Explorations of Raga

On this week's Rhythm Planet, Tom explores the wonderful world of raga, India's great musical form. Its history goes back to the 16th century, the time Bach was formulating modern chromatic harmony on the circle of 5th's. Raga means "tone" or "color in sanskrit, is based on complex rhythms and microtonal scales, and has a history of strict discipleship that is unrivaled in any other musical discipline. 
The show features an explanation of raga by Ravi Shankar, as well as music by Ravi, Anoushka Shankar, Amjad Ali Khan, and a hypnotically beautiful raga by the legendary Imrat Khan. There is also an interesting clip of audiences emerging from a 1967 Carnegie Hall concert by Ravi Shankar, giving their reactions to hearing this exotic music for the first time.





Tom Schnabel