Monthly Archives: June 2016

Music Traditions Or ‘Gharana’ System In Indian Classical Music: An Analysis

Traditions or Gharana system play an essential role in Indian Classical music. Tradition refers to Gharanas of music or the stylization of singing. Here is how Gharanas are conceptualized: Its like a person who is known as Kaushik, sings and his style, note-treatment, raga-treatment, techniques of voice production becomes popular and liked by everyone. That style or ‘gayaki’ is picked up and imitated by many musicians including his disciples, siblings and kids. When 50 people assemble to sing and share a specific common style, which is exclusive, popularized and appreciated by the masses, the style is eventually called ‘Kaushik Gharana’. Though there is no Gharana as such. Moreover, Gharana are nomenclated by the places from where the musician and their descendants belong to, such as Agra Gharana, Delhi Gharana, Patiala, Bhindibazaar, Rampur-Seheswan, Atrauli, Gwalior, Kirana, Mewati, Jaipur. As you observe Gharana names are based on the places where the root musicians settled and opened their musical start-up.

Aptly perceived by the Sitar Maestro Purbayan Chatterji, “A gharana is a place where a great Ustad or a great Pandit settled and started teaching his students,”

Music Traditions Or 'Gharana' In Indian Classical Music: An Analysis

Music Traditions Or ‘Gharana’ In Indian Classical Music: An Analysis

During the Muslim invsion in India, the veteran court musicians made a respected place in the kingdoms. They used to pass on their Gayaki to their descendants and disciples and the tradition emerged through generations. This is how Gharanas or ‘singing style’ of a particular place sailed their own musical cruise. Gharanas, even today, has maintained the reputation and dignity of music by its immense innovation in ragas, bandish (composition), Talas and music-genres and what not.

According to Purbayan, “The patronage of the Mughal rulers to arts brought forth many talents from different parts of North India. Musicians would travel around, performing in different courts, until they find popularity in one region and settle there. In order to carry on his fame, these maestros would then invite students to live with him and learn his techniques and style. Thus, a gharana was formed. It was widely accepted that the status of gharana was given to only those who had had at least three generations of students. The gharana becomes famous by the name of the place or the founder guru.”

Gharanas, however, are bound to a certain rules and regulation of Gayaki in which one has to be chained, but are significant for uplifting the age-old Guru-Shishya Parampara.

Gharanas are based on the same concept of Guru-Shishya parampara, as a disciple (not descendant), ones taken in, or ties a dhaga (Ganda) takes a gregarious, formal training staying with his/her Guru, tolerating all his tantrums, executes all his households happily till he becomes an elite stalwart. The disciple exceptionally respects his/her Guru like God and this element is purely, sacredly an Indian culture which is been followed in no other field except in musical heritage. And the credit goes to the Gharanas.

Today, the maestro disciples of the early musicians, touch their ear in respect while speaking out the name of their Guru. Competent personalities like Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar, Pt. Niladri Kumar, Pt. Rakesh Chaurasiya, Pt. Srinivas Joshi are known to be the disciples of Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasiya, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi respectively and then as a musicians.

Lets discuss how Gharanas own their special characteristics and how they are different from each other:

The most famous Gharana: Jaipur Gharana (जयपुर घराना)

Jaipur Gharana emerged as two singing/playing styles thus it divided into two: Jaipur Daagar and Jaipur Veena Gharana (Instrumental). King of Jaipur Ramsingh was a great music lover and appointed many skilled musicians with respect and honour. Jaipur Daagar Gharana is said to be started by one of them known as Mangal Pandey and his descendants which was eventually continued by the Muslim disciples Haider Khan, Behram Khan etc. and the gharana emerged as Muslim Gharana but its cultural and creative panorama never changed by religion. Jaipur Gharana is popular for exceptional innovations in Music world.

Dilli Gharana (Delhi दिल्ली घराना )

Started by Allahbaksh, this gharanas inculcated the raga purity and abide by the rules properly. Dilli Gharana style represents the rhythmic raga elaboration and improvisations; it demonstrates the short rhythmic swaras innovative sequence and weighty tenor voice. Ornamnetations like Sut, Meend, gamak, lehek, etc. are performed in an astounding manner in fast tempos too. Prolific Khyala Bandish like paalki, suhaag, khanapuri, Taan-bandhaav are vocalized with overwhelming ease by the great early stalwarts like Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, Ust. Naseer Ahmed Khan. Present eminent personalities of Delhi Gharana are Dr. Krishna Bisht, Dr. Bharti Chakraborty, Ust. Sayeed Zafar etc..

Gwalior Gharana (ग्वालियर घराना)

Again, Gwalior gharanas introduced two different styles of singing thus it emerged as : one started by Ghulam Rasool, another by Vishnu Pandit. Current maestros Pt. L.K Pandit, Madan Rao, Meeta Pandit belong to this style. Earlier legendary musician and musicologist Pt. Omkar Nath Thakur, Pt. S.N. Ratanjhankar, Pt. D.V. Paluskar, Dr. B.R Devdhar share this Gharana.

Gharanas are still and will always be the backbone and ambrosia of Indian Classical music, as it organizes, analyze and provides a unique, transcended standard to the field. It will continue to emanate the new forms, elements, intonations by its invention and of course great musicians and keep the Ragadari sangeet cognizant and culminating.

Niladri’s Magic with Strings!!

The first time I heard Niladri Kumar was at kamani auditorium, Delhi, but was unable to perceive the uniqueness of his playing as he was super fast. The gat was going literally out of anticipation for me; tala was racing with my mind  and went far beyond the sam till I realized. Therefore, my final judgement of him was, “too fast”. The next time I heard him was in the advertisement of Taj mahal tea when again he seemed to demonstrate the tidal waves but I observed the kids danced at the ad. Then I realized why he is popular among the youngsters. Sometimes one needs to plummet down back to kids thinking level to inculcate any art among them. Niladri Ji did the same. Kids and youths are fascinated with the fast tempos and that’s exactly what he is up to.

The other day I heard him in a video floated through whatsapp and I was just mesmerized. He was endorsing an event tieing up with Madhuri Dixit and he played her movie songs like dhak-dhak, Mera piya ghar aaya, Ankhiya milau, and all her rocking ones. He made the audience and Madhuri so engrossed that nobody could make out what instrument he was playing. Have a look:

Zitar was the instrument he was playing which is his own creation. Zitar is the  cool combo of sitar and guitar (electric) having a beautiful maroon color. This indicates the passion, perseverance and lifetime practice of the maestros with which they land up to their innovative inventions of instruments transcending the level of classical music.

Guru Pt. Ravi Shankar might be smiling proudly above to watch his student being compared with him indirectly in the concert last evening in the Vishalakshi Mantap, Bangalore. His scintillating performance uplifted immensely with the lethal combination of Padmashree Pandit Vijay Ghate on Tabla. The concert titled ‘Soul to soul’, unfolded the Raga charukesi with its startling approach towards aalap and superfluous, beyond anticipation, fast renditions on higher octaves.

Apart from Charukesi, they both extended the event by presenting some fast track medleys maintaining the comity of the deep-rooted classical art. The intricate versatile and doughty rhythms by Pt. Ghate injected the natural bliss and metanoia among the audience.

 

 

I am an Indian Classical Vocalist, Journalist, Dancer and Traveler. Trying to educate via my Blogs.

Music Mends Relationship

TV actress and host Vrushali Mandal was a great violinist apart from being a so-so actress. After an year of her successful career, her love life started deteriorating with an obvious reasons and finally it came to an end. Since Vrushali was committed to her work, she continued to act mechanically but fully shattered from within. Her lonely apartment pinched her with the lovable memories and she went into chronic depression. For two months, she locked herself in a room, when a music academy was opened in just the next door. The inevitably audible music of the duirinal classes surpassed her ears daily, which initially made her vexed. Gradually, her depression streaks started plummeting and her gormlessness subsiding. She joined the classes and found her life more towards acceptance and value of relationship. One fine morning, she called her boyfriend to apologise and patch up the stuffs. They kickstarted their life and in an interview she shared a statement, “Tunes and sounds have played a great role in my life; I would suggest all to value music at all times.”

The rhapsodic tunes of music reverberates our soul to an extent that it can change our attitude towards life and people around us. The sonic currents of musical tunes penetrates our body and pleasure hormones called dopamine and  estrogen and balances them. Researches reveal that constant listening to your favorite tracks alters the perspective we have for people and we try to see people with more positive and accepting glairs. Fast and slow tracks also contribute essentially in the attaining and subsiding the optimism in people. Fast tracks generally stimulates one whereas the slow ones relaxes our mind. Soft and slow music unleashes the brain knots which have been tightened throughout the long day of routined office and family life. Fast tracks stimulates us and compel us to get energized to execute something more productive. In a way both the music do good in their own way.

Indian music therapy that’s the raga therapy have nemeity of specific ragas for the specific kinds of psychological and mental issues like negativity, non-acceptance, bewilderment in decision making, or depression. For instance, Raag Ahir Bhairava is beneficial for relaxation, Raga Dwijawanti quells paralysis, Raga Hansdhwani injects energy and vitality, Raga kafi fights with depression and anxiety. Similarly ragas like Keerwani, Kokilam, Neelambari, Ranjani, Hameer, cures the physical degeneration like kidney diseases, insomnia, arthritis, etc..

Read out another story of Sarah Myers, an extremely passionate and enthusiast student of Smith Cotton University. What she thinks of being into the musical environment; How she perceives being born as a musician; How she managed to gather scholarships.

I am an Indian Classical Vocalist, Journalist, Dancer and Traveler. Trying to educate via my Blogs.