Indian Classical music has a very long, unbroken tradition traced back to Vedic days - nearly 2,000 years. It is an outcome of the interaction and interweaving of races and cultures, both indigenous and foreign. The Negrito, the Mongoloid, the Dravidian, and the Aryan, have all contributed. Two main types of this music are Hindustani and Carnatic music.

In turn, some western musicians have turned to it for inspiration. For example George Deuter, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, George Harrison, Henry Flynt, John Fahey, Mark Deutsch, Carlos Santana, Olivier Messiaen, Philip Glass and Jon Hassell. The members of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, including John McLaughlin.

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