Various Artists

India: Rajasthan - The Musicians of the Desert

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Rajasthan is a region in Northwest India bordered by Pakistan. The region is mainly arid desert, and the monsoon season lasts only three months. During the rest of the year, life and activities are slowed down. The Rajasthani have thus become what one could call a leisurely people. They have developed a large number of popular traditions, including handicraft, stage arts, and especially music and singing. During this inactive period, a large number of people -- farmers, shepherds, and others -- become actors, musicians, singers, or acrobats, traveling around the region to entertain everyone. There exists two main groups of semi-professional musicians: the Langa and the Manghaniyar. The Langa are Muslims, and they sing and perform for patrons. The Manghaniyar are either Muslims or Hindus, and they do not have patrons; their repertoires are slightly different, and they do not use the same instruments. This CD includes songs from both groups of musicians. A lively and joyful music.

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