S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Friday, 2 February 2018

Panchakshari Gawai

Birthdays & Anniversaries
2.2.1892 - 11.6.1944

Till the early decades of (his century, Carnatic music prevailed throughout the area comprising the present state of Karnataka. Most of the first generation Hindustani musicians from the northern half of Karnataka had their initiation into Carnatic music, before switching over to Hindustani. For instance, Ambabai, the mother of the celebrated musician Gangubai Hangal, was a practitioner of Carnatic music as was also her mother Kamalabai. In fact, the Hangal family has preserved their notebooks containing the kriti-s of the Trinity and also a large number of pada-s and javali-s, a majority of them in Kannada. And it may be of interest to know that the first disc of Gangubai herself was a recording of the well-known Tyagaraja kriti Nenarunchinanu in Malavi; it was recorded before she fully switched over to Hindustani music.

The new wave of music from Maharashtra started reaching Karnataka during the early decades of this century, attuning the ears of music lovers to something that was definitely more pleasing than the prevailing Carnatic music, which was poorer in quality compared to that heard in southern parts, like Mysore. This process was accelerated and strengthened by a large number of ustads and other Hindustani musicians, who travelled to Mysore to perform in the Palace during important events. On their way home, they baited in Hubli for considerable time. In addition, the arrival of stalwarts like Bhaskarbuwa Bhakle as a teacher in the Dharwar Training College and others like Khan Abdul Karim Khan, Rabimat Khan and Ramakrisbnabuwa Vaze gave a tremendous impetus to the development of Hindustani music in those areas. But these changes and the popularity of Hindustani music were mostly confined to the upper elitist strata of the society.

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