Kirtan is a folk form that arose from the devotional Bhakti movement of 15th century India, spearheaded by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The primary musical feature of kirtan is the use of call and response, a figure that also deeply informs Western bluegrass, gospel music and jazz. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies and the mantras. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing and the rhythms build and accelerate.
The mantras that are used in kirtan are mainly Sanskrit names for the Divine. Sanskrit is the oldest language known, and its sounds and their meanings are primordial. Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming and raising activity, where music and song are used to bring everyone together in a beautiful experience of collective expression of the divine. The mantras quiet the mind, the music frees the heart.
Kirtanaustralia.com brings you information on upcoming kirtan events, as well as the best audio, video, and photos of past events.
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