>Properly to appreciate the astonishing virtuosity and complexities that a good mridangam player can conjure up, a 'new listener' should listen to a 'duet' between a mridangam and another instrument (plenty are available for download). THEN one *starts understanding* the 'art of the mridangam'! (And linking the rhythm in the music to the mathematics underlying it: ALL of that math is done 'intuitively in the mind' as it were, by the mridangam player. South Indian music ['Carnatic music'] is not played from written scores - all needed calculations are done in the mind of the musician!!)
I confess to having only seen one Indian concert, but it was very good. I also didn't know anything about Indian music other than what I got from the Beatles (wink), and I regret that I didn;t.
It was a fantastic concert thought, featuring Ravi Schankar and a tabla player. It was at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh (lovely place see links below.) The crowd was almost entirely Indian with all the women in gorgeous saris. A true sea of delight, especially in that very fancy setting. I'll never forget it. The music was hypnotizing, (I wish I knew where to go see something similar around here, in New Jersey.) Afterward, there was a reception in the most beautiful hall the Pittsburgh, the foyer to the Music Hall.