Miyan Tansen is reputed to have started fires by singing the raag Deepak... Those flames, fanned over centuries, have given rise to the several gharanas of Hindustani music.
In this new book from Bibliophile South Asia, Ashok Da. Ranade writes of some of the main exponents of hindustani classical music of recent times. In Some Hindustani Musicians: They Lit The Way he discusses the life and art of, among others, Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Pt. Omkarnath Thakur, Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan, Heerabai Badodekar, Mallikarjun Mansoor, and contemporary singers such as Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal.
Today Indian Music has won a place of pride in the global musical heritage. Hindustani classical music and its vocal stream have been major influences in creating the larger Indian musical tradition. Music being a performing art, lives in performance. These performances are obviously realized through performing ideas and their exploration by artists concerned. The identification of performing ideas provide the prime clue to the qualitative forces in any artist's work. Dr. Ranade has attempted to identify and analyze 19 major performers' performing ideas as they became accessible to him in mehfils, recordings or teaching sessions. Four other musicians are also briefly discussed. These music-makers -- and of course others not discussed here -- have lit the 20th century, i.e., our immediate and adjacent living past. Hence the special contemporary quality of their work. They belong to different gharanas and language-regions and the variety of their approaches is a challenge as well as delight.
Himself a hindustani classical vocalist, Ashok Da. Ranade is also composer, musicologist, ethnomusicologist, voice-culturist and a teacher with degrees in literature, law and music. He has held many positions, won many awards, fellowships and as visiting professor in India and abroad and has published several books, many of which are available on Scholars.
In hardcover, 388pages, Rs 750. ISBN: 9788185002736.