Celebration of Punjabi folk, Sufi music

Celebration of Punjabi folk, Sufi music

Traditional tunes

Music has a way of calming the mind, soothing the troubled soul, and if it is traditional notes then the experience becomes even more enhanced. The upcoming ‘Festival of Traditional Music of Punjab’, encompassing the traditional, folk and classical genres, is all geared to offer a musical treat to Delhiites.

The cultural heritage of Punjab includes the mellifluous khayal bandishes (compositions). This genre of gayeki has been enriching Hindustani classical music for more than two centuries now.

Before the advent of khayal, there were four famous gharanas of Dhrupad in the regions of Punjab, Talwandi, Haryana, Sham Chaurasi and Kapurthala. Khayal gayeki emerged as the next stage of evolution in the history of Hindustani classical music. The strict discipline of earlier days gave way to greater expansiveness and liberty of expression in the musical firmament. Its evolution started with the creative endeavours of Amir Khusro in the 12th century and completed under the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Feroz­khan Adaran who gave khayal its present identity.

Khayal gayeki remained confined to Delhi until late 19th century when the new style reached Punjab. This festival has been curated in order to bring the notes of the same music tradition back to the Capital.

Organised by the Punjabi Academy and Department of Art, Culture and Languages, the two-day festival will bring together renowned artistes from this music genre. The coveted list includes well known artistes like Balwant Singh Namdhari, Raza Ali Khan, Qutubi Qawwal and Pandit Yashpaul.

On day one, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia will be the Chief Guest and Jitender Singh Tomar, Minister for Law and Justice, Tourism, Gurdwara Elections and Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi will be the Guest of Honour.

“Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which khayal bandishes have been written over centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the khayal-style of Hindustani classical music, have also composed some beautiful bandishes in Punjabi language, which will be presented in this festival,” says Geetanjali Gupta, secretary, Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi.

She adds, “Over the last two centuries, Hindustani musicians, whether from Punjab and elsewhere, have sung these compositions.” Keeping the same in mind, the organisers have endeavoured to revive the interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation.

The festival will begin with a performance by Bhai Balwant Singh Namdhari who will render khayal bandishes accompanied by tabla and mridang in traditional-style of Punjab. His performance will be followed by that of Raza Ali Khan, grandson of the legendary Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Saheb.

The second day will have performances by Qutubi Qawwal from the Dargah of Hazrat Qutbudin Bakhtiar Kaki who will present Sufi qawwali from Punjab. Pandit Yashpaul will also render Punjabi khayal bandishes of archival value, on this day.The festival will take place on May 21 and 22 at India International Centre.

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