Four excavated gems

Presented here are a few precious songs painstakingly dug out from my collection of old vinyl records, specially on requests from readers of this blog. Believe me, it took me a couple of days to find these nuggets.

Barkat Ali Khan – Pilu – Kaisa Jadu Daala :  Download

Faiyaz Khan – Bhairavi – Bajuband Khul Khul Jaye :  Download

Siddheshwari Devi – Dadra – Kaun Albele Kinare Jhamajham :  Download

Vilayat Hussain Khan – Patdeep – Rasiya Re :  Download

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Divas of poorab ang thumri

The three Divas of light classical music, Badi Motibai, Siddheshwari Devi and Rasoolan Bai were once the undisputed queens of the Poorab Ang or the Benares gayaki of Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti and Hori. Begum Akhtar, of course, was also in the fray but she was better known for her rendition of the Ghazals. Here are a few very rare and precious songs from the empresses of the Poorab Ang.

Badi Motibai – Thumri – Bahiyan Na Maroro :  Download

Rasoolan Bai – Dadra – Eri Paniya Jo Bharan Gayi :  Download

Siddheshwari Devi – Thumri – Avo Avo Nagariya :  Download

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Four Songs : my Choice 13

Like it or not, here I come once again with a few songs of my choice. These songs have been part of my collection ever since I started appreciating classical music. And I am not talking about ancient history. I guess it happened 3 years ago. I hope you’ll enjoy the songs.

Siddheshwari Devi – Khamaj – Kate Na Bairan Rain :  Download

Roshanara Begum – Jhinjhoti – Piya Bin Nahi Aawat Chain :  Download

Ghulam Mustafa Khan – Nat Bhairav – Palkan Rakhun Moond :  Download

Hussain Bakhsh Gullo – Thumri – Balma Qadar Nahi Jane :  Download

.. more songs of my Choice »

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Songs of the Divas 2

With the passing away of Siddheshwari Devi in 1977, the last of the four great divas of the last century was gone. First went Begum Akhtar in 1974, and then her older contemporaries, Rasoolan Bai and Badi Moti Bai. All four of them were inheritors of great traditions of music from a glorious era of the past when music dominated the lives of musicians from childhood to death. They were musical ‘stars’ who shone brilliantly in the courtly era, but when the ‘darbari‘ era ended they did not hesitate to step out into the glare of public acclaim.

Badi Moti Bai – Khamaj Thumri :  (Download)

Rasoolan Bai – Ja Main Tose Nahin Bolun :  (Download)

Thumris were once sung with abhinaya. When classical purists began to frown down upon this type of music, all the four singers took to the Bol-Banav-Ki Thumri in which the emotional contents of songs are effectively brought out through vocal expression only, through the beauty of notes, voice modulations and swara combinations, resulting in an emotion-charged style of singing.

Begum Akhtar – Hum Gawanwa Nahin Jaab :  (Download)

Siddheshwari Devi – Bhig Jaun Main Piya :  (Download)

.. more Songs of the Divas »

QUIZ : To add more spice and fun to this blog, I am going to put a QUIZ song in any one post every month. You just have to answer two questions about the song in your comments. The names of the male and female singers and the name of the album (or the name of the film). The song could be a classical one, or from films of the black and white era. The person who gives the first correct answer will get the song by email. If this blog gets the right answer too soon, you may always try your luck on my other blog : indianraga.blogspot.com

Quiz Song : 1

http://cdn.saavn.com/audios/mp3/saregama/HINDI_OHF/INH109339800

I will give you the correct answer in one of my later posts.

Comments are welcome.

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Songs of Longing and Seperation

Unlike any other music of the world, hindustani classical music is not only abundant with songs for various moods of the human mind, but also songs for every hour of the day and season of the year. Monsoon, being an unique phenomenon in this part of the world, has an important place in our music.

Kajri (or Kajari), derived from the Hindi word Kajra or Kajal, (meaning Kohl or Black), is a genre of Hindustani classical music, popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In a country of sizzling hot summers, the black monsoon clouds bring with them relief and great joy. This is the moment for the Kajri to be sung.

It is often used to describe the longing of a maiden for her lover as the black monsoon cloud come hanging in the summer skies, and is often sung during the rainy season. It comes in the series of season songs, like Chaiti, Hori and Sawani, and is traditionally sung in the villages and towns of Uttar Pradesh : around Benares, Mirzapur, Mathura, Agra, Allahabad and the Bhojpur regions of Bihar.

Rasoolan Bai – Tarsat Jiyara Hamar :  (Download)

Begum Akhtar – Koyaliya Mat Kar Pukar :  (Download)

Birha (or Biraha) is another popular Folk song genre of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This genre is mood based and the basic theme revolves around the separation of lover and his beloved. Actually ‘Birha‘ in Hindi means separation. The history of this genre is not very old and the earliest reference goes back to 17th century.

The possible origination of this folk genre is credited to the incidents where mostly men from small villages used to migrate to cities in search of livelihood. Often they had to leave their newly-weds behind in the village. The lament of separation from both the motherland and spouse led to the birth of Birha. The genre is extremely popular among the farmers and laborers in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Naina More Taras Gaye :  (Download)

Siddheshwari Devi – Tadpat Bin Balam :  (Download)

In the mid-nineteenth century thousands of laborers from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were taken to Caribbean (West Indies) as sugar plantation laborers. In fact, the laborers and their descendents who now constitute a sizable population in the Caribbean still love this song genre. The best example of this is the growing popularity of Chutney Music, the Soca-Samba version of Birha, in the west especially in the Caribbean Islands.

Note : The songs posted above do not necessarily come under the genres of Kajri or Birha. These are merely reflective of the mood of the post. Songs of longing are also sung in the form of Thumri and Dadra.

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