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raag dvd

his is a wonderful and informative documentary about the famous Indian classical musician Ravi Shankhar. No single person has done more to introduce the native Indian music into the West World. If you have ever heard of the sitar, it is probably because of him. This film chronicles his life an a musician, from his tutorship in his native Indian homeland to him tutoring Beatle George Harrison as Indian music became a part of the 1960’s counter-culture.


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A raga or raag (IAST: rāga; also raaga or ragam; literally “coloring, tingeing, dyeing”) is a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music. The rāga is a unique and central feature of the classical Indian music tradition, and as a result has no direct translation to concepts in classical European music. Each rāga is an array of melodic structures with musical motifs, considered in the Indian tradition to have the ability to “colour the mind” and affect the emotions of the audience.
The word appears in the ancient Principal Upanishads of Hinduism, as well as the Bhagavad Gita. For example, verse 3.5 of the Maitri Upanishad and verse of the Mundaka Upanishad contain the word rāga. The Mundaka Upanishad uses it in its discussion of soul (Atman-Brahman) and matter (Prakriti), with the sense that the soul does not “color, dye, stain, tint” the matter.The Maitri Upanishad uses the term in the sense of “passion, inner quality, psychological state”. The term rāga is also found in ancient texts of Buddhism where it connotes “passion, sensuality, lust, desire” for pleasurable experiences as one of three impurities of a character.Alternatively, rāga is used in Buddhist texts in the sense of “color, dye, hue”.


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