Skip to main content
Subscribe to Music Tales
The poignant meaning behind Amor Eterno lyrics
Begin the Beguine: discovering origin and meaning
Wiegenlied: folk poem behind Brahms' Lullaby
I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger: origins and lyrics of the famous folk song
Ry Cooder & Vishwa Mohan Bhatt: the unlikely fusion of two guitar greats
A Meeting by the River—is one of the most striking cross-cultural works of the 1990s which brought Grammy Awards for...
Mozart and Tom Waits wrote music for the glass armonica which was rumored to cause mental health damage
The glass armonica is one of many curious instruments that came into use with small ensembles during the transition from...
The tapped harmonics of Balaram Pathak's sitar
Balaram Pathak was not only one of the most talented Indian classical musicians of the 20th century but also the mind...
First compositions for koto presented out of court by Yatsuhashi Kengyō in the 17th century
Yatsuhashi Kengyō was a 17th-century Japanese composer who created a new concept of koto music, introducing the...
Muthuswami Dikshitar: South Indian composer and poet who embellished Carnatic repertoire 200 years ago
Muthuswami Dikshitar was the most influential Indian composer representing Carnatic tradition which is most present in...
1960s clarinet & sitar duo pioneered an ambient genre with the album for spiritual practices
Even though the term ambient as a music genre was coined by Brian Eno only in the 1970s, musical experiments of this...
Michio Miyagi & Renée Chemet: near century-old collaboration of koto and violin linking Japanese traditions with Western classic
In the first half of the 20th century, many Asian composers sought a way to represent their cultures on the global scene...
Shehnai oboe and its greatest virtuoso proclaimed the Indian Independence Act of 1947
For several centuries most ceremonial or festive events in India, Pakistan, and Nepal have been accompanied by lively...
The Hindustani maestro who arranged the Sārangī fiddle for a classical solo
The sārangī fiddle, mainly used on the Indian subcontinent, is perhaps one of the most complex bowed string instruments...
The quiet adventure in the warm depths of Abzû game scored by Austin Wintory
American composer Austin Wintory made history after becoming the creator of the first-ever Grammy-nominated videogame...
Only 3 Mantras survived from Sanskrit opera Avatara by John Foulds
One of the greatest areas of music history still remaining largely uncharted is the influence of Indian philosophy on...
Vilayat Khan enriched his sitar technique by giving it human voice
Brilliant sitar player Vilayat Khan is broadly known in India and worldwide as a prominent maestro of the Hindustani...
The fifth string of the Maihar school lead violin
For more than a century, the tiny town of Maihar—now the de facto cradle of the Indian Classical—has been breathing with...
Sūrsāgar: ocean of poetry that expanded for five centuries
Sūrdās was a North Indian devotional poet, musician, and saint who lived in the 16th century. His lyrics, addressed...
Vasant Rai's fretless guitar arrangements for Indian classical
Vasant Rai (1942-1985) was one of the world's most acclaimed masters of Indian music. Born in Unjha, in the province of...
Pannalal Ghosh: magic flute came to the Indian classics from the river
Born in Barisal, East Bengal (now Bangladesh) Pannalal Ghosh (1911–1960), was an Indian composer and virtuoso of the...
Rabindra Sangeet have been an essential part of Indian culture for more than a century
A native of Calcutta, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913—the first Asian person to receive...
Legendary Tansen could bring rain with music
The history of Indian classical music is enriched with numerous artists who were able to channel very specific moods set...
North Indian classics introduced into Californian underground thanks to Terry Riley
Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley remains among the most revolutionary composers of the post-war era. Famed for his...
100 years for 1 career: the great artist and teacher Allauddin Khan
Allauddin Khan was the great Bengali multi-instrumentalist and composer who, to this day, remains one of the most...
Humid Kolkata air sways with Nikhil Banerjee's sitar
Nikhil Banerjee (1931–1986) was an Indian classical musician who emerged as one of the leading masters of the sitar. In...
Brian Eno's Airport Music for orchestra
It is useless to speculate now which direction the genre of ambient might have taken if not for Brian Eno, the revered...
Hero's colors come alive with silk violin strings
Hero, an undeniable martial-arts classic, is an epic collaboration between Zhang Yimou, perhaps the biggest name in...
The lively nature of A Color Symphony emerged from the Great War horrors
A Colour Symphony, dedicated to the legendary conductor Sir Adrian Boult, was the first major orchestral work by the...
Desh Raag as universal music scale
Desh Raag is a beautiful and melodious indian classical piece, also called Monsoon Raga, which is often played at night...
Bernini's famous fountains are filled with Respighi's music
Fontane di Roma is a symphonic poem written by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi in 1916. It depicts Rome’s...
Gandhi's devotional song was arranged on Galgibaga beach
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram is a famous devotional song that was widely popularized by Mahatma Gandhi. While the origins...
The Third Norfolk Rhapsody, lost a hundred years ago, was reconstructed recently
Vaughan Williams composed three Norfolk Rhapsodies in 1905 and 1906, shaping them on folk melodies he had gathered...
The sounds of scenic Iceland in the Aeriality orchestral piece
Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer whose music is now often played around Europe and the US, captivating the...
Reverie: cello reimagining of Claude Debussy by Julian Lloyd Webber
Reverie is one of the first works written by Debussy for piano. Even at this early stage of his career, with the style...
Get the Latest
In Your Inbox
The History of Popular Music
Discover stories from each decade. Listen to gems from the 1960s, 1970s, and more.
Explore Phrygian, Lydian, Dorian, and other modes through the harmonic analysis of popular songs.
Read all about the formative music of the past centuries. Enjoy the regal yet easy sounds of the Baroque and Renaissance.
Indian Classical Music
Dive into the South Asian philosophy through Indian classical music. Learn about musical traditions of the Hindustani and Carnatic culture.
The Epoch of Romanticism
Get a taste of the most beloved and fruitful music period. See the personalities behind the major shift of the eras — from Classical to Romantic.
Download for free HQ soundscapes recorded in a mixed forest, including bird songs, cricket choruses, and night or afternoon thunderstorms.
Bamboléo: song meaning and origin of the lyrics
Für Elise: 2 versions of Beethoven's best-known piano piece
Phrygian mode in Pink Floyd songs
Barrett's Privateers: origins and meaning of famous drinking song
Je te veux: Satie's love song refashioned as piano piece
Pedro Navaja: song meaning and origin of the lyrics
Beatles songs composed with just three primary chords