Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four Most Wanted Songs

Blogging platforms like Blogger/Blogspot and Wordpress, nowadays, have more to offer to their users than a non-techie person like me can ever take. Young bloggers, however make full use of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools, easily available all over the web, plus the in-house statistics these sites provide you. Google analytics is a revelation in itself, and the stats offered by Wordpress cannot be undermined either. More often than not, a novice like me tends to get lost in the maze of stat figures. However, on venturing out to know more about my visitors I could easily find the 'search words' they entered, that led them to my blogs. Here, I am posting four songs that were 'googled' and 'yahooed' the most, during the past week.

Pandit Jasraj - Bhimpalasi - Om Namo Bhagwate :  (Download)

Shobha Gurtu - Chhoti Si Umar Parnai O Babasa :  (Download)

M S Subbulakshmi - Bhaj Govindam :  (Download)

Nirmala Devi - Pahadi - Sawan Ka Nazara Hai :  (Download)

I was actually surprised to find Nirmala Devi among the top 'search words' as she was not a very accomplished artist of her time. For those who do not know this, she is film actor Govinda's mother (died 1996). She also sang along with Lakshmi Shankar in a few acclaimed songs.

Watch out for more 'Most Wanted Songs' in future posts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gangubai Hangal passes away

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.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rajasthan : Songs of the Soil

If the majestic forts and palaces are the body of Rajasthan, then the folk music is the soul of the land of the princes. The folk music gives the people of Rajasthan a means of forgetting the tough living conditions in the Desert and even adds a charm to this land. The Rajasthani style of music has made significant contribution in enriching the Indian music as a whole. One finds music of different flavors being sung here, developed according to the customs of the villages. Here we find folklores, hymns in praise of the Lord, tales of chivalry of the Rajput kings, and songs in praise of the Rain God etc.

Ghoonghat :  (Download)

Pachrang Fagniyo :  (Download)

Gauri Mhari :  (Download)

Paglyna Ri Paylari :  (Download)

Saro Nagar Bheej Gayo :  (Download)

Ghadvade Mera Shyam :  (Download)

.. more Songs from Rajasthan »

Comments are welcome.

P.S : As the number of music lovers visiting this blog has increased substantially in recent times, some music files in my previous posts may not play or download, because the allocated bandwidth has been depleted. Please bear with me and wait for a week or so, for the files to be reactivated. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ja Kaga Ja : Go Crow Go

In India, the common house crow (kaga or kagwa in hindi) is a widespread resident, except in high altitudes and dense forests. It is wholly dependent on human habitation for it's survival. This highly vocal bird is seemingly unafraid of humans. Aggressive, it will attack and chase off any large bird of prey. Strangely, the crow has been given a place of pride in our classical music. For reasons unknown it has played the role of a lover's messenger ("Ja Kaga Ja"), which in many a lyrical khayals, is even promised a 'gold plated beak' in return of favours rendered ("Ab Ke Sawan Ghar Aaja"). Pigeons, the otherwise commonly known messenger birds, have been given a back seat here.

Vilayat Hussain Khan - Raga Bageshri Bahar :  (Download)

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Raga Desi :  (Download)

Begum Akhtar - Raga Pahadi :  (Download)

Pandit Jasraj - Raga Bilaskhani Todi :  (Download)

Shruti Sadolikar - Raga Desi :  (Download)

Parween Sultana - Raga Pahadi :  (Download)

Almost all vocalists have pleaded with this glossy black bird to pass on a message, in all Ragas possible, Raga Desi, Bageshri and Pahadi being the more common ones, although other Ragas are not being discounted.

Comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

All in the family

Among all classical musicians, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was truly the king of emotions and thumris. He often used to say, "Many people have the misconception that classical music has no powers of expression. This is because generally our musicians are more interested in technical virtuosity. But emotion is the very soul of our music. In fact our music has the power to express the subtlest nuances of human emotions". Bade Ghulam Ali Khan proved his point by creating his own style, which was an excellent blend of impressive technical mastery, appealing and emotional expressions. With this extraordinary blend, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan could render fluent khayals, sprightly thumris, erotic ghazals and soulful bhajans with an artistry all his own.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Kate Na Biraha Ki Raat :  (Download)

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Tirchhi Najaria Ke Baan :  (Download)

Barkat Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's brother also had great talent. Some even say, the sweetness of his voice at times surpassed that of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Khan Saheb, however, allowed his brother to only accompany him on the harmonium, but never to sing with him in public. Therefore Barkat Ali Khan remained unknown to most music lovers. It is difficult to say why Bade Ghulam Ali Khan always kept his brother in the background and did not give him the chance to display his talent independently.

Barkat Ali Khan - Ratiyan Kidhar Ganwaeen :  (Download)

Barkat Ali Khan - Mora Saiyan Tanak Dhun Laye :  (Download)

Munawar Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's younger son, was his constant companion and was being groomed to succeed him. He always accompanied Khan Saheb on the tanpura and being so close to his father, he imbibed the vast treasure of his father's musical knowledge. Naturally with such training and all the makings of a first grade artist, everyone expected him to follow in Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's footsteps. Unfortunately, Khan Saheb as with his brother Barkat Ali Khan, had always kept Munawar under his wing and never allowed him to bloom in his individual capacity.

Munawar Ali Khan - O Maar Daala Re Nazariya Milaikey :  (Download)

Munawar Ali Khan - Bhajan - Pag Ghunghroo :  (Download)

Raza Ali Khan is Munawar Ali Khan's son. He received his early training from his grandfather, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and after that, extensively, from his father. He accompanied his father on concerts and sung alongside. Raza Ali Khan is an A-grade musician of the All India Radio. He is married to actress Neelima Azeem, mother of film actor Shahid Kapoor.

Raza Ali Khan - Prem Ke Phande Mein :  (Download)

Raza Ali Khan - Rang Laga Gayo :  (Download)

It is true that Bade Ghulam Ali Khan belonged to a long and illustrious musical lineage. But it was his genius that chiselled off the harsh crudities and angularites of the once 'dry' Patiala Gharana and lent it such a rare polish and glow that today it has achieved worldwide popularity. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan has left behind not only hundreds of singers trying to emulate him, but also thousands of music lovers who cherish the music of Patiala Gharana.

Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Four Random Songs 5

Some songs that I picked up from here and there, while surfing the web, and uploaded for your listening pleasure :

Asad Ali Khan - Mian Ki Malhar :  (Download)

Mohammad Iqbal - Dekhe Bina Nahi Chain :  (Download)

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - More Saiyan To Hain Pardes :  (Download)

Tufail & Javed Niazi - Abhogi Kanhra (Lagi Lagan) :  (Download)

.. more Random Songs »

Enjoy !