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Mantra: Musical Conversations Across the Indian Ocean

This education resource is part of the Mantra Project, a concert tour and project for young people, presented by the Orlando Consort, working in association with The National Centre for Early Music.

The inspiration for this new collaborative project is sublime Iberian and Indian music from the early 1500s. Portuguese missionaries and Goan Indians joined together in music making as churches, built in the exotic land known as the 'Pearl of the Orient', resounded to the extraordinary blended sounds of Europe and Asia. These award-winning musicians recreate this historic cross-cultural encounter and apply their collective experiences to create a radical and challenging new dialogue for the 21st century.

This National tour opened at the NCEM and was supported by Arts Council England and the PRS Foundation for New Music.

The Mantra education resource has been compiled to help secondary school music teachers introduce and explore the inspiration behind the Mantra project by looking at aspects of Hindustani music, Western early music, and the fusion of the two styles. It comprises a series of downloadable information sheets, handouts for pupils and activity ideas, together with links to video and audio clips. The activities are appropriate for pupils in Key Stage 3, but can also form the foundation of more extended work by GCSE and A-level students.

The resource, compiled by the NCEM in partnership with Alchemy, focuses on the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in Goa in the 1540s. It explores the music they may have brought with them, together with the Indian musical styles they might have encountered. It also speculates on the kind of music that Western and Goan musicians may have made together. The resource is designed, not only to be used to by groups participating in the Mantra young people's project, but as a stand-alone bank of ideas and activities for secondary school teachers and pupils interested in taking a new look at these fascinating and exciting musical genres.

The resource is organised in four sections. Click on the links to access the resources:

Information about Portugal's links with Goa from the 16th to the 20th century

Music of the Goan Musicians
An introduction to North Indian Classical Music, together with activity ideas for Secondary School music lessons

Music of the Jesuit Musicians and Portuguese Settlers
Information about Medieval Plainchant, Renaissance Polyphony and Instrumental music from the sixteenth century, together with activity ideas for Secondary School music lessons

Fusion Ideas
Information about the surprising similarities between Indian music and Medieval and Renaissance music of the West, together with activity ideas for Secondary School music lessons and a song composed by Kuljit Bhamra, which features in the Mantra concert programme