First, let's take a look at the definitions of the words, raga and flamenco.
Raga - |ˈrägə|
(in Indian music) a pattern of notes having characteristic intervals, rhythms, and embellishments, used as a basis for improvisation.
Flamenco - |fləˈme ng kō|
1. a style of dancing, characteristic of the Andalusian Gypsies, that is strongly rhythmic and involves vigorous actions, as clapping the hands and stamping the feet.
2. a style of instrumental or vocal music originating in southern Spain and typically of an intensely rhythmic, improvisatory character, performed by itself or as an accompaniment to flamenco dancing.
Flamenco can be traced back to the religious dances of India. The body movements and emotions in Indian dances are close to flamenco dance forms. Nomadic tribes traveled from India across Europe and Africa. These tribes settled in Andalusia, Spain with gypsy tribes from Africa and the Moors. The Moorish dances mixed with Indian dances, forming the early influences of flamenco. Usually, a flamenco dancer becomes the main percussion of a piece.
Anoushka Shankar, a well-known sitar player and composer, is one of the leading musicians in World Music. Her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, taught her how to play the sitar as a child. Her music is rooted in the Indian classical music form, though she explores music within a variety of genres—electronica, jazz, flamenco, and Western classical music.
Check out the video clip of Anoushka Shankar in concert as a part of the Girona's 12th Festival of World and Sacred Music. Here she explores Gypsy music and takes us on a unique journey with Spanish Flamenco musicians.
It's interesting to hear how the Indian and Spanish musical forms which share common roots come together again in this fusion. Unlike a flamenco dancer, the sitar adds an entirely different element to the piece.
"Flamenco." Def. Entry 1 and 2. The Oxford English
Dictionary. 3rd Ed. 2010. Print.
"Raga." Def. The Oxford English Dictionary.
3rd. Ed. 2010. Print.