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From raags and Indonesian gamelan to qawwali and the east-west pop stylings of China, the music of Asia is as diverse as its terrain and cultures. At first intimidating in scope, this rich and varied continent offers a multitude of sonic experiences that fall well outside western notions of musical scales and time. Once this diverse musical arena is entered, however, the fresh and challenging sounds prove addicting, and few listeners turn back. Listen to the hauntingly spare and strained vocals of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing traditional North Indian qawwali songs that vividly evoke village life. The startling Tuvan Throat Singing, and Yogyakarta's Gamelon of Kraton performing sweet percussion of gamelan. Whatever your poison, westerners -- and western musicians -- are increasingly turning to the tunes of the East for inspiration and pure musical enjoyment.

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New Releases this week for Asia

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