Online Hindustani Music Resources

compiled by Matt Rahaim


Of course there's no substitute for a real, well-tuned tanpura that you can sing close to. If you want to buy one, I recommend Yusuf Mirajkar's Shop in Pune's old city. However, if you are determined to simulate its sound for practice,  iTabla Pro is a reliable iOS tanpura/tabla simulator for those with money to spend. 

The following free mp3s can serve as substitutes in the meantime 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 anyone has a good recording of a well-tuned tanpura to fill in any of the gaps here, please let me know.

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


Recordings of Hindustani Music A collection of vocal and sarangi recordings, downloadable in .wmv format.

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

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."

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

Hindustani Music Literature and Theory

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.

Bandishbase- a growing collection of bandishes organized by raga. Also check out ragabase and talabase, and the rare catalog of Marathi songs. - Huge collection of ghazals and other Urdu poetry. Includes recordings and extremely user-friendly resources for learning.


A Few Performance Spaces and Schools

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.

Society for Indian Music and Arts - Music school and arts collective in State College, PA. Run by Arijit Mahalanabis.

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

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.

A Few Hindustani Musicians in the USA, Especially Friends

Pooja Goswami Pavan- Minneapolis, MN. Versatile Hindustani vocalist.

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.

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

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

Samarth Nagarkar - New York based khyal singer, student of Ulhas Kashalkar.

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. And don't let the internet distract you from your riaz!


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