Saturday, June 4, 2011


Classicial music in the rest of the country other than the four states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala) in India broadly goes by the name of “Hindustani Music”. But stalwarts in Hindustani music have come from different backgrounds and different regions.

Only after the 13the century did the music of India get divided into the two systems. Both carnatic and Hindustani music, have some aspects that that give the listeners intellectual enjoyment. One must understand the nuances of that particular form of music to wholly appreciate it.
Hindustanit music received patronage in royal courts unlike Carnatic music which never strayed away from its bhakthi oriented roots.
There are many vocal forms associated with Hindustani music. They are Khyal, Ghazal, Thumri, Dhrupad, Dhamar, Tarana, Trivat, Tappa, Ashtapadi and Bhajan.
Famous singers of Hindustani music are Kishori Amonkar and Parveen Sultana.
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was the most popular Hindustani classical singer in the 50s and 60s. Many readers, I am sure, will be familiar with this name. Even though he was offered many chances to sing in Hindi movies, he turned down those offers. But in 1960 he had sung for Mughal-e-azam under the music director Naushad.

This is a type of music that is performed in a small, private space such as in a house or room. Rasikas willingly come forward to offer their space for such programmes.
Chamber music creates an intimate atmosphere between the musician and the audience. The artist sings or plays music with or without mike. The audience will be more attentive and involved in the programme than in a regular cutchery. Rare ragas and krithis are delivered on such occasions to make them teaching sessions as well and kindling new ideas in the audience. In contrast, in an auditorium concert, the musician has to cater to the needs of all the sections of the audience. Therefore the performer has to plan his concert properly and include compositions drawn from familiar ones with an occasional unknown piece added on. A mixture of songs from different languages, some set in rare talas, is done to make the programme interesting. In our country, chamber music has played a substantial role in the development of carnatic music.

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