S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Monday, 25 December 2017

Ram Narayan

Birthdays & Anniversaries

The credit for putting the sarangi on the world map belongs to Ram Narayan who had intensive training under masters of the Kirana gharana. He took to the instrument when it had a lowly status, as did those who played it. Great vocalists like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Amir Khan, who were proficient in playing the sarangi, abandoned it likely for this reason. But Ram Narayan not only stayed with it, he gave it an identity of its own, as well as a new status, by unveiling its potential as a solo instrument. Earlier, others like Bundu Khan had sought to bring about this metamorphosis; it was left to Ram Narayan, "a supreme artist (with) unbelievable skill and imagination [who] most revealingly expresses the very soul of Indian feeling and thought," as Yehudi Menuhin has observed, to complete the task. In fact, he has saved it from oblivion, even though its future is still problematic because of the general public perception of sarangi as mainly the voice of sorrow during periods of national mourning.

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