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Tansen – The Magical Musician

Tansen – The Magical Musician

Almost exactly in the centre of India is a town called Gwalior. In this town is the tomb of Tansen, one of the greatest musicians that ever lived. Next to his beautifully carved stone tomb stands a little tamarind tree. It is believed that by eating a leaf of this tree and touching the tomb, a singer can improve his voice. If this sounds like magic, the story of Tansen is equally magical. Even today, many famous musicians follow the style of music created by Tansen known as the “Gwalior Gharana”....

A Verbal Trade

One evening, an old man was passing through a village. From the interior of a small house, he heard a sweet, melodious voice singing. He stood outside on the road till the song ended. Then he went near the house and looked inside. The singer was a small girl. He patted her affectionately and gave her a gold mohur. The girl’s father, Mohan, who was standing nearby, was delighted at the unexpected present. He snatched the gold mohur from his daughter’s hand....

What are the Various Jazz Styles?

What are the Various Jazz Styles?

Jazz originated from the American South in the 18th century as a form of music sung by African slaves employed in the many plantations. Jazz music was influenced by different cultures from a combination of African folk music and rhythms to Caribbean and black American music. Various styles of playing evolved in the 19th and 20th centuries as musicians started to improvise. This was because early musicians did not have formal training in Western classical music and those that did began to introduce European harmonies and forms into Jazz and made the pattern of music uneven....

Instrument with a Human Tone

Instrument with a Human Tone

A family of musicians in the city of Mysore, in Karnataka, has a unique family heirloom — a beautiful 300-year-old veena. The veena is India’s most ancient Indian stringed instrument. Instrument with a Human Tone [Illustration by Shiju George] The veena is a poly chord instrument, that is, it is made of several strings. Each string produces a certain tone, which other strings cannot duplicate. Melody is produced when the strings are plucked....

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