Friday, January 22, 2010

Specialty & Jod Raags

A highlight of Jaipur gayaki is
the mastery over Jod Raags
(mixed or hybrid Raags; a blend
of multiple Raags that form one
Raag). Singers from other
Gharanas tend to sing one Raag
in Aaroh (ascent) and the other
in Avaroh (descent). Some
others sing one Raag in the
lower half of the octave and
then switch to the other Raag
in the upper half. Alternatively,
they may sing alternate
phrases of the two component
Raags. In Jaipur Gayaki, there is
such perfect fusion of the two
raags that it sounds like a
homogeneous Raag in its own
right, giving the feel of both
component raags, not as a
heterogeneous mixture cobbled
together. The listener hears an
amalgam of both raags without
losing their distinctive identity.
Alladiya Khan introduced many
lesser-known or obscure raags
in his repertoire like Raag
Basanti Kedar, Raag Jait Kalyan,
Raag Kafi Kanada, Raisa Kanada,
Raag Basanti Kanada, Raag
Savani Nat, Raag Savani Kalyan,
Raag Bhoop Nat, Raag Nat
Kamod, Raag Bihari, Raag Khat,
Raag Khokar, Raag Sampoorna
Malkauns, and many others.
Trying to imbibe all these
characteristics without losing
the aesthetics is a tall order
for any musician. Hence this
Gayaki is called a thinking
listener's or connoisseur's
Gayaki. However, it gives equal
pleasure to the uninitiated
listener who may not
understand the technical
intricacies, but responds to the
layakari and the melodic
content of the presentation

Gharana Purity
The Gharana purity of the
Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana has been
an avid discussion among
connoisseurs and scholars alike,
as a result of Utd. Alladiya Khan
purposefully teaching students
to approach the same musical
content differently, causing
internal quarrels within the
Gharana itself, as well. For
instance, the approach to
certain Raags conflict between
branches of the Gharana, as
certain elements of a Raag are
neglected, emphasized, de-
emphasized or treated
As a result, scholars feel the
purity of the Jaipur-Atrauli
Gharana can be traced from
Utd. Alladiya Khan to his brother
Utd. Haider Ali Khan, to his sons
Utd. Manji Khan and Utd. Bhurji
Khan, as well as Utd. Gulubhai
Jasdanwalla, the only purist
outside of the Utd. Alladiya Khan
family. Today, the Gharana
remains with Utd. Alladiya Khan's
grandson and biographer,
"Baba" Azizuddin Khan.

Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana Gayaki (Style & Trends)

Most gharanas apply notes in
simple succession in aalap and
taan, whereas in the Jaipur
gayaki, notes are applied in an
oblique manner with filigree
involving immediately neighboring
notes. Instead of the flat taan,
gamak (taan sung with double
notes with a delicate force
behind each of the component
double-notes of the taan)
makes the taan spiral into
seemingly never-ending cycles.
Meend in aalap and gamak in
taan are the hallmark of this
gayaki. To his immense credit,
the great exponent of Kirana
gharana, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is
one of the very few singers
outside the Jaipur gharana, who
has adopted the gamak taan to
an extent, complete with long,
uninterrupted patterns clearly
showing an amazing breath
capacity much like the old
masters of Jaipur gharana, but
he has not quite achieved the
intricacy and grace of gamak
that is the signature of Jaipur.
Sharp edged harkats and
murkis (crisp, quick phrases to
ornament the alaap) are
relatively uncommon. Not only
are the notes sung in rhythm
with the taal but progress
between the matras (beats) is
in fractions of quarters and
one-eighths. While being mindful
of so many factors, musicians of
this gharana still have a
graceful way of arriving at the
sam without having matras to
spare! This is particularly
evident in the way bol-alaap or
bol-taan is sung, where
meticulous attention is given to
the short and long vowels in
the words of the bandish that
are being pronounced, and the
strict discipline of avoiding
unnatural breaks in the words
and in the meaning of the lyrics.
No other gharana has paid so
much attention to the esthetics
and laykaari in singing bol-
alaaps and bol-taans.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Biography: Ustad Alladiya Khansaheb

Sangeet Samrat Ustad Alladiya Khansaheb

Background information
Birth name: Ghulam Ahmad Khan
Born: August 10, 1855
Origin: Atrauli, Uttar Pradesh
Died: 1946
Genre(sI: Dhrupad, Khayal,Dhamar
Occupation: singer
Years active:1870 - 1945
Sangeet Samrat Ustad Alladiya Khansaheb

Alladiya Khan (Hindi: अल्लादिया ख़ान) (1855 – 1946) was an Indian classical singer, known as "Gaan Samraat" (Emperor of Music). Khan founded the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana based on the Daghor bani. He is also recognized for his revival and creations of many ragas.

Early life and background:

Alladiya Khan was born in Rajasthan in a family of musicians. Though his father Kwaja Ahmed Khan died early in Alladiya's life, his uncle, Jehangir Khan , taught him dhrupad for 5 years and then khyal for another 8 years.

Singing career:

Alladiya Khan served in the court of various kings of Rajasthan including that of Amlata. He sung so well and so much for the kings that he nearly lost his voice due to hours of riyaaz (practice). While trying to regain his voice he developed a new and profound style of singing by which he could sing without compromising the purity of raga but the passage, taans, and creativity of singing the raga. Later he settled down in Kolhapur as the court musician of the local king, Shahu Maharaj. In 1922 he moved to Mumbai after the king died. With his distinguished reputation, Ustad Alladiya Khan became a gem among the many masters in Mumbai. He taught many disciples and sung in many mehfils in Mumbai to which his reputation as an academic grew.
His autobiography, as narrated to his grandson Azizzudin Khan Sahab, is available in English translation, as My Life, translated with and introduction by Amlan Dasgupta and Urmila Bhirdikar, published by Thema, Kolkata, 2000

Alladiya Khan was acknowledged for his creation and resurrection of many complex Raags such as Nat Kamod, Nat Bilawal, SampoornaMalkauns, Basanti Kedar, Bhupeshwari, and many more.
Many of these Raags were originally created and sung by the Havelis in northern Rajasthan, where Khansahab grew up. Hearing the Haveli sangeet Khansahab took many of the Raag-based Bhajans (either taking the Raag or Bhajan) and created Raags and Bandishes with them. One of the Raags he resurrected was Raag Basanti Kanada. Few of the many Haveli sangeet dhrupads which he made into bandishes were the famous Raag Nayaki Kanada Bandish "Mero Piya Rasiya" and Bihagda Bandish "Ye Pyaari pag hole".

Khansahab's most principle disciples were his younger brother, Ustad Haider Khan and his own sons, Ustad Manji Khansahab and Ustad Bhurji Khansahab. Khansahab's brother helped grow the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana after Khansahab's demise. Ustad Manji Khan, the first son, died early in 1937, so it was Ustad Bhurji Khan, the youngest son, who passed on the Gayaki of his father to others worthy of it.
Apart from family, Khansahab's initial disciples were Sarangiya Ustad Abdul Majid Khan, Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale, and Wamanrao Sadolikar, and in succeeding generation came proteges like, Mallikarjun Mansur and Mogubai Kurdikar,Shruti Sadolikar.
In Mumbai, Alladiya Khan saheb's prime disciples were Kesarbai Kerkar, Mogubai Kurdikar and Nivruttibuwa Sarnaik.

The Annual Ustad Alladiya Khan Music Festival is celebrated in Mumbai every year, where several singers and musicians perform, giving homage to Khan. In 2005, the 150th birth anniversary of the musical legend was celebrated
In 2007, the story of 'Ustad Alladiya Khan', and his noted disciple, Kesarbai Kerkar, was the subject of Namita Devidayal's acclaimed debut book, The Music Room.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Annual Ustad AlladiyaKhan Music Festival By Times of india in 2003

HINDUSTANI Classical music lovers
in chembur are once again
enjoying the festive season till
April 20. The annual Ustad
Alladiya Khan festival is being held to pay
tribute to the maestro of the
Jaipur Atrauli gharana at Bal
Vikas Sangh, D K Sandu Marg,
Chembur. The festival draws
large music loving audience.
This year the programme began
with Tulika Ghosh redering vocal
music of Agra atrauli gharana.
Tulika Ghosh is the daughter of
the legendary tabla player
Pandit Nikhil Ghosh and niece of
flautist Pandit Pannalal Ghosh.
Among the other vocalists are
Dr Ram Deshpande, Pandit
Chandrakant Limaye and Ustad
Aslam Khan. There is a special
programme by the veteran
guitarist Pandit Brij Bhushan
Kabra on April19.

Classical Music: Recital in memory of UstadAlladiya KhansahebBy Screen in 2005

Music compositions in
films are mostly based
on ragas from Indian
classical music. Music
directors select ragas having
relevance to specific moods
inherent in songs which then
create the expected impact and
also impart eternal significance
of film songs.
Indian classical music has
therefore a specific,
indispensable value. While there
are different gharanas in
classical music, the main aim is
to achieve the emotional impact
relevant to ragas. A two-day
music concert as also
presentation of a few stalwarts
through their gramophone
records marked the celebration
of the 150th birth anniversary
of late Alladiya Khan, an
exponent of the Jaipur gharana
in the Indian classical music. A
veteran institution Gayan Samaj
Deval Club having a cultural
legacy of 120 years joined with
the Kolkata-based ITC music
research centre and organized
the programme in which eminent
classical singers participated.
Amit Mukarjee, a disciple of
Shankar Mujumdar belonging to
Amir Khan gayaki presented
raags Yaman Kalyan and Abhogi
with a very serene and duly
cultivated voice. His taans and
boltans created an impact
peculiar to these ragas.
Mr.Mukarjee, who left a secure
government job in the Union
government by sacrificing
promotion to a high
bureaucratic status, dedicated
himself to classical music in
which he is interested since
childhood. As a mature artiste
he is also director and teacher
in the ITC research centre at
Ulhas Kashalkar, a Mumbai-
based classical singer who is
now teaching classical music in
the ITC Research Centre
presented raag Nat-Kedar Kafi-
Kanada and concluded with
Bhairavi. His superb presentation
of notes and varied
combinations, besides a very
appealing creation of beauty
and dexterity relevant to ragas
enthralled the audience. His
expertise in achieving perfection
of sur and laya(notes and
rhythm) - which combination
alone can let the sincere
audience realize the eternal
experience of ecstasy in
classical music - was highly
appreciated by Kolhapur
Shruti Sadolikar, who belongs to
the Jaipur gharana also
presented a few bandishein
(compositions) specially belonging
to Jaipur gayaki. She also
interviewed Azizuddin Khan,
grandson of Alladiya Khan and in
this question-answer interview
the peculiarities of Jaipur
gharana, the way Alladiya Khan
was doing his riyaaz and other
memorable incidents in his life
were disclosed by Mr.Azizuddin
Khan. The recorded recital of
past veteran singers of
Kolhapur revived the good old
days when stalwarts in classical
music nurtured the Jaipur
gayaki which is also known as
Kolhapur gayaki.