The matriarch of Hindustani classical music, Gangubai Hangal died Tuesday morning, July 21, 2009, after being briefly hospitalized for heart and respiratory problems. She was 96. She died in Hubli, a city in Karnataka, India, where she lived. She was one of the most well known singers of Khayal, a style that belongs to the Hindustani (or North Indian) school of classical singing. Earlier this month, on July 16, 2009, another leading woman classical singer of Carnatic (or South Indian) music, D K Pattammal, died aged 90.
Gangubai Hangal was born on March 5, 1913, in the southern state of Karnataka and trained under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru. Born into a family of boatmen, Gangubai Hangal battled the prejudice of caste, as well as the notion that singing wasn’t an appropriate profession for a woman of her generation. With her powerful, deep voice, Gangubai Hangal was often described as more gifted than most male singers of her time, and people had trouble relating her strong vocals with her small frame. She single handedly battled caste and gender prejudices to establish a career that spanned more than seven decades.
Raga Chandrakauns – Kab Ghar Aayo : (Download)
Raga Jaijaiwanti – Achal Raho Raja : (Download)
Raga Bhairavi – Bole Na Woh Humse Piya : (Download)
Raga Bhimpalasi – Garba Harwa Daroongi : (Download)
The doyenne of the Kirana Gharana was awarded India‘s prestigious civilian honours of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 1971 and 2002 respectively.