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Kirya

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For those of you who are familiar with the huge project that Bhatkhande undertook about a 100 years ago to capture and record as many compositions in as many ragas as possible this may be of great interest.

http://scroll.in/article/726180/2000-classical-compositions-from-musicologist-bhatkhandes-century-old-books-are-now-on-cd

Working almost daily for six years, the Mysore-based Indudhar Nirody, 81, sang and recorded the nearly 2,000 compositions that Bhatkhande published in his staggering six-volume Kramik Pustak Malika. The volumes include 300 of Bhatkhande’s own compositions, besides those he collected from others. In March, Nirody released his renditions on two CDs, along with a book, titled Samarpan, containing the lyrics.

Bhatkhande’s six volumes contained the lyrics and tunes of bandishes, or compositions, from a variety of different gharanas, or schools of music. Bhatkhande devised his own notation for representing in writing the melodies of the compositions, which span close to 200 ragas – the melodic modes at the centre of Indian classical music. This meant that Bhatkhande collected many compositions in each raga.

In his time, Bhatkhande’s effort elicited mixed responses from the musician community, which was suspicious and sceptical of anything other than the oral tradition. Today, however, Bhatkhande’s work is widely admired, both by scholars and musicians, because it recorded for posterity compositions that may have vanished had they had been restricted to oral transmission and opened up to the public at large knowledge that was confined to hereditary musician families.

At the same time, given the minute melodic subtleties in Indian classical music, no system of notation, including Bhatkhande’s, can capture what is actually sung or played on an instrument; it can serve only as a starting point for interpretation and embellishment.

Younger musicians, too, welcomed the recordings. “Learning from notation is completely different from learning from a guru,” said Rutuja Lad, 22, an upcoming vocalist in Mumbai who was a student of the late Dhondutai Kulkarni. “But an authentic recording can be a strong reference for learning new bandishes. Also, learning several bandishes in a raga can help a musician improve her understanding of the raga itself. For this too, the recordings will be very important.”

A student should therefore be aware that compositions have a history and arose in a particular cultural setting, Deshpande said. As long as one approaches the recordings with these caveats, they are no doubt an important resource, he said. “Ustad Allaydiya Khan, the founder the Jaipur gharana, and Ustad Amir Khan, for instance, took many of Bhatkhande’s compositions and adapted it to their distinct styles,” he said. “But if Bhatkhande had not collected them in the first place, what would they have done?”

Nirody agreed that his recordings are not meant to substitute learning from a guru and that his renditions are a starting point for further interpretation. “One cannot substitute teachers,” he said. “Compositions are for everyone. But each one has his own approach, depending on the gharana and personal style.”

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Kirya
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Lars

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Definitely need this and what a great feat really. I'd heard about this awhile ago. Also the Bhatkhande work Hindustani Sangeet Pahaddi translation to English currently in progress, I'm helping proofread and it's going to be another great resource. Making room on my shelf! Hopefully it's easy enough to get....

Lars

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Sanjeeb

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Thanks for this.
These books which come in 6 volumes are considered still one of the best standard books of reference.
I remember about 40 years ago when I was studying for my music examinations, I was advised to get them. Many years later on I bought the whole set. It may be mentioned as I know, they was originally written in Marathi, then translated to Hindi. You will find some rarely heard of, Raags there.
This also popularized the Bhatkande Notation System; now a standard.
The famous Marris (Morris) Collage of Music, Lucknow, was renamed after him as the Bhatkhande Music College.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhatkhande_Music_Institute

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Sanjeeb
http://www.sanjeebsircar.com
Jai Yeshu Al Masiha Namah Bol Shalom Walikum Hallelujah !
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