Showing posts with label Indian Classical Songs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Classical Songs. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The Raga based Bollywood Songs- Raga Bhimpalasi

In one of my earlier blog-posts, I had explored the Raga ‘Pahadi & Thumri in Hindi Film songs. In this post, I am looking for the songs based on this one of the most popular ragas among our music composers.
As per the classical text, Bhimpalasi is a rag that is very much associated with a hot Indian afternoon. It evokes a feeling of deep-rooted love and yearning for the lover. Usually, it is sung in the late-afternoons when the harshness of the sun rays recedes. It has five notes ascending and seven notes descending. This Raaga is also used in Carnatic Music where it is called 'Abheri'. It is more used in South Indian languages. This raga is one of the favorite ragas of A R Rehman.
The scale of Bhimpalasi is equivalent to the Western scale Blue scale. Many western Pop songs look similar to this raga. If you listen carefully to the very popular song of Ed Sheeran 'Shape Of You'. This song is influenced by Bhimpalasi.

Song of Afsar 1950

Song of Aan 1952

Song of Anarkali 1953

Song of Amar 1954

Song of Chandrakanta 1956

Song of Amar Deep1958

Song of Kala Bazar (1960)

Song of Saheb Bibi Aur Gulam 1962

Song of Kohra 1964

Song of Ghazal 1964

Song of Mera Saya 1966

Song of Sharmili 1971

Song of Rudali 1993

Song of Criminal 1995

Song of Rangeela 1995

Song of Yaadein 2001

Song of Lagaan 2001

Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran

Brilliance of Shubha Mudgal | Raag Bhimpalasi 

Saturday, 4 July 2020

The Sound of Shehnai in Bollywood Songs

Shehnai is a wind instrument usually played in the folk music of North India and has very strong associations with weddings, where it is considered especially lucky. It is also played when the bride leaves his father's place but this time it sounds sad.
Shehnai and Ustad Bismillah Khan have become a synonym in India. He is credited with exceptional skill and with classical music in Hindi film songs, this instrument became a part of many songs, to some reviewers and fans, came as close to making the instrument "talk" as is possible. Surprisingly he played this instrument in only one film "Goonj Uthi Shenai" released in 1959. Dave Mason plays one on The Rolling Stones' 1968 song "Street Fighting Man."
The film narrates the story of a Shehnai player and features shehnai recitals by maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan throughout the film. There is also Jugalbandi between him and Sitar player, Abdul Halim Jaffar Khan.
The film opens, naturally, with music, as Raghunath Maharaj (Ulhas) is doing his riyaz (musical practice) in a temple. Suddenly he is accompanied by the melodious, dulcet tones of a shehnai. He goes to check who the player is, and discovers it's a young boy, Kishan. The overjoyed musician immediately takes Kishan home, and under his wing, to train him in the ways of music.

Song of Goonj Uthi Shehnai 1959
Lata Mangeshkar sang this song beautifully and wonderfully! Every single word of this song is excellent The Shehnai of Ustad Bismillah Khan added beauty to this beautiful song! Right from Lataji's "mmmm", immediately followed by Ustad Bismillah Khan's heavenly shehnai and Lataji's alaap, this melodious song leads the listener into sheer aural bliss.

This song starts with a prelude of Shehnai by Ustad Bismillah Khan.
Song of Goonj Uthi Shehnai 1959

                    Raga - Kedar - Jugalbandi-2 Goonj Uthi Shehnai

The same year Dhool Ka Phool was released, in this film composer, N Dutta in the following song Shehnai was beautifully played, not by Ustad Bismillah Khan. 
Song of Dhool Ka Phool 1959

The credit for introducing Shehnai io Bollywood goes to composer Ram Ganguli, who brought Musician and composer Ram Lal from Varanasi/ He was a flute & shehnai player. He was his disciple Initially he was working for Prithvi Theatre when Ram Ganguli gave the music for the first film of RK Banner released in 1948, Ramlal played flute & shehnai in that film "Aag". He played Shehnai for the first time in the song "Zinda Hoon ls Tarah"

Song of Aag 1948

Ramlal's shehnai can be enjoyed in the song "Tu Chhupi Hai Kahan, Mein Tadapta Yahan" of 1958 film Navrang released in 1959. 

Song of Navrang 1959

Ramlal ji was employed with V Shantaram after Prithvi Theatre, he was a musician for his films composed by Vasant Desai or C Ramchandra. He was given charge of composing the music of V Shantaram's film Sehra in 1963. In this film, he composed the music as well as played Shehnai in the song" Taqdeer Ka Fasaana" sung by Mohammad Rafi. This solo Shehnai played by him can never be forgotten. Enjoy the song and feel the pain through Shenai

Song of Sehra 1963

Before Goonj Uthi Shehnai, this instrument was also used by Salil Chowdhary in Bimal Roy's film Naukari in 1954, in the following song by Geeta Dutt

Song of Naukri 1954

Naushad also used this instrument in a song of Shabab released in the same year,1954

Song of Shabab 1954

This instrument is beautifully explained in the song "Kya Ajab Saaz Hai Yeh Shehnai" sung by Mohammad Rafi, written by Rajendra Krishan for the 1964 film "Shehnai"
Song of Shehnai 1964

The Shehnai is mostly played to greet someone on a happy occasion but also played at a time when the bride leaves the house of her parents after marriage.  The opening shehnai of “Babul Ki Duaaen” feels as if someone is crying, reflecting the sadness of a father’s loss. This song is usually played by the bands in almost all the Bidai ceremony of North Indian Families.

Song of Neel Kamal 1968

Before this song, "Chal Ri Sajni Ab Kya Soche " from Bombai Ka Babu (1960) was the most popular Bidai song A beautiful piece of "Taar Shahnai" played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore. Taar Shehnai is not a Shehnai but produces the sound of Shehnai. For the knowledge of readers, I must submit that Taal Shenai is a rare instrument. D.M. Tagore preferred to play rare instruments. He was a master in Taar Shehnai, Mandar Bahar, and Territ Vina.

Song from Bombai Ka Babu 1960

Naushad used Shehnai very beautifully in the song "Pi Ke Ghar Aaj Pyari Dulhaniya Chali " from the 1957 film Mother India, I don't think he used the shehnai in any of his earlier songs.
Song of Mother India 1957

In the year 1957 composer Chitragupt used Shehnai in this immortal song

Song of Bhabhi 1957

Another beautiful song in which you can listen to the sound of shehnai after the Mukhada.

Song of Aarti 1962

In 1976 shehnai was played in the song of Kabhi Kabhie just after the antara "Suhag raat hai ghoonghat uth raha hoon mein"

Song of Kabhie Kabhie 1976

Nowadays the sound of most of the Indian instruments has vanished from Bollywood music, Shehnai is also one of them. Very rarely the present composers use Shehnai or Sitar. A R Rehman is an exception. he used Shehnai in the song “Ye Jo Des Hai Tera” from the movie “Swades” 

Song of Swades 2004

The shehnai played in the prelude as well as in the background is played by Pandit Ballesh. He is a big name in Shehnai, He is an internationally acclaimed Shehnai player and Hindustani Classical vocalist with a specialization in Patiala Gharana and is trained in Kirana and Gwalior Gharana.  He is one of the well-known disciples of world-renowned Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. Ustad ji blessed Pt. Ballesh as “Dakshina Bharat Bismillah Khan”.  
He has worked with O. P. Nayyar, Naushad Ali, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Ravindra Jain, Jatin-Lalit, Kalyanji-Anandji, Anand-Milind, R. D. Burman, Kailash Kher in Bollywood. Pt. Ballesh played Shehnai in the Bollywood movie “Rockstar” for the track titled “The Dichotomy of fame” Shammi Kapoor is shown playing Shehnai in this film.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Naushad- The Classical Genius

Naushad (25 December 1919 – 5 May 2006 ) started as an independent music director from the 1940 film Prem Nagar. He made the Hindi songs popular by mixing UP and Bihar folk music with Indian classical music. It was in 1946 he got the superstar status with the two immortal songs from the film Anmol Ghadi.
The simple melody in Raag Pahari in the voice of Noorjehan " Jawan Hai Mohabbat" and the duet of Noorjehan and Surendra"Awaz Do Kahan Ho" mesmerized the music lovers. In the same year, K L Saigal gave one of his immortal songs "Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya" under his composition in Shahjehan (1946) in Raag Bhairavi.

His classical genius was the 1952 film Baiju Bawra in which he used the voices if the great Ustad Amir Khan and D V Palusjar. The climactic contest between Tansen and Baiju Bawra in the royal court of Mughal emperor Akbar demanded music of the highest finesse to exemplify the capabilities of these historical legends. Naushad introduced classical music with deft handling, making it melodious for mass appeal and yet retaining enough artistry as the situation demanded. 
There could not have been a better composer than Naushad Ali to make this film an unforgettable feature of Indian cinema. The music in “Baiju Bawra” is divine! It is, in fact, the soul of the film.
There are many moments in “Baiju Bawra” when the contribution of Naushad emerges the strongest point of the movie. Mohammad Rafi, lyricist Shakeel Badayuni and Naushad leave you in a trance with the all-time great number “Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj”. Rafi had reportedly confessed to this being one of the toughest songs of his career as a demanding Naushad sought perfection from the legendary singer.

Raag Pahari, Raag Darbari, Raag Yaman, and Bhairvi were few of his favorite ragas. Many immortal songs in this raga were composed by him. Right from composing Rimjhim barse badarwa in raga Pahadi in film Rattan effortlessly rendered by Zohrabai Amabalewali, Naushad emphasized the durable value of classical mores.
His most durable composition Suhani raat dhal chuki was shaped in Pahadi and was from film Dulari made in 1949 that became legendary and is still considered an integral part of any singer’s repertoire in any musical gathering. 
His other popular number in Pahadi was Tod diya dil mera composed for film Andaz in 1949 and rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. Naushad also utilised Pahadi to create an amazingly profound tune Marna teri gali mein for film Shabab in 1954 sung by Lata 
Naushad was very mich fascinated with Bhairavi He tuned his very fine number Jab dil hee toot gaya in raga Bhairavi in a manner that this raga became his signature tune as Naushadian Bhairavi.
The quality of Naushadian Bhairvi is that it is immediately recognizable. It is amply reflected in his beautiful compositions such as Tu Ganga ki mauj mein for film Baiju Bawrarendered by Rafi that became the standard-bearer for flowing rendition based on classical ragas. Another of his hit songs was Toote na dil toote na picturised on Dilip Kumar in Andaz in 1949 and sung by Mukesh,
In Raag Yaman he composed Jaane wale se mulaqat na hone payee sung by Lata and composed for Mehboob Khan’s powerful drama Amar released in 1954 and later in Mughal-e-Azam, the song once again sung by Lata Mangeshkar "Humein kash tum se mohabbat na woti, "
A Great Trio. of Naushad, Rafi, and Shakeel Badayuni

Two immortal songs in Raag Darbari were created "Beech bhanwar mein aan phasaa hai dil ka safeenaShah-e-Madina, for film Dard in 1947 for Surraya to render it and another by Mohammad Rafi "O dunya ke rakhwale" for 1952 film Baiju Bawra .
Naushad composed two sequentially modulating numbers in rather unconventional raga Jaijaiwanti This song"Hum aaj kahin dil kho bethe poignantly sung by Mukesh for the 1949 film Andaz and the other great song Mohabbat ki rahon mein chalna sambhal ke composed in 1955 for film Uran Khatol a that was playfully performed by Rafi.
One of the exceptionally brilliant compositions of Naushad, Madhuban mein radhika naache re, famous for an excellent Sitar sequence, for film Kohinoor in 1960 was laid out in raga Hameer, which is very rarely used for light music.
These are a few Raag based songs that made Naushad the Classical Genius but in the end, I must mention the song that made Mohammad Rafi a great "Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj, a complicated semi-classical composition based on raga Malkauns for film Baiju Bawra released in 1952. 
Song of Rattan 1944

Song of Anmol Ghadi 1946

Song of Anmol Ghadi 1946

Song of Shajehan 1946

Song of Shajehan 1946

Song of Dard 1947

Song of Dulari 1949

Song of Dulari 1949

Song of Andaz 1949

Song of Baiju Bawra 1952

Song of Baiju Bawra 1952

Song of Baiju Bawra 1952

Song of Uran Khatola 1955

Song of Mother India 1957

Song of Kohinoor 1960

Song of Mughal e Azam 1960

Friday, 10 April 2020

Kishori Amonkar- The Uncrowned Empress of Indian Classical Music

Kishori Tai, as people call her fondly was born on 10th April 1932. Her father died when she was 7 years old, raised and taught music primarily by her mother, the classical vocalist Mogubai Kurdikar.
Young Kishori began to receive vocal lessons in Hindustani classical music from Anjanibai Malpekar of the Bhendibazaar Gharana and later received training from tutors of several other Gharanas.
In addition to her career as a classical vocalist, she was known for her performances of lighter classical pieces, with a wide repertoire of Thumris and BhajansShe became interested in film music and sang playback for the 1964 movie Geet Gaya Patharon Ne but after singing in this film she stayed away from the film music because she found it compromising on the Swaras over the lyrics.
Her mother was strictly against her singing in films is reported to have told Amonkar that she would be forbidden from touching her mother's Tanpura if she would continue to work in the film industry.,
At the age of 25 she almost lost her voice, she tried all type of treatment, It took two years for her to regain her voice. After that, she started to light classical music with a wide repertoire of Thumris and Bhajans, as well as some performances for film soundtracks.
Amonkar did return to playback singing 26 years later, for Govind Nihalani’s Drishti (1990). She agreed to sing for Drishti because she was allowed to compose the tunes. Amonkar sang Ek Hi Sang, written by Vasant Dev and composed in Raag Bhopali. It has notes similar to Jyoti Kalash Chalke (Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan, 1961), based on Raag Deshkar. Another song Meha Jhar Jhar Barsat Re is composed in the style of Raag Malhar,Drishti features a number of alaap tracks recorded in Amonkar’s voice and used in the background.
Many who studied her music says she has liked singing light classical music in the beginning and that style influenced later in all her classical singing as well. She applied her own interpretations and made striding changes to the Jaipur Gharana branch. Jaipur Gharana, which is known as a style that demanded strict following of its technical details was lacking a lot in its interpretation of the raga bhavas when Kishori started singing publically. Kishori brought emotions into the notes by staying strong with the basic techniques. She was an artist who used those notes to express many feelings and emotions that arose out of her ‘Manodharma’. 
She is credited for re-interpreting many ragas in her own ways. Her vocal quality was unmatched with not a single blemish in any of her performances we all heard so far. These aspects of her singing are considered as her biggest contribution to Hindustani music. She as a musician was very methodical in her riyaz and environment where she could sing.
 Kishori Amonkar never wanted to go abroad and she insisted that if anybody wants to listen to her they have to come to India. She was an introvert to the extent that she can’t even stand stage lights on her face while she performed; she says that her concerts are for her listeners to listen and not watch her singing.
She never played to the gallery. She used to say that she sings for herself. I want to get involved and focus on the abstract. I have to forget my body then. For that, I need my audience’s help, not their interruptions. People have to understand that music isn’t entertainment. 
There are many stories about her refusing to sing in a program due to the misbehavior of the audience. Once Amonkar refused to sing further. When an industrialist’s wife once ordered a paan during her performance, Amonkar screamed, “Am I a kothewali to you?” From editors and politicians to industrialists and famous artistes, many have faced Amonkar’s wrath during concerts.
Amonkar received several of India's national awards and civilian honors, including the Padma Bhushan, in 1987, and Padma Vibhushan in 2002. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2009
She died on 3 April 2017 in her sleep, a week before her 85th birthday, at her residence in Mumbai.
Song of Geet Gaya Patharon Ne 1964

Song of Drishti 1990

Song of Drishti 1990

Sahela Re  Kishori Amonkar

Kishori Amonkar Meera Bhajan

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Praveen Sultana - Humein Tum Se Pyar Kitna

Begum Parveen Sultana (born on 10th July 1950) is an Assamese Hindustani classical singer of the Patiala Gharana. She is among the foremost classical  vocalists in India and is known as Queen of Classical Vocal. Her father, late Ikramul Mazid was her first guru and he was very strict with her. She also received early training from her grandfather . She later went to Kolkata to learn to learn music under the guidance of late Pandit Chinmoy Lahiri and from 1973, she became a disciple of Ustad Dilshad Khan of the Patiala Gharana.
Sultana has sung for movies like Gadar, Kudrat, and Pakeezah. Recently, she sang the theme song of Vikram Bhatt’s latest opus 1920. She also sang Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna - Kudrat .She was given the Filmfare Best Female Singer Award for this song.This song was also sung by Kishore Kumar in the same film.She is also the youngest recipient of Padma Shri Award by Govt of India.She was later awarded by Padma Bhushan in 2014.
Parween also lent her voice to several songs in films throughout the years.
Song of Do Boond Pani 1971

Song of Pakeezah 1972

Song of Kudart 1981

Song of Razia Sultan 1983