Various Artists

Tibet, Vol. 3: The Music of Tibetan Buddhism

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There were some 20 albums released in this label's Musical Anthology of the Orient, three alone on the subject of Tibet and the incredible music made by its monks, armed with equipment that could make a music store owner gulp down the key to his store in excitement. As if the first two volumes had been nothing but a buildup, and a satisfying one at that, the third volume in this collection comes at the listener with a perfectly edited and sequenced blend of pieces that roll out the many illustrious features of Tibetan music with the pomp, dignity, and dedication of a military parade. Within seconds of putting the needle down, the listener will be in the world of sub-basso chanting courtesy of the Monks of the Sgang-Ngon Monastery, and it isn't that much longer until the full instrumental ensemble is blasting away with a fervor and integrity of sound that will make the neighborhood free jazz band sound like a box of rusty bicycle horns. Recorded sound favors the low horns, with the shawms spiralling off into the ether. Sections of unaccompanied solo chanting will come as something of a relief. The second side of the record is something like the Rosetta Stone of Tibetan music, a nice, fat, 25-minute slab of music that practically drips pungent yak butter. There are 11 alternating sections of full percussion with chant accompanied only by cymbals and the pole drum, the deep voices of the Gelugpa monks causing overtones to reverberate from the drums.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick