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Music - NonWestern music: Indian music

"Ethnomusicology" is the study of traditional and living music from oral traditions, especially music sourced outside of the urban Western European cultures.

Music CDs

These items will be on Reserve throughout Semester 2

Seminar proceedings


Ethnomusicology is said to be the top journal in its field.

The tables of contents can be browsed HERE

We have copies of Ethnomusicology ranging from Vol. 34, no. 1 (Winter 1990)-Vol. 49, no. 3 (Fall 2005) on the library shelves at PR 780.8905 ETH

Ethnomusicology Forum

Ethnomusicology Forum is a mainstream music journal. The fulltext is available on EbscoHost Academic Search Premier, less one year's delay. If you want a more recent article, you may request it on interlibrary loan

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Sangtar's Music Blog

Sangtar writes about Hindustani music. His blog gives descriptions, explanations and lots of original compositions.

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Carnatic and Hindustani traditions

There are two major traditions of Indian music. Hindustani music derives from north India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh. Carnatic music (aka Karnatic, Karnatak) which shares many of the same features, is from the south.

Introduction to North Indian classical music

Notes on Indian classical music

Hindustani classical music site from the ITC Sangeet Research Academy

Carnatic music dictionary


The backbone of melody is raga. Ragas, like Western modes, express different moods and characters through tonality and intrinsic harmonic relations. There are hundreds of possible ragas. Rasa is any one of 8 or 9 subtexts of emotion asociated with a raga.

The Raga system in Hindustani music

Raga and musical scales in Carnatic music

Ragas (defined)

Audio of microtonal Raga ornaments

Swara, Raga and Rasa



Indian music sounds different to mainstream Western, principally because of the scale. Voice and instrument glide over just intonation rather than equal temperament, creating microtones, and adhere to a unique and very complex system known as raga.

Indian classical music: Tuning and ragas

Melodic and harmonic systems of music in India

Microtones in Hindustani Sangeet

The three players

The 3 main aspects of Indian music: voice, melody, and rhythm, are most often expressed through 3 performers, sometimes contracted to only 2.

Some introductory and general links include...

Music and musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent 

The instruments of Hindustani music, including the Tanpura and Swarpeti (Drones)

Drones in Indian music

Video on playing the Tanpura

The Indian heritage of classical music

Listening to Indian classical music

Asian Music Circuit (U.K.) Check the performer profiles 

Music Today (an Indian online music store)

Batish Institute Archives (a commercial site) Includes some useful material, e.g. images and descriptions of instruments.

Khazana. An online store. Both Hindustani and Carnatic. Also has a manual on Carnatic music. Good images of instruments. 

Useful Books

These items will be on Reserve throughout Semester 2. They will be on the shelf at other times. So if in doubt, check the computer catalogue for their locations, and place a Hold if they are on loan.

Box Hill Institute acknowledges that all of our learning sites are situated on the ancestral lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations and pay respects to the traditional custodians and their elders past, present and emerging.
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