Various Artists

India: Chants in Praise of Krishna

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The Dwarikadish Temple is a Hindu temple in Mathura, India, a city that's several hours to the south of Delhi. Music, of course, plays a crucial role in Hinduism, as it does with Buddhist, Taoist, and Islamic Sufi sects -- it is used to express one's devotion to God, and thus, spiritual music is often referred to as "devotional music." Recorded at the Dwarikadish Temple in 1988, this CD documents a ceremony of Hindu chants praising Krishna. The chants of the Hindus are accompanied primarily by tambourines and drums -- what one hears on this recording is quite comparable to what one would hear at a Sunday gathering at a Hare Krishna temple in the U.S. or Europe. Though the chants are Hindu-based, one needn't embrace Hinduism to appreciate it on a musical level -- open-minded Muslims, Jews and Christians can enjoy Chants in Praise of Krishna even if they aren't in agreement with all of the Hindu beliefs. Nonetheless, some listeners might find this recording a little too raw -- the more casual Indian music fan would probably be better off with an album of ragas featuring a prominent sitar or vina player. But those with a deeper interest in Indian culture will find it enthralling.

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