Four Most Wanted Songs 2

It has been my endeavour all along to provide a download link for all the songs that I post on this blog, so that you may soak into the music at your leisure. However, I must tell you in clear terms that all these uploads have been deliberately encoded in a very lo-fi quality and are meant for sampling purpose only. As such, these songs can be best heard on a desktop computer or laptop speakers only. Any attempt to load these songs on your iPods or playing them on a high fidelity audio system could harm not only your precious ears with high static and crackle, but also the commercial interest of our striving artists. So if you like the music posted on this blog, please buy the original CDs. Don’t hesitate, gather enough courage and go for it. I bet, you won’t be disappointed. It would be a proud moment for all classical music lovers, and a dream come true for the artists, to see at least one Bhimsen Joshi CD along with one of Himesh Reshamiya, lying side by side on the CD rack, in all homes of the subcontinent.

Based upon visitors’ requests and also the ‘search words’ that led people to this blog, here are a few more songs, specially posted for you.

Begum Akhtar – Dadra – Hamari Atariya Pe :  Download

Bhimsen Joshi – Bhairavi – Boli Na Bol Humse Piya :  Download

Shobha Gurtu – Bhairavi – Saiyan Nikas Gaye :  Download

Rashid Khan – Yaman – Tarana :  Download

.. more Most Wanted Songs »


Appreciating Alap, Jor and Jhala

Indian classical music is basically split into two branches. The northern Hindustani tradition, influenced by the musical traditions of the Mughals, and the southern Carnatic tradition which largely remains culturally devotional in nature. To Westerners, and to many even in India, Indian classical music is simply a melody without a specific beginning or a definite end. To them it is more a gymnastics in sound, and to a few, unnecessary flexing of the vocal chords. As such, to many, its technicalities seem a little too baffling. A little basic knowledge about various sections of a recital is necessary, before one may start appreciating Indian classical music.

Probably the most striking difference between the Western and Indian classical traditions is the importance of improvisation in the latter. While Western music has written scores, an Indian classical performance is extempore. The overwhelming majority of Indian recitals are improvised on the spot, making each performance unique and unrepeatable. The musicians may almost never have practiced together, and it may be unusual for any musician other than a soloist to have a clue what will be performed. Given this, it is mind boggling to see the speed with which incredibly complex Ragas are improvised by the performers, with vocalists, instrumentalists and percussionists engaged in creating an unified interaction of rhythm and melody that is precisely calculated to bring out the essence of the Raga and mood, set out in the composition.

The improvisational nature of Indian music requires the artist to take into consideration the setting, time allowed for his concert, his mood and the feeling he discerns in the audience before he begins to play. The traditional recital begins with the Alap section – the serene exploration of the chosen Raga. Just like an hors d’oeuvre (appetizer) served before the main course of a meal. After this slow introspective beginning, the musician moves on to the Jor. In this part, the basic theme of the Raga is elaborated and the artist tries to bring the emotional mood of the Raga to the surface. There is no drum (Tabla) accompaniment in either Alap or Jor.

Rashid Khan & Shahid Parvez – Bageshri Alap & Jor :  (Download)

Rashid Khan & Shahid Parvez – Bageshri Jhala in Gat :  (Download)

Rashid Khan & Shahid Parvez – Tarana in Drut Teental :  (Download)

The Alap and the Jor evolve into the Gat or Bandish, the fixed compositions of the Raga. The Gat is divided into two parts called Vilambit and Drut. Vilambit is set to a slower tempo, while Drut is the fast composition. Here the drums enter with the rhythmic structure of the Gat and its time cycle, the Tal. The step-by-step acceleration of the rhythm in the Gat finally culminates in the Jhala, the final movement and the climax of the Raga. Here the music becomes more and more playful and exciting. Often, in vocal music, the artist erupts into a Tarana, a type of composition in Hindustani vocal music in which certain meaningless words and syllables (e.g. ‘todani‘, ‘tanaderena‘ etc) are used in a medium paced (Madhya) or fast (Drut) rendition. It was invented by Amir Khusrau and is now common all over India. Carnatic music has something similar called Thillana which is widely used in dance performances.

At the conclusion of a recital, the musician may choose to play a Thumri or a Dhun. This is a variation of Indian classical music, evolved during the Mughal rule. Here the artist has freedom to go beyond the scale of the Raga.


Four Songs : my Choice 5

Once again, here are a few songs of my choice, each one a priceless gem, and in my view, one of the best from the respective artists :

Ajoy Chakrabarty – Kajri – Nimbua Tale Dola Rakhde :  (Download)

Girija Devi – Hindola :  (Download)

Nazakat & Salamat Ali Khan – Thumri Pahadi :  (Download)

Rashid Khan – Charukeshi – Palaka Na Lagi Mori Guiyan :  (Download)

.. more Songs of my Choice »

P.S : As I have always believed in giving my visitors, the play and download option for all songs, no wonder I am faced with a serious bandwidth issue. As a result some files in my older posts may not play or download. However, irrespective of this problem I will try to continue posting more songs. Thanks for your patience.


Malhar : Invocation to the Rain God

The Raga, Malhar is a powerful legendary Raga in Indian classical music. Raga Malhar is associated with the atmosphere of torrential rains. There are many written accounts and legendary tales about Raga Malhar. According to the legend, Raga Malhar is so powerful that when sung, rain starts falling from the sky. Many great artists of the medieval, and much earlier period used to sing this Raga to invoke the Rain God. Tansen, Baiju Bawra, Mahanvilas Kanh (son of Tansen) and Meera are among the singers, who are said to have been capable of invoking rains, by singing various forms of Raga Malhar.

Amir Khan – Ramdasi Malhar :  (Download)

Nazakat & Salamat Ali Khan – Megh Malhar :  (Download)

Raining in Bangalore :

Rashid Khan – Miyan Ki Malhar :  (Download)

Shujaat Khan – Gour Malhar (Sings as he plays the Sitar) :  (Download)

.. more Songs of the Monsoon »

With certain parts of North and Central India reeling under intense heat and the monsoon still eluding the people living there, the Malhars posted above may bring some soothing, if not cooling, effect.


Four Songs : my Choice 4

Yet another installment of a few songs of my choice :

Channulal Mishra – Raga Maru Bihag :  (Download)

Kaushiki Chakrabarty – Raga Pilu Thumri :  (Download)

Rashid Khan – Raga Jaijaiwanti :  (Download)

Sawani Shende – Raga Durga :  (Download)

.. more songs of my Choice »

QUIZ : Give me the names of the male and female singers and the name of the Album/Film, and I will send you this rare song + a bestseller e-book (in Microsoft Reader .lit format) by email. Answer the questions in the comments to this post, and please don’t forget to mention your email address.

Quiz Song : 4

Comments are welcome.


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