The Tibet Music
Tibet, as you may know, is one of the most mysterious areas in the world. It is in China and is considered mysterious for several cultural practices and traditions that are unique from the outside world. One of the most recognized cultural assets of the place is the Tibet music.
The Tibet music is unique from the music of the other regions in Asia and the world for several reasons. In the first place, the music of Tibet is largely cultural. All of the musical products produced reflect the cultural heritage of the Tibetans, as well as the trans-Himalayan region. It is known throughout Tibet though, but its power has reached wherever the ethnic Tibetan groups have settled. The Tibet music is also known in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Kham, and even abroad.
The Tibet music, aside from its being cultural, is also religious. Perhaps the main cause for this is that Tibet has been the center of Buddhism. It is exactly where the Dalai Lamas rule and it is where a majority of people are Buddhists. So with the strong influence of Buddhism, it’s no wonder that Tibet music now reflects the profound influence of Buddhism on the culture of Tibet.
There are several forms of Tibet music. On the most basic, the Tibet music boasts chanting. However, it is interesting to know that the chanting is not just simple or pure chanting. Those who played the music of Tibet usually chants in Sanskrit or Tibetan which they consider as part of their religion. Aside from that, the chants are so complex. It is often composed of recitations of the Tibetan’s sacred texts, while there are others that are performed in celebration of the different Tibetan festivals. For instance, the so-called “Yang chanting” is performed with the absence of metrical timing. It is often accompanied by the sound of the Tibetan resonant drums, as well as by low and sustained syllables.
The Tibet music also takes its secular form. This trend was first promoted by certain organizations in Tibet. One of the most active is the group of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. This group actually specialized in Lhamo, which is but an operatic style which includes dance music. There is also the classical gar style which is often performed at sacred Tibetan ceremonies and rituals.
Today, the Tibet music has developed from its classical and ethnic form to modern style. It has created an impact to the Western music, especially the New Age, and today, the use of Tibetan bells are even found in most of Western musical productions. In return, foreign styles of popular music have also created a great impact to the music of Tibet. Rock and Roll and the Tibetan Pop are two of the most common examples. And, this influence is expected to change as the days go by.