To Preserve the Melodies of Old

A set of classical Indian music compositions dating at least three generations, recorded for posterity by a slew of vocal and instrumental maestros, are available now in DVD format.

The research initiative by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) under its archival audio-video recording project “The Masters of Hindustani Classical Music,” has compiled music from 25 north Indian classical masters.

DVDs containing rare compositions by both sitarist Pandit Aravind Parikh and the late Pandit Purushottam M Walawalkar, a stalwart in harmonium was released in Mumbailast year.

Next up is the DVD release of Pandit Laxman Krishnarao Pandit from the Gwalior gharana.

“We have recorded detailed analysis and rare compositions, which are at least three generations old by the artists” says Meeta Pandit, who concieved and conceptualised the project over the past four years.

A well known vocalist herself, Pandit is the sixth in the the unbroken lineage of illustrious musicians from Gwalior.

“These are not ordinary recordings but a long drawn out process to document India’s rich traditions of music that have lived and thrived through efforts of artistes, composers, patrons of gharanas, and many dedicated disciples of legendary gurus,” says Meeta.

A booklet comprising lyrics of the recorded compositions in devnagri and phonetically translated into English is included in the DVD set.

“We also asked the musicians to bring old photographs or autographed memorabilia, that we scanned using high quality scanners and resulting photos were added to the audio visual DVDs,” says Meeta.

Among the selection of artists is Pandit Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, a classical music vocalist from the Gwalior gharana. Like others, Pandit has also recorded rare styles at the IGNCA studios here.

Laxman Krishnarao is the fifth generation of the Pandit family who are direct inheritors of the tradition of Ustad Nathan Pir Baksh and his descendants Ustad Hassu Khan, Ustad Haddu Khan, Ustad Nathu Khan, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan and Ustad Rehmat Khan who popularised the khayaal style.

“He has not just rendered 25 khayaals but made an effort to provide a glimpse into some treasured forms that have been passed on through generations.

“So you can listen to khayaal numa tarana and khayaal numa tappa, along with tappa, chaturang, ashtapadi, trivat, tarana, pad, hori, bandish ki thumri, bol banaav ki thumri and jhoola,” says Meeta

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