Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gharana Gayaki

Gharana Gayaki has become diluted in recent times. Most famous singers have learnt from scions of different gharanas and the outcome has been a mixed one. Bhimsen Joshi who was rooted in Kirana Gharana but went on to assimilate other styles is a leading example of this new trend. In current times, Ustad Rashid Hussain Khan, who is from Rampur Sahaswan but who also has brought in influences from outside into his singing to the extent that Kumar Prasad Mukherjee does not consider him as belonging to his parent gharana is another example. That is not to say that there singing is not pleasing. Such an insinuation would be made at one's own peril such is the staure of these vocalists. However, the gharana purists of the time like Mashkoor Ali Khan of Kirana or Raza Ali Khan of Patiala are pleasing in a way that is difficult to surpass. In my humble view, tinkering with singing style one has inherited from the Guru beyond a point can prove self-defeating and can endanger the very creation. This is again not to imply that improvisation is prohibited. Quite the contrary, improvisation is essential and each artist must bring in his own contribution and stamp to what has been learnt otherwise he could look a bad copy of the original. However, this has to be done within boundaries and those need to be well defined. For me Gharanedar gayaki takes the cake.

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