Hindusthani Classical Mastro Gangubai Hangal no more

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Pintu, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Gangubai Hangal?s concert of life ends- Entertainment-Media / Entertainment -News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

    Gangubai Hangal’s concert of life ends
    22 Jul 2009, 0046 hrs IST, Manoj Nair, ET Bureau

    NEW DELHI: Music and Makhania Kuan in Patna. What do they have in common? As a stumbling kid, this correspondent discovered the commonalities while cycling around three parallel roads in Patna during Durga Puja nights.

    Makhania Kuan was one of them (Govind Mitra Road and Khajanchi Road being the others) where Gangubai Hangal stole the night away from the other stalwarts — Pandit Ravi Shankar and N Rajam — performing across.

    Her vocal renditions eventually coalesced into a voluptuous, full-throated love song. What more would a young boy on the threshold of teens ask for than a full physical release of tonality where the gender differentiator in a voice collapses.

    Ironically, Gangubai Hangal was undergoing treatment for a chest congestion and a respiratory clog; and her departure comes close behind the demise of another doyen of Indian classical music DK Pattammal. May be they whispered songs in each other’s ears.

    Gangubai’s voice was magically masculine. Not out of providence, but as great masters wish it, she willed it to be so. When a throat operation changed her voice, she said: “Now it is closer to my guru’s voice.”

    Her guru was none other than Sawai Gandharva or ‘Second Celestial’ who bridged the divide between North and South. Sawai Gandharwa was instrumental in converting a quaint place like Dharwad in North Karnataka to an abode of Hindustani music. His practice inspired and left behind younger masters such as Mallikarjun Mansur, Basavaraj Rajguru, Bhimsen Joshi and, of course, Kumar Gandharva.

    Gangubai was the only woman in that group, who never asked any questions, but for raag Bibhas that she sang for a radio programme with a changed note. She was chided for that variation by her guru. She continued singing khayal unlike others of her time from the kirana gharana.

    However, Hangal was, perhaps, the last representative of a generation that valued tradition and simplicity over show. She had been singing publicly since the late 1920s after her first concert in Kolkata where Kundanlal Saigal burst out with “Wah, bai, wah” and performed with a group that was two generations younger.

    Gangubai Hangal was born to Chikkurao Nadiger, a celebrated vocalist of Carnatic music at Dharwad. Her family shifted to Hubli in 1928. She learned classical music from Krishnacharya and Dattopant Desai. Later, she took the tutelage of Sawai Gandharva to complete the arrival of Dharwad in the Hindustani classical music scene.

    She was the last of a generation from Karnataka that gave a true meaning to the word ‘Hindustani’. Else, how would Makhania Kuan know music voiced by the other side of the Vindhyas in its own language? For them, the rest, before Gangubai Hangal, was noise.
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    She reached the summit from a humble beginning - Hubli - City - NEWS - The Times of India

    She reached the summit from a humble beginning
    M L Kapur, TNN 21 July 2009, 10:45pm IST

    HUBLI: Gangubai Hangal was by far the tallest female Hindustani vocalist who ever strode the music scene in India. And it was an insurmountable journey to overcome her ancestral Gangamata boatmen low-caste past to gain the respect due to a maestro. She was to Hindustani music what M S Subbulakshmi was to Carnatic music. With her death, a glorious chapter in the annals of Hindustani music has come to an end.

    Highly decorated, she won possibly all the awards but for the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. She had almost stopped singing at a ripe age of 91, after the death of her daughter Krishna in 2004. But at a felicitation function at Belgaum on her 94th birthday, she enthralled the select gathering for an hour. A few months earlier, she sang for a short while on the `ganda bandhan' ceremony of her disciple, Ashok Nadgir, at Kundgol.

    As a teenager, she daily traveled from Hubli to Kundgol by train to take music lessons from her guru, Pandit Sawai Gandharva, a disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, progenitor of the Kirana Gharana. Sawai Gandharva passed on the Gharana's baton to the likes of Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai.

    Gangubai's attachment to Hubli may have cost her dearly, for she never thought of shifting base to a city like Pune or Mumbai to go up in the music hierarchy. Was it the responsibilities of her extended family, or the lingering fears of her peers broaching on her background? No one knows. Though she never hid her past from her children, she was floored by the curiosity of her grandchildren.

    Despite attaining matchless position in the field of music, which made life for her family comfortable to some extent, she was haunted with a sense if insecurity which could be traced to her family background. She had seen her mother, Ambabai Hangal, a Carnatic singer, leading a miserable life once entering into a live-in relationship with her patron, Chikurao Nadiger, an already married landed owner.

    Gangubai showed inclination for Hindustani music at a very young age, and Amababi encouraged her after some initial reluctance. Like her mother, Gangubai also stuck to the family tradition and never entered into a formal wedlock. Her already-married patron, Gururao Kaulgi, was a lawyer and firewood merchant of Dharwad. However, he lost heavily in other ventures and Gangubai ended up writing off his losses.

    She has honorary doctorate from five universities besides the Padma Vibhushan accorded to her in 2002. The government had felicitated Gangubai on her 95th birthday in Hubli.

    Certainly, it was a sea change from the days when she was ostracised in the orthodox Brahmin neighbourhood of Shukravarpet in Dharwad, where she was born and brought up and derided as `gaanewali'. But her irrepressible talent brought her the respect, status and the financial security she had always craved for.

    Her earliest memories of music were of running out of the house to listen to gramophone records in street corners. "How I loved that music and tried to copy it," she said on her birthday in 2005. "I still remember the reception I received whenever I walked down the streets to my Guru Sawai Gandharva's house in Kundgol. People would rush out of their houses and jeer `Dekho, dekho, gaanewali aiyi hai'. It was humiliating, but I got used to it," she said.

    "There are so many incidents that I will never forget. I remember my first ever public performance at the Belgaum Congress session, which was attended by Gandhiji. The very thought that I might be asked to take food sitting separately from others haunted me throughout," she added.

    About her craft, she said: "I believe in the gradual development and unfolding of the raga, an exposition so delicate that the listener should wait eagerly for the next phrase. Guruji taught me to use `suras' like a miser parting with his money, a graceful, subtle movement so that the listener understood the importance of the placement of each note of the raga. I believe that listening is also an art, and that a discerning audience draws out the best from an artiste."
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Daughter of Dharwad - Hubli - City - NEWS - The Times of India

    Daughter of Dharwad
    Gururaj Jamkhandi, TNN 21 July 2009, 10:47pm IST

    DHARWAD: The old mud house in Shukravar Pet here, now named Gangotri, bore a gloomy look on Tuesday. As the morning broke out and the news of the demise of Hindustani exponent Gangubai Hangal spread, passersby stopped to look at the house with sadness.

    It was in this house that the great Gangubai was born on March 5, 1913. She spent her childhood in this small rented house before moving to Hubli. Gangubai had always cherished the memories of her childhood in this house and remembered her mother Ambabai with whom the singer stayed for several years. Ambabai was a Carnatic musician, but gave up singing in Carnatic style to ensure that Gangubai, who was learning Hindustani style, was not influenced that.

    Old timers remember how Gangubai, who started off as a Kathak dancer, switched to Hindustani music. Gangubai was learning Hindustani music from Krishnacharya Hulgur of Hubli and she was traveling to Hubli from Dharwad daily. Her mother decided to shift to Hubli to enable Gangubai continue her training under Hulgur and later under Sawai Gandharva at Kundagol.

    Whenever Gangubai visited Dharwad, it has become a customary on her part to pass through the Hosayallapur Road in front of this house and take a look at it. She is very fond of Dharwad, which has provided a platform for several artistes and writers who have risen to greater heights in their life later.

    Museum-cum-music school

    The old mud house in Shukravar Pet, which was in a dilapidated condition, has now regained its original look and shape. Thanks to the government, the house has been done up into a museum-cum-music school. It was inaugurated on November 16, the first day of the three-day Dharwad Utah-2007.

    The then DC M S Sriker evinced keen interest in giving the house a new look. The government acquired the house from the owners, a Konkani family, and spent Rs 25 lakh for restoring the house. Instead of making the house a modern one with ceramic tiles and cement walls, care has been taken to ensure that it is given its original look. While trying to retain the original wood as far as possible, the architects and engineers have replaced the dead wood. Experts from RV College of Engineering and Technology (Bangalore) have guided the construction. Interiors have been done by experts from Bangalore.

    The main hall and two rooms adjacent to it have photographs and panels depicting the life and achievements of Gangubai apart from giving details about various aspects of Hindustani classical music like guaranties, ragas, maestros and instruments. The drawing room is being used for conducting music classes. Noted artist and photographer Shashi Sali has been entrusted with the responsibility of organizing the photographs and charts to be displayed.

    It had been the desire of music lovers and admirers of Gangubai that the place of her birth should be protected as a national monument. There are very few elderly persons in Shukravar Pet who have seen young Gangubai growing up in the area.
     
  5. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    May her soul rest in Peace... RIP grand old lady of Music...
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Gangubai: end of a classical style

    Gangubai: end of a classical style
    - A connoisseur’s favourite


    NILAKSHA GUPTA

    [​IMG]

    Gangubai Hangal

    Gangubai Hangal was a worthy successor of the elite group of woman singers who preceded her: Zohra Bai, Kesarbai Kerkar, Mogubai Kurdikar and Hirabai Barodekar. She didn’t have the apparently unending breath of Kesarbai or the variety of Mogubai, but she definitely put the better-stocked Hirabai into a shade despite her mannish voice.

    She couldn’t match the fireworks of her contemporary Roshan Ara Begum, but projected the grandeur and atmosphere of ragas in a manner the Begum did not. Gangubai mesmerised where the Begum entertained. And she sang in the khayal style percolating down from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan through her guru Sawai Gandharva (Rambhau Kundgolkar).

    Her death marks the end of the style. This was firmly saddled on tala in the manner of the Gwalior Gharana prototype and did not float about rudderless like the extremely slow tempo style popularised by Hirabai and her brother Suresh Babu Mane.

    Because of her deep voice, Gangubai could sing halaq taans and gamak taans like Abdul Karim, just the way her fellow Sawai Ghandharva pupil Bhimsen Joshi could.

    Gangubai and Bhimsen had quite a few things in common, including the way they looked when engrossed in raga elaboration with their eyes closed and eyebrows slightly knit. In some on-stage photographs they look like brother and sister. Perhaps they got this from their teacher.

    However, they differed in their attitude to music. Bhimsen was a professional and altered and expanded the original style taught by Sawai Gandharva to suit contemporary taste. Gangubai was unprofessional and stayed immersed in the original style till her death. That, of course, was why Bhimsen attained national stardom while Gangubai remained a connoisseur’s favourite.

    I discovered Gangubai at home in my childhood during which 78rpm discs played all day on a radiogram geared with a Garrard record changer. As what must have been a gamak taan or something hit my midriff like a Joe Louis uppercut, I gasped and asked who this was. It was Gangubai. The time was morning and the raga Bhairav.

    As I became a classical music buff in my late teens, Gangubai did not let me down. Some of the best recitals I have heard in ragas like Komal Rishabh Asavari, Bhairav, Devgiri Bilawal, Marwa, Bilaskhani Todi and Abhogi Kanada were by her.

    She was the only musician who used both the flatter than usual (ati komal) and sharper than usual (tivra) komal gandhar (minor 3rd) in Abhogi. In fact, I learnt how such things are done by listening to her.

    Gliding swiftly to the madhyam (4th) from the rishabh (major 2nd), she slid down to the gandhar with a mildly oscillating glide and a touch of crescendo. The gandhar became a grain sharper as it swung forward and backward from the madhyam. I saw a couple of listeners following the swing with their heads as if mesmerised. A similar effect was conjured up by dragging the gandhar from the rishabh and then swinging it to produce the flatter one.
     
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Rest in Peace , Ms. Hungle, till the day Music exists in the Earth, we will remember you !

    Rest in Peace
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Citizens pay respects to Gangubai - Hubli - City - NEWS - The Times of India

    Citizens pay respects to Gangubai
    TNN 21 July 2009, 10:41pm IST

    HUBLI: People from all walks of life made a beeline to Indira Glass House in Hubli, where the body of famed Hindustani vocalist is kept for public view and paid tributes to the departed singer on Tuesday.

    Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who rushed to Hubli by special plane, along with Speaker Jagadeesh Shettar, council chairman Veeranna Mattikatti, ministers Basavaraj Bommai, Murugesh Nirani, opposition leaders Siddramaiah, V S Ugrappa, chief secretary Sudhakar Rao, former minister Basavaraj Horatti, Mohan Limbikai and others, placed a wreath on Gangubai's body and paid homage.

    Speaking on the occasion, Yeddyurappa said, "The nation has lost a veteran artist and a great humanitarian in Gangubai. The government has set up Gangubai Hanagal gurukul in Hubli to impart music training to the youngsters in gurukul style." He said steps would be taken to install a statue of Gangubai in Hubli-Dharwad. Hailing the achievements and contributions of Gangubai in the field of music, the CM said, the state would recommend her name for Bharata Ratna posthumous award.

    MLA Chandrakant Bellad, Seema Masuti, Veerabhadra Halaharavi, Hubli-Dharwad Mayor Veeranna Savadi, writer Sukanya Maruti, opposition leader in HDMC Deepak Chinchore, DC Darpan Jain, police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar and IGP(Railway) K S N Chikkerur also paid homage to the departed singer.

    Musicians Madhav Gudi, Naganath Wodeyar, Sulabha Neeralagi, Ganapati Bhat Hasanagi, Hameed Khan, Raghunath Nakod, AIR assistant director C U Bellakki were among those who paid respects to Gangubai.
     
  9. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    State funeral accorded to Gangubai - Hubli - City - NEWS - The Times of India

    State funeral accorded to Gangubai
    TNN 22 July 2009, 11:00pm IST

    HUBLI: Gangubai Hangal, the queen of Hindustani classical music, was given a state funeral here on Wednesday.


    Thousands of people gathered to get the last glimpse of the vocalist. People walked in a procession from the matriarch's house `Ganga Lahari' in Deshpandenagar to reach the venue, nearly 5 km away. The procession included a team of folk singers, a van with a huge portrait of Gangubai and a cavalcade of vehicles. All along the way, Gangubai's friends, acquaintances and fans came out of their houses and garlanded the van. Some women offered sandalwood garlands, flowers and incense sticks to be placed on the body.

    The Hangal family chose to conduct the funeral at the Gangubai Hangal Gurukul Music Academy set in picturesque surroundings. The gurukul stands in the middle of a green pasture behind the Nrupatunga Hills.

    The police had a tough time controlling the crowd that had encircled the funeral venue. A temporary shed had been built over the pyre and over the VIP enclosure. The body was lowered on to the pyre by the police and family members.

    Gangubai's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren paid her their last respects. Priests attached to a mutt in Unkal conducted the rituals. A team of the City Armed Reserve paid a gun salute and fired in the air. Police personnel removed the National Flag draped around her body and commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar handed it over to her son Baburao Hangal as a mark of respect.

    Baburao lit the pyre after a short ritual. As the fire engulfed the mortal remains, Ravi, one of her disciples said: "We first planned to sing raag Bhairavi when the pyre was lit. But later, we realized silence was the best form of tribute to the doyen of music."

    Now, there was only one raga that resonated in the background. It was raga Bilawal, and the song was a patriotic number by Rabindranath Tagore, that was played by the police band.

    Many VIPs attended the funeral. Legislative council chairman Veeranna Mattikatti laid the first wreath among the VIPs present. He was followed by assembly Speaker Jagadeesh Shettar, district minister Murugesh Nirani, MP Prahlad Joshi and MLAs and MLCs.
     
  10. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Gangubai Hangal's passing away is a huge loss to the Indian music scene in general,esp the Hindustani Music.Although she probably got less recognition than her peer's like Pt Bhimsen Joshi(both were disciples of guru Sawai Gandharva),her impact on the Hindustani music was no less.
     

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