"Where East joined West
Around the Ninth Century, for some unknown reasons, thousands of inhabitants of the north-western part of India began to emigrate west. They set out from the territories presently occupied by the Punjab and Pakistan. In Persia they split, and one part went via Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and through the GibraltarStrait, finally arriving, already known as Gypsies, in the south of Moorish Spain. In this region, known as Al-Andalus, various cultures co-existed for hundreds of years. It was the only place where Gypsies, Jews, Catholic s and Muslims lived together for a long time. Each group had its own customs, music and instruments. After many years, in the beginning of the 19th Century, due to mutual influences and the mingling of all these elements, a mysterious and expressive type of music emerged. Today we know it as Flamenco.
The Middle East, specifically India, was a cradle of the culture and language of most of Europe. Inhabitants of its northern part constituted the oldest civilisation of the world, together with Egypt, Mesopotamia and China. It was there, in the Indus river valley, where the first religions, first laws and first instruments and musical notations appeared. The oldest book written in India around 2000 BC gives mantras chanted to honour gods, based upon one, two or three notes, which with time were transformed into a heptatonic scale. A seven-note scale, popular already in 350 BC, was written as sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, and it remained in this form up till now. The Indian scale was richer than any other since it had quarter tones, that is intermediate notes between semitones, giving 22 quarter tones (shrutis) within one octave. Quartertones in Indian music are present mainly in ornaments of the melody. However, they can also be used in melodic parts, which may make a singer or instrumentalist seem out of tune for a person accustomed to European music. Somewhere between the 2nd and the 5th Centuries the first book devoted to the art was written, Bharata Natya Shastra, containing a detailed description of the vocal and instrumental music, as well as of dancing. According to the book, the base of Indian music is constituted by raga, that is a sequence of at least five notes of one scale.
The 6th Century was the time when canons for music and arts were established. They are valid even today as they gave rise to the development of classical music based upon the system of ragas and rhythms accompanying them. Indian music started to develop more and more rapidly, and good musicians were more appreciated and sought by rulers.
This album is not a publication of NarRator Records, they are restricted to the album’s Hungarian distribution and the organisation of concerts in the country."