Press Esc to close

Magic of Rabindra Sangeet

Last updated: 01 May, 2010
S S SANYAL Maharaja Features 15:58 IST

Arts

The 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore is on May 7, 2011, and the celebration year begins this year.

Rabindra Sangeet refers to the 2000 plus songs and poetry of love and devotion composed by Tagore. Out of these only 730 songs for which the bard had written the notations are currently sung. These songs are regarded as cultural treasures of Bengal in both West Bengal and the predominantly Muslim Bangladesh.

The Rabindra Sangeet, which most frequently deal with transcendental love and spirituality, forms a foundation for the Bengali ethos that is comparable to, perhaps even greater than, that which Shakespeare had on the English-speaking world. The poorest boatman on the Ganges as well as the rich landlord find expression to their emotional trials and tribulation in the songs of Tagore.

Rabindra Sangeet forms an integral part of almost every Bengali cultural festival and is seen as one of the most important aspects of Bengali cultural heritage. These songs have also been used in several movies, both in Bengali and non-Bengali cinema.

The national anthems of both Bangladesh and India are Rabindra Sangeets; these are “Amar Shonar Bangla” (oh my precious Bengal) and “Jana Gana Mana” (ruler of the minds of all people), written in an older form of Bangla, closer to Sanskrit, that can be readily re-interpreted in almost all Indian languages) respectively.

During the poet’s lifetime, 104 artists (43 of whom were women) recorded Tagore songs. Since then over 5,000 recordings have taken place at HMV (Saregama’s former avatar). Today, out of every five Bengali albums sold, one is a Rabindra Sangeet.

The influence of Rabindra Sangeet on Indian classical instrumental music, is perhaps due to the fact that much of what is played on Indian classical instruments today is derived from vocal music. The pioneering example in this regard was set by none other than the great Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib.

He had adopted the famous song, Bhenge Mor Gharer Chabi, into a beautiful, lilting light-classical composition. It is not so well known that many of Tagore’s songs like Gaganer Thale in Raga Jaijaiwanti, a night melody, were musically set to tune by Swami Vivekananda, and his rendition of this composition made it sublime and ethereal.

Two famous exponents of Rabindra Sangeet have been the Calcutta New Theatre music directors Pankaj Mallick (1904-1979) and Hemant Kumar (1920-89). In Bangladesh, Rabindra Sangeet has practically been synonymous with two names: Rezwan Choudhury Bonya and Sadi Mohammad.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Actress Tamannaah Bhatia during a promotional event...

Actress Tamannaah Bhatia during a promotional event...

Girls take selfie near a classic car at the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute...

Girls take selfie near a classic car at the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute...

A man feeds langurs at Khandagiri in...

A man feeds langurs at Khandagiri in...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau...

Dancers perform during celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Kosovo's independence...

Dancers perform during celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Kosovo's independence...

Police guard a demonstration during the Munich Security Conference in Munich...

Police guard a demonstration during the Munich Security Conference in Munich...

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women Round Robin - Olympic Athletes from...

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women Round Robin - Olympic Athletes from...

Ventilation pipes are seen at a Korean barbecue restaurant at the Yongpyong ski...

Ventilation pipes are seen at a Korean barbecue restaurant at the Yongpyong ski...

A view of Lok Bhawan, a government building housing Uttar Pradesh...

A view of Lok Bhawan, a government building housing Uttar Pradesh...

School children perform during 'Pariksha Par Charcha', an interactive session...

School children perform during 'Pariksha Par Charcha', an interactive session...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.