn't seem to want to parse it as a url.)
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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby steewi » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:18 am UTC

I love Bulgarian choral singing, and its opposite (in terms of style), Georgian choral singing (and Russian male choirs). Bulgarian is generally larynx up and close mouths - lots of higher frequency harmonics, Georgian is dropped larynx and open mouths (fewer harmonics).

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Re: Traditional Music (Indian, Chinese, Iranian, etc)

Postby ShokuMasterLord » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:03 pm UTC

Chinese traditional music is pretty, but I like the contemporary orchestral compositions, like Liangzhu Violin Concerto and the Huang He Piano Concerto.
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