Thursday, November 22, 2007
The classical musical form of Afghanistan is called klasik, which includes both instrumental and vocal ragas, as well as Tarana and Ghazals. Many Ustads, or professional musicians, have learned North Indian Classical Music in India, and some of them were Indian descendants who moved from India to the royal court in Kabul in the 1860s. They maintain cultural and personal ties with India -- through discipleship or inter-marriage -- and they use the Hindustani musical theories and terminology, for example raga (melodic form) and tala (rhythmic cycle).
Afghan ragas, in contrast to Indian ones, tend to be more focused on rhythm, and are usually played with the tabla, or the local zerbaghali, dayra or dohol, all percussive instruments. Other Afghan classical instruments include the dutar, sorna, sitar, dilruba, tambur, ghichak, and Rubab.
The most famous Afghan Classical singer is Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang, who is one of the Master singers in North Indian Classcial Music and is also well-known in all over India and Pakistan. Other classical singers are Ustad Qasim, Ustad Rahim Bakhsh, Ustad Nato and others like Yousof jan.
- Main article: Rubab
The rubab is a common lute-like instrument in Afghanistan, and is the forerunner of the Indian sarod. The rubab is sometimes considered the national instrument of Afghanistan, and is called the "lion" of instruments; one reviewer claims it sounds like "a Middle Eastern predecessor to the blues that popped up in the Piedmont 100 years ago". The rubab has a double-chambered body carved from mulberry wood and has three main strings and a plectrum made from ivory, bone or wood.Courtesy of WikiPedia
Rambhau Kundgolkar was born in Kundgol, near Dharwad, in Karnataka in 1886. Although not from a musical family, he was keenly interested in music. He started his training in classical music under the tutelage of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.
After completing his training, Rambhau joined a drama company and became a big hit as a singing star in Marathi theatre. It was because of his famous singing on stage that he got the name 'Sawai Gandharva', along the lines of the famous singer Bal Gandharva.
Although he became a well known classical vocalist, his most enduring legacy is that he trained great artists who would carry on the magic of the Kirana Gharana, like Bhimsen Joshi, Basavaraj Rajguru, and Gangubai Hangal.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi holds the annual Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in memory of Sawai Gandharva.
clip of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi: