What is Ghazal Singing : My Favourite Indian Ghazal Singers
'Ghazal' : A Form Of Poetry!
© Chitrangada Sharan , July, 2016
All Rights Reserved.
When I was in my teens, it is then that I was attracted to Ghazals and ghazal singing. I was interested in music since my childhood. But that interest was limited to rhythm, instruments and the joy of singing. When I started understanding the lyrics, I started taking keen interest in Ghazal singing.
What is Ghazal :
- Ghazal is a form of poetry and the lyrics are used to express deep emotions. Those emotions can be of love and it's spiritual form, desire, longing, pain, joy, intense emotions and heartfelt feelings and so on.
- So it is important to understand the lyrics to enjoy the ghazals or the ghazal mehfils.(the gathering for listening to Ghazal singing).
- Great Ghazal singers have the capability to mesmerise their audience. The listener can get ecstatic with tears of joy and deep emotions.
- It is a very ancient form of singing and has its origin in Arabia. Later on it spread in South Asia roughly around the 12th century.
- Basically it was influenced by Sufi poetry with the lyrics, mostly in Urdu, Persian or Arabic.
- But the present day Ghazal singing has evolved and transformed a lot. It has become more easy to understand and comprehend and thus much easier to be enjoyed by masses who take keen interest in Ghazals. Especially the language has become easier.
Classical Ghazal or 'Ghazal Gayaki'
The art of singing the Ghazal or performing in front of a large audience is called 'Ghazal Gayaki.'
It is sad that we do not have many records of history about the ancient Ghazal artists.
The credit for familiarising people with this rich classical musical tradition can be awarded to artists such as 'Begum Akhtar' and 'Ustad Mehdi Hassan' to name a few.
Some of the most popular and admired Classical Ghazal singers can be named as follows:
- Begum Akhtar,
- Mehdi Hassan,
- Abida Parveen,
- Talat Mehmood,
- Farida Khanum,
- Ustad Amanat Ali Khan,
- Mallika Pukhraj,
- Jagjit Singh,
- Chitra Singh,
- Ghulam Ali,
The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside.
Ghazal Singing in India
- The modern Ghazal singing in India has undergone tremendous changes as far as lyrics or instruments used in Ghazal performances is concerned.
- The idea was to make it more popular for larger audiences not only in India but all over the World.
- Traditionally it was sung in classical style comprising of 'Raga', 'Thumri', 'Khayal' and other genres of classical music.
- Ghazal singers like 'Jagjit Singh' first used some Western musical instruments and the results were amazing.
- Even people with little understanding of complex words of Urdu poetry were able to enjoy the Ghazal mehfils or concerts.
Some of the contemporary Ghazal singers who have given a new identity to the experience of Ghazals are as follows:
- Jagjit Singh-Chitra Singh,
- Mohammad Rafi,
- Pankaj Udhas,
- Adithya Srinivasan,
- Runa Laila,
- Pinaz Masani,
- Roop Kumar Rathod-Sunali Rathod,
- Bhupinder Singh and Mitali Singh,
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,
- Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Ghazal singing is not limited to stage performances or grand concerts only. It has been used extensively in movies as well.
This has made this genre of singing commercially popular and successful.
God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
~~~~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh Ghazals, source: You tube
My Favourite Ghazal Singers: 'Jagjit Singh--Chitra Singh"
The discussion about contemporary Ghazal singing can not be complete without a special reference to the most admired and popular singing couple Jagjit Singh-Chitra Singh
I have been their admirer since long like millions of other music lovers. Jagjit Singh was not only a singer but also a composer and music director. He introduced new elements in Ghazal singing to popularise this traditional classical form of music.
The couple have ruled music industry for many decades. Some of the most popular music/ Ghazal albums of Jagjit Singh is as follows:
- The unforgettables,
- The latest,
- Mirza Ghalib,
- Prem geet .
To Conclude few words about 'MUSIC' in any form:
How do we define Music?
Here I am referring to soulful music and not noise.
I believe Music is food for the soul and it has no language. If it comes from heart, it is bound to touch hearts.
We can not see 'God' but soulful music can make you feel the presence of 'God.'
Music is therapeutic and one can feel its healing properties. Here I am talking about the healing of the heart and the soul and not external injuries.
Enjoy the Ghazals !
© Chitrangada Sharan, 14th July, 2016
All Rights Reserved.
PROTECTED: PLEASE DO NOT COPY!
Ghazal by Jagjit Singh in the movie Sarfarosh, source: You tube
Who is your favourite Ghazal Singer?
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