Saturday, 27 May 2017

Western Music...

Whichever be the music. Be it the Indian Music or the Western Music each one of them is based on melody and rhythm. But there are certain differences in these music forms. Lets elaborate some distinct distinction between the two popular form of music.
   The first is based on melody-single notes played in a given order, while the second is harmonic: a group of notes called chords played simultaneously. 
Western music may be defined as organized instrumentation and sound created and produced in Europe, the United States, and other societies established and shaped by European
immigrants. This includes a wide range of musical genres, from classical music and jazz to rock and roll and country-western music. The late Dr. Rabindranath Tagore who was a musician himself and knew both the systems put it this way: "The world by day is like Europeans music-a flowing concourse of vast harmony, composed of concord and discord and many disconnected fragments. And the night world is our Indian music: one purem deep and tender raga.Our music draws the listener away beyond the limits of every day human joys and sorrows and takes us to the lonely region of renunciation which lies at the root of the universe, while European music leads us to a variegated dance through the endless rise and fall of human grief and joy.” Basically Indian music evokes a spiritual sentiment and discipline in a person. Vocal singing is an act of worship and not the display of mastery over raga-technique. In the West, the singing of a song is a formal exercise, not involving devotion like the Indian Music. Guru-shishya tradition is responsible for the deep attachment and dedication of the student to the teacher. In the West, usually a music teacher is just a person hired for giving lessons and there is no a relation of guru-shishya between the teacher and the student.
Indian music, like Western music, is based on melody and rhythm, but it has no foundation of harmony like the western music. The Indian system is horizontal, one note following the other, while the European is vertical-several notes at a time. Yehudi Menuhin, the noted composer and musicologist, highlights the difference between the two systems by describing Indian music thus: "The appreciate Indian music, one has to adopt a completely different sense of values... one must orientate oneself and at least for the period concerned, forget there is a time-clock ticking away and merely sink into a kind of subjective, almost hypnotic trance. In that condition, the repetitive features of Indian music, both rhythmic and melodic, acquire an extraordinary fascination and charm... despite the domination of this hypnotic mood, a characteristic of Indian music is that far from deadening the intellect, it actively liberates the mind."The popularity of western movies (singing or no singing) and cowboy music had died down by the '60s. However, contemporary western artists like Ian Tyson, Riders in the Sky, and Tom Russell still enjoy cowboy festivals (featuring both poetry and music) attract surprisingly large and enthusiastic crowds.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Jaipur Gharana...

There is a rich tradition of Gharanas in classical Hindustani music. The music Gharanas are also called styles. These schools or Gharanas have their unique styles in the traditional mode of musical training and education. Every Gharana has its own distinct features. The main area of difference between Gharanas is the manner in which the notes are sung. The concept of a Guru- Shishya parampara leads to the development of Gharanas.
         It is considered that this gharana was brought to life by Ustaad Alladiya Khan. Ustaad Alladiya
Ustaad Alladiya Khan
Khan was a resident of Uniyara, a small place in Rajasthan. His forefathers were also musicians. They were dhrupadiyas. But Ustaad ji himself started singing khayals and he taught his sons and disciples khayal. His main disciples were his famous younger brother Haider Khan, Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale and his own sons. It is said that the gayaki of his forefathers were similar to that of the gwalior gharana gayaki. It is also said that Ustad Ji himself sang his fore fathers' gayaki at younger age, it was later that he switched to khayal gayaki. Ustad Jee would practice for so long time that his voice started to crack. Everyone started believing that he could not continue singing anymore. But he went to jodhpur and a hakim treated him and gradually his voice started becoming like before. Since, he was treated in the state of Rajasthan so he named the gharana "Jaipur gharana".
    The gharana which gave our country some of the finest musicians like Vidushi Kishori Amonkar, Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Vidushi Kesarbai Kerkar and many more
   Now lets talk about the gayaki of this gharana. What are it's specialties? The gharana is characterised by the low tempo aalapchari like dhrupad. It is also known for the small bol tans. In Jaipur gayaki the words of bandishes are pronounced with so much of sweetness that the listeners are instantly connected to the singer. Not only are the notes sung in rhythm with the taal but progress between the matras (beats) is in fractions of quarters and one-eighths. While being mindful of so many factors, musicians of this gharana still have a graceful way of arriving at the sam without having matras to spare!  At last I would conclude with these lines that very few gharanas pay so much attention to the esthetics and laykaari in singing bol-alaaps and bol-taans Jaipur gharana is one of them which has paid such attention.

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Sunday, 14 May 2017


वाणी प्रकाशन से प्रकाशित "गिरिजा" नामक पुस्तक जिसको की श्री यतीन्द्र मिश्र जी ने लिखा है, एक बेहद सरल और रोचक ढंग से लिखा विदुषी गिरजा देवी जी के व्यक्तित्व पर आधारित एक पुस्तक है। 
    विदुषी गिरजा देवी जी के व्यक्तित्व के कई आयामों के बारे में बताया है लेखक ने।पुस्तक में गिरजा देवी जी के पान खाने की आदत से ले कर, उनके बचपन की कई क़िस्सों तक की बातें की गई है। 
   शुरुआत में लेखक ने गिरजा देवी जी की बनारस वाली आवास का चर्चा किया है की वहाँ कैसा माहौल होता था जब गिरजा देवी जीं रियाज़ करती थीं अथवा अपने विद्यार्थियों को संगीत की तालीम दिया करती थीं।इस पुस्तक में इनकी गाई गयीं कई चर्चित बंदिशों की भी चर्चा है जैसे- अप्पा की गाई बहुप्रशंसित चैती- "एहीं ठैंया मोतिया हेराय गईली रामा, कहवाँ मैं ढूढूँ"।गिरजा देवी जीं जिन गायकों अवं गायिकाओं से प्रेरित थी उनमें डी॰वी॰ पलुसकर, केसरबाई केरकर, रसूलन बाई जैसे दिग्गज मजूद हैं। इस पुस्तक में गिरजा देवी ने यह भी बताया है की क्यों वे इन दिग्गजों से प्रभावित थीं। अप्पा के तालीम देने की तरीक़े के बारे में भी बताया गया है,कैसे वे बंदिश की अदाएगी के बारे अपने शिस्यों को बड़े प्यार से समझाती हैं।दादरा, टप्पा , ख़याल, ध्रुपद, धम्मार सभी विधाओं की तालीम देती हैं अप्पा। गिरजा देवी जीं के लिए कोई भी राग ज़्यादा प्रिय नहीं, किंतु वे राग भैरव को सबसे अधिक गातीं हैं। उन्हें भैरव में गाई जाने वालीं बंदिशें बेहद पसंद हैं। अप्पा को काशी प्रिय है और वे शिव जी की उपासिका हैं। और मान्यता ऐसी है की भगवान शिव की प्रिय राग भैरव है इसलिए गिरजा देवी जी को भी यह राग से काफ़ी लगाव है। गिरजा देवी जीं का मानना है कि गायन में भावों की सरलता ही उनकी गायकी को सबसे भिन्न बनाती है। ऐसी कई बातें हैं इस पुस्तक में विदुषी गिरजा देवी जीं के बारे में जो पहली बार हम जैसे संगीत-प्रेमी के सामने आयीं हैं इस पुस्तक के माध्यम से।
   पुस्तक के अंतिम भाग में विदुषी गिरजा देवी जी से लेखक की वार्तालाप है, जिसमें अप्पा जी ने अपने बारे में कई रोचक बातें बताईं हैं। लोक गायन से लेकर शास्त्रीय गायक तक, गुरु- शिष्य परम्परा से लेकर अप्पा की पसंदीदा बंदिशों तक सभी पर चर्चा की गयी हैं इस वार्तालाप में।
  हर संगीत प्रेमी को निश्चित ही इस पुस्तक को पढ़ना चाहिए। बहुत कुछ नया जानने को मिल सकता है इस दिग्गज विदुषी और शास्त्रीय संगीत के विषय में।।

Saturday, 6 May 2017


Once upon a time Lord Shiva was carrying the dead body of mother, Goddess Sati. Meanwhile, while carrying her body the necklace of Goddess Sati fell on the ground and it is believed that from then that place was known by the name- "Maihar" (Mai + Har). This town was once the capital of the princely state of Maihar.  Later in 19th century this became a princely state under the British India. A beautiful city surrounded by trikotta hills, is still a tourist destination. The famous Sharda temple which is situated high on the hills is still a wonderful destination for the people to visit.
Ustad Aashis Khan
   Anyway don't think I am talking about the history of the town. I will continue talking about music as usual. I talked about this town just because this town has given us, our country wonderful musicians. Moreover it gave our country a ratna- Bharat Ratna --Pt Ravi Shankar. Yes! the great sitar maestro came from the gharana- Maihar Gharana.
    The gharana-Maihar was established by the great Ustaad Allauddin Khan.To Speak about Maihar Gharana, it is better to know a few things about ‘Baba Allauddin Khan Saheb’. Throughout his whole life, he learnt from many musicians. Wherever he went when anything inspired him, he just took it. He had a tremendous grasping power. Baba was not only a singer, and instrumentalist but also knew drums. He was a good pakhawaj and tabla player too. He also used to play folk Drum, dhol, from Bengal. He had improvised the sitar and the sarod and infused them with the been-baj of the Rudra-veena, the Surbahar and the Sursingar. So this also influenced his style and his compositions. Baba’s association with different musicians and learning from some of them, finally brought out a style of his own which is called the Maihar style of sitar playing today.The uniqueness of this gharana is-the great facility with which the players present their music in uncommon and off beat talas and the unique improvisation and rhythmic variations in their tanas.
Baba Allaudin Khan
Usataad Ali Akbar Khan, son of Baba Allauddin Khan is one of the greatest sarod player our country ever produced also came from this gharana though maihar gharana is known for the sitar maestros.
Infact Maihar Gharana is one of the most prominent names in the development of North Indian classical music and its heritage.  The famous  living sarod maesto Ustaad Aashis Khan, who is the blue blooded desencdent of this gharana,son of Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan, is one of the most accomplished sarod player of the present time. He gave his debut public performance at the age of 13, with his grandfather, on the All India Radio "National Program", New Delhi, and in the same year, performed with his father and his grandfather at the "Tansen Music Conference".
Its not possible for me to talk everything and about every muscican of this gharna in one small post since this gharana has got so many accomplished musician like- Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pt Ronu Majumdar and many more.  One can keep on writing endlessly on the great maihar gharana.This gharana occupies an important place in Indian classical music besides winning the hearts of millions of people with the music from this gharana's musicians.

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Gandhi and Music...

Mahtma Gandhi- The father of Nation, we all know him as a freedom fighter, a person who always beleived in truth and non- voilence, a divine soul and a person having great love and respect for his country. We all have heard/ read about his various aspects of life but today we will talk about his love for music. Yes! most of the people think that he was against all arts and music. But his thought for music was-
“Music does not proceed from the throat alone. There is music of mind, of the senses and of the heart. "
Well! we all have came across the famous bhajans- "Vaishanav Jan" and " Raghupati Raghav", these bhajans were played at his ashram regularly. According to him In true music there are no barrier. Music is that powerful weapon which has the power to change/control one's emotions. Gandhijis' day would start with bhajans and would end with bhajans. Famous musicians like- Pt. N. M. Khare, Mama Fadke, Sri Vinoba and Balkoba Bhave were a part of his ashram's bhajan sessions.. During the bhajans in his ashram, there was no discrimination of religion, caste, creed, region, languages etc. According to him music was a great way of national integrity because here only musicians of different relegions sit together and perform at a concert. He often said, "We shall consider music in a narrow sense to mean the ability to sing and play an instrument well, but, in its wider sense, true music is created only when life is attuned to a single tune and a single time beat. Music is born only where the strings of the heart are not out of tune." When Gandhi Ji was in South Africa he had started evening prayers in the Ashram. That collection of bhajans were later published under the name of - 'Nitivam Kavyo'.
Listening to music can help us in lot of ways. Maybe, that's why Gandhi Jee was so attracted towards music. Music is a fantastic brain exercise that activates every known part of the brain.  It can make one smarter, happier and more productive at all stages of life. Gandhi Jee even thought that music was a way of establishing peace and harmony in the minds of people. Listening to music gives an eternal peace to human mind thus, will ensure that their mind isn't attracted towards violence.
Someone once asked the Mahatma“Mahatmaji don’t you have any liking for music?" Gandhi Jee replied- “If there was no music and no laughter in me, I would have died of this crushing burden of my work.” This shows how Gandhi jee was so attached to the music.
 His love for music can be seen by the letter he wrote to Rabindranath Tagore on December 22, 1945 in which he suggested Rabindranath Tagore that due place should be given to Indian Classical Music as well as Western Classical Music along with bengali music. This also shows that Gandhi Jee had great knowledge of different genres of music.
    Gandhi Jee's life was full of rhythm and harmony. He had a habit of starting his day with bhajans and also ending his day with the bhajans. A lot of violence is witnessed nowadays around the world perhaps music is the only way to ensure peace, harmony and brotherhood among people.

Music Has No Boundaries...

One thing which can’t be stopped from travelling to a different country without a visa or passport is- Art and Music. I will talk about ...