Kīrtan Artist Appreciation
At the Heart of Sound 200-hr RYT, we get an important question from students after they learn how to pronounce Sanskrit more precisely. "Now that my ear is tuned to Sanskrit, are there any good Western-style kīrtan artists to listen to?" And the answer is... ummm... that's a tough one because up until now it's relatively rare.* Hopefully, more and more recording artists will take the time to honor the language in which they're singing, but there is a lot out there that's not precise.**

In this form, we're not passing any judgment about what might be deeply heartfelt music, beautiful melodies, angelic voices, contribution to bringing the practices of kīrtan or mantra chanting to the West, or other wonderful things... we're specifically honing in on the appropriation of the Sanskrit mantras into something which might resemble Sanskrit but is missing some key elements, such as mouth position, consonants with/without breath, and vowel duration. Our intention with this form is not to be the "Sanskrit Police," rather we're simply hoping to collect some specific resources for our students who want to listen to artists who have refined their expression of the sacred sounds of Sanskrit.

About this form: When you input your detailed listening assessment on kīrtan, bhajan, or mantra songs or albums it will be shared as a "recommended listening" list to students of the Heart of Sound, and possibly publicly as a resource for all to benefit from. (Either way, when it's shared it will not include your name or contact details; that is just there in case we need to get in touch with you.)

Note that if you don't have an ear for Sanskrit you'll be unable to provide a detailed assessment for our purposes, so "I don't understand the question" is provided as an option.

Thank you!

*Most singers born and raised in India will automatically have clearer Sanskrit diction because most of their native tongues are at least partly derived from the same alphabet. You're welcome to review Indian-born artists as well in this document! However, the request from students is mostly around discerning the artists they're already listening to (Krishna Das, Deva Premal, etc.)

**More on "Why Sanskrit?" in Anandra's free e-book at www.heartofsound.in
Email address *
Your first and last name *
Your answer
Name of the artist you're reviewing *
Your answer
Name of the material (song or album) you're reviewing *
Your answer
Are you reviewing an individual song, or a whole album? *
Please share Youtube, Soundcloud, CDBaby, Spotify, iTunes, or other link to the material:
Your answer
If it's not copyrighted (i.e. your own recording you'd like to submit for consideration) you may also upload a file to share here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/ATSmkc9TvdhQlOyzSrYz
Your answer
Alphabet mouth placement *
Can you hear the singer clearly distinguish between 3rd (cerebral) and 4th (dental) positions?
Alphabet aspirated / non-aspirated sounds *
Can you hear the singer clearly distinguish between consonants with breath and without breath?
Vowel duration *
Can you hear the singer clearly distinguish between long and short vowels in appropriate places within the mantra?
Composition and vowel duration in the melody *
Can you hear the singer clearly distinguish between long and short vowels in appropriate places within the rhythm and melody of the song?
Bonus: Ayurvedic assessment
What's your general feeling of the "after-sound" of this piece? (It's multiple choice.)
Other comments:
Here's your chance to point out other things you love or don't love about the piece! :)
Your answer
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