Verses within the Guru Granth Sahib are based mostly on uncommon raags and taals

Bhai Baljit Singh’s live performance highlighted Guru Granth Sahib’s robust hyperlink with classical music

Bhai Baljit Singh’s live performance highlighted Guru Granth Sahib’s robust hyperlink with classical music

Gaiety Theatre in Shimla was the venue for an uncommon memorial live performance not too long ago. Established in 1887, it’s the oldest extant venue for theatre in India. However this time it performed host to a live performance of ‘gurbani’ by Bhai Baljit Singh. Although he’s based mostly in Delhi, he initially belongs to the Namdhari custom of Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana.

The ten Sikh Gurus had a powerful hyperlink with classical music — every of the almost 6,000 verses within the Guru Granth Sahib are based mostly on a raag. Could also be they felt the verses then would have a deeper influence on the thoughts and soul.

At present, the Guru Granth Sahib serves as a useful supply of some uncommon and standard Hindustani raags from the fifteenth to seventeenth century. It additionally comprises a Raagmala that lists these raags and the hyperlink amongst them. The opening line affirms that Bhairav was the primary raag created; every of the six major raags have been linked with different raags comparable in development or, extra importantly, comparable within the temper that they evoked. Sadly, this idea was denigrated with time, and it was erroneously assumed, on this author’s view, {that a} newer type of classification was required, ensuing within the at present used ‘thaat’ system.

Raags listed within the Raagmala like Bangali, Gandhari, Devgandhari, Shyama, Jaldhara are nearly extinct now; or used solely along with different raags resembling Jaldhara Kedara, Shyam Kalyan, and Bangali Bhairav. The construction of even standard extant raags differs within the Sikh custom; the Dhanasri referred within the Guru Granth does probably not match the 2 forms of Dhanasri which are carried out right now. Different raags resembling Asa, Sindhura and Sorath, particular to Punjab and talked about often within the holy guide are identified, however uncommon right now. Infact raag Sorath, which is similar to Des, however for a attribute phrase not utilized in Des, has in dwelling reminiscence been sung solely by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and his disciples. By the way, Pt. Pratyush Bannerji of the Senia Shahjahanpur custom is conversant with two or three historical instrumental compositions in Sorath. One wonders concerning the hyperlink between his gharana and Punjab.

Fateh Singh on the tabla.

Fateh Singh on the tabla.
| Photograph Credit score: Shailaja Khanna

Join with the guru

Bhai Baljit Singh began his live performance with a composition by Sufi Baba Farid (after whom the erstwhile princely state of Faridkot is claimed to be named). He had composed the verse, which talks concerning the join with the Guru, in Kedara. His second piece, the hymn ‘Jo har ka pyaara, so sab na ka pyaara’ (he who’s beloved of Hari, is cherished by everybody) was in raag Bihagada, as prescribed within the holy guide. Increasing every bit with loving care; Bhai Baljit concluded his recital with Guru Govind Singh’s ‘Jai jai jai jagkaran, shristi ubhaaran’, was once sung throughout aarti in gurudwara Patna Sahib. Sadly this custom is now defunct. Once more displaying his creativity, He had tuned this in Sorath, in Ek taal, singing with a ardour and vigour that had the small viewers in awe.

“Once we carry out for the Lord; singing solely the ‘sthayi antara’ gained’t do justice, we choose to slowly discover the verse musically and soulfully,” he defined.

Bhai Baljit Singh was accompanied by his daughter Laxmi on the vocals, on the tabla by his son Fateh Singh, who’s at present being skilled by Pt. Yogesh Samsi of the Punjab gharana, and by a disciple from the U.Ok. on the taarshehnai, an instrument peculiar to the Sikh custom, which appears to be like like a fretted shehnai with a trumpet.

The Delhi-based reviewer specialises in classical music.

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