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Annapurna Devi of Hindustani Music Passes Away

  • 17 Oct 2018
  • 3 min read

Annapurna Devi, prominent artist of classical Hindustani music, recently passed away at the age of 92.

  • She was the iconic and famously reclusive surbahar (bass sitar) player.
  • She was the daughter of Maihar gharana founder Ustad Allauddin Khan.
  • She was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan award.

Hindustani Music

  • Hindustani classical music is an Indian classical music tradition. It originated in North India around 13th and 14th centuries.
  • In contrast to Carnatic music, the other main Indian classical music tradition from South India, the Hindustani classical music was not only influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions and Vedic philosophy but also by the Persian elements.
  • Hindustani music is based on the raga system. The Raga is a melodic scale, comprising of notes from the basic seven- Sa, Re, Ga, Ma Pa, Dha and Ni.
  • There is a rich tradition of Gharanas in classical Hindustani music. The music Gharanas are also called styles. These schools or Gharanas have their basis in the traditional mode of musical training and education. Every Gharana has its own distinct features. Popular gharanas are: Gwalior gharana, Agra Gharana, Indore Gharana, Jaipur Gharana.
  • Hindustani classical music is primarily vocal-centric. The major vocal forms associated with Hindustani music are the khayal, Ghazal, dhrupad, dhammar, tarana and thumri.
  • Dhrupad style of singing is traditionally performed by men with a tanpura and pakhawaj. The lyrics sung in Dhrupad are in a medieval form of Hindi and typically heroic in theme, or in praise of a particular deity.
  • Khayal consists of about 4-8 lines of lyrics set to a tune. The performer uses these few lines as the base for improvisation.
  • Tarana are songs that are used to convey a feel of joy and are usually performed towards the end of a concert.
  • Thumri is an informal vocal form of Hindustani classical music and is said to have begun with the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Oudh.
  • Originally, a Persian form of vocal music, Ghazal is an important part of Hindustani Classical music. Ghazal exists in multiple variations, including folk and pop forms.The themes of Ghazals range from love, joy and piety.
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