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cover  When the whole world seems to be losing its collective mind, music remains an important--sometimes only--means of communication between battling factions who actually know very little about one another. Ustad (an honorific granted to Muslim musical icons) Omar is a revered master of the rabab, a short-necked plucked lute with a plangent, gutty tone. He performs here with a youthful Indian tabla (a hand drum capable of wide variations of pitch) player named Zakhir Hussain, who has since achieved international stardom. Stylistically, the music seems to have much in common with Indian classical traditions, although it is less languid, more direct, and not constructed over an underlying drone. These five tracks were recorded during a 1974 performance at the University of Washington in Seattle. Both men are captured at their fiery best, goading one another into explosive bursts of complex time signatures and breathtaking melodic invention.
cover  This disc, from a French label, is a brief compendium of traditional Afghan music, including the zither and other local stringed instruments, as well as the Indian tabla. Afghan classical music will remind the listener of the musics of Central Asia, India, Pakistan and even China, and harkens back to a time in which Afghanistan was a land of international commerce, culture and tribal religion. For those wishing to find out something about an Afghanistan that time has forgotten, this disc is a good choice.
cover  Afghan Music in Dari or Pashtu