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Asian, Middle Eastern and Subcontinental Music

The music of Asia and the Middle East is extremely mysterious to Westerners, much of it is written with an entirely different interpretation of the musical scale. Throw do-re-mi out the window and check it out!

10 Arabic Music Starter CDs
The world of Arabic music encompasses a huge variety of music both modern and ancient, and from folk, pop, and classical traditions. Arabic music can be a beautiful and compelling window into Arabic culture, so if you're not familiar with it, here are 10 great CDs from a variety of genres to get your collection started.

Classical Indian Music 101
The two main genres of classical Indian music are Carnatic music, from Southern India, and Hindustani music, from Northern India. Both use systems of ragas and talas to create a sound that is quite different from western music.

Bhangra 101
Bhangra was originally harvest-celebration music from the Indian region of Punjab. Bhangra music was given new life by Punjabi people living in England, who added dance and electronic elements to the original sounds, resulting in an exciting and modern genre that is gaining popularity worldwide.

Tuvan Throat Singing 101
Tuvan Throat Singing is a style of singing that comes from Tuva, a small republic in Central Asia. Tuvan Throat Singers are able to produce a number of notes from their voice at one time.

Filmi Music 101
Bollywood films are grand spectacles that feature large filmi music and dance numbers and melodramatic plotlines. Filmi music, the correct name for the music of Bollywood films, has become some of the most popular music in the world, and certain filmi singers, such as legend Asha Bhosle, have become well-known outside of the Bollywood arena for their talents.

Intro to Gamelan
The Gamelan is a musical ensemble, sometimes referred to as an orchestra, of Indonesian origin. The ensemble consists of several xylophones, bells, gongs and drums. Different Indonesian islands have different styles of gamelan, with the most popular styles being Balinese and Javanese.

A maqam is a system of melodic structures and melody types which provide a structure for musical compositions. Maqams are the basis of music in a number of North African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian regions.

American Gamelan Institute
The American Gamelan Institute is an organization dedicated to promoting Indonesian culture and music in the United States. Their website is a valuable resource for Gamelan information, and includes a podcast of Gamelan music.

Readers Share: The Best Arabic Music CD -- What's Your Favorite?
What's your favorite Arabic music CD? Share your picks and see what your fellow readers had to say!

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