Online Hindustani Music Resources

compiled by Matt Rahaim

Tanpura mp3s

Of course there's no substitute for a real, well-tuned tanpura that you can lay your ear against. However, if you are determined to simulate its sound, the following free mp3s can serve as substitutes for those overpriced electronic humboxes with pictures of tanpuras on them. The D sa-pa in particular, courtesy of Sameer Gupta, sounds much better than those infernal machines. The D# sounds pretty nice, too. The kharaj of the D sa-ma wavers a tiny bit. If you can't find the sur you want, a plethora of shorter tanpura recordings are available here. And if anyone has a good recording of a well-tuned tanpura to fill in any of the gaps here, please let me know.

If you have the means, iTabla Pro is a reliable iOS tanpura/tabla simulator. 

The pitches listed below are approximate--they are not tuned to standard A440 equal temperament. 

[right-click or ctrl-click and select "save as..." to download]

A sa-pa

safed che ladies

B sa-ma

safed sat ladies

C# sa-pa

kale ek gents

D sa-pa

safed do gents

D sa-ma

safed do gents

D# Sa-Pa

kale do gents


Free Hindustani Recordings A collection of vocal and sarangi recordings, downloadable in .wmv format. Among them is a striking recording of Salamat Ali Khansahab and Nazakat Ali Khansahab singing together when they're very young, shredding a basant ektal bandish into magnesium ribbons.

Patrick Moutal's Online Recordings - Huge collection of dowloadable Indian music sound and video recordings, including vocal and featuring a variety of instruments. Specializes in remastered old recordings, including 78s and what appear to be some wax cylinders!

The Vijaya Parrikar Library of Classical Music- A collection of rare (and often low-fi) recordings of Hindustani masters, curated by Rajan Parrikar. Vocal music is well-represented. Down the left side of the page are names of Hindustani musicians. Click on a name and you'll be directed to several short sound recordings. You can access South Indian music recordings by clicking "Carnatic Stacks."

Sangeethapriya- Site for the exchange of Indian Classical Music for research and education.

Archive of Indian Music - Well-organized online archive of Hindustani, Carnatic, film, and theater music recordings.

Indian Music Research and News

Sangeet Natak Akademi - Society for music, drama, and dance research in India.

Sangeet Research Academy- I recommend the "Know your Raga" section, arranged by thaat, which includes short audio clips of SRA singers performing the ragas.

Rajan Parrikar's articles on Hindustani Music- Raga is difficult to describe in words, but Rajan Parrikar does better than almost anyone in combining poetry and clarity. Much of this is based on summaries and English translations of two meticulous and authoritative 20th century music theorists: V.N. Bhatkhande and Parrikar's own guru, Ramashreya Jha. Very occasionally, about once per article, the writing here becomes a bit too personal to be very useful to anyone else except the author. But if you can manage to look beyond the occasional giddy, venomous invective, you will find a great deal of value here. These articles are full of helpful orienting generalizations and illustrated by hundreds of recorded examples, many of which have never been released commercially.

And once your filter is well-tuned--once you can distinguish a thoughtful, measured critique from a toxic personal attack as easily as you can distinguish Jaunpuri from Shuddh Rishabh Asavari--you might want to selectively and tentatively peek at the very active newsgroup/snakepit Several dozen brave, dedicated, and adabi souls manage to dodge the crossfire and regularly contribute subtle, accurate and insightful postings. I salute them.

ShadjaMadhyam- Hindustani recordings, online lessons, articles, and more.

Bandishbase- a growing collection of bandishes organized by raga. Also check out ragabase and talabase, and the rare catalog of Marathi songs.


A Few Performance Spaces and Schools

Sangati Center for South Asian Music- San Francisco performance space, art house, and community center which dedicates much of its resources to acoustic, intimate performances of Indian Classical music. Run by Gautam Tejas Ganeshan, a brilliant and forward-thinking young improvising musician. There are concerts, workshops, listening sessions, and riyaz sessions nearly every week.

Ali Akbar College of Music-  School of Hindustani music in San Rafael, CA. Founded by late sarodist Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. A world unto itself.

Basant Bahar- Major organizer of high-profile Indian music concerts in California.

Seattle Indian Music Academy - Thriving Indian Music school in Seattle.

Indian Music Society of Minnesota - A vigorous, well-run Indian music organization in the Twin Cities.  Ordinarily, they produce eight concerts a year. 


A Few Hindustani Musicians in the USA, Especially Friends

Pooja Goswami Pavan- Minneapolis, MN. Hindustani vocalist. Her ghazals are particularly excellent.

Warren Senders- Boston, MA. A powerful Hindustani vocalist and inspiring teacher.

Gautam Tejas Ganeshan- Berkeley, CA. Brilliant vocalist exploring the edges of melodic possibility.

Shubhangi Sakhalkar- San Jose, CA. Wonderful vocalist, sensitive teacher. Student of Padma Talwalkar.

Rujul Pathak- San Ramon, CA. Singer and teacher; student of Shaukat Hussein Khan.

Mahesh Kale- SF Bay Area khyaliya, Marathi Sangeet Natak star, disciple of Jitendra Abhisheki.

Sameer Gupta- New York, NY. Tabla player and teacher. Student of Anindo Chatterjee.

Ferhan Najeeb Qureshi- Palo Alto, CA. Tabla player and teacher. Student of Tari Khan.

Sonia Mann- Palo Alto, CA. Kathak dancer and sitarist.

Rita Sahai- Berkeley, CA. Benares/Gwalior gharana vocalist affiliated with the Ali Akbar College.

I hope these links are helpful to you. This is not meant to be an exhaustive survey of Hindustani music on the internet--just a list of a few that I feel closest to. Don't let the internet distract you from your riaz!


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