Study Music in Europe

WESTERNERS AND INDIAN MUSIC IN EUROPE

photo charly1

Charly Wintermeyer

Indian music covers a broad range of different styles. There are two major systems of classical music - the south Indian or Karnatik - and the north Indian or Hindustani. In addition there are many folk styles and the hybrid film music of Bollywood and other important film cities in India.

I am a representative of the Hindustani tradition and a product of the so-called guru shishya parampara (can be freely translated as the teacher disciple tradition). This music is played to the background of a drone (usually the instrument used is the tanpura, a stringed instrument creating a broad range of overtones), which enables the listener to hear microtones. From the performer it requires a high degree of virtuosity. The music is known as raga music, which is soothing relaxing and meditative. A strong influence of this music on the new age and meditation music in the West cannot be denied. Western musicians with healing inclinations have also been influenced by Indian music and musical theories in their work. Long introductions to a raga (alaap) are common practice and an invitation to meditate. Indian classical music be it north or south has existed for thousands of years as a living tradition and therefore has undergone and is still undergoing many changes keeping up its traditional spirit.photo charly2 Indian light classical music is a genre between folk and classical style and uses folk melodies interblended with classical improvisations. The pieces are shorter than in raga music and leave more freedom to the musician. Indian classical- and light classical music of all types has received high appreciation between the western audiences in Europe. Media coverage ebbs and flows with its popularity. Indian emigrants often bring their music with them; particularly cinema- and folk music. Cinema music in India has always been influenced by western musical ideas, which were blended with Indian sound material. On the other hand, the market for film music from the subcontinent not only covers Europe, but also the Gulf, Arabian countries and Turkey as well as countries in Africa. Indian pop fusion lately even conquered the charts.

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