A two-day festival was held at the Shri Vallabh Sangeetashram at Sion to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of the Bhendibazar gharana singer Aman Ali Khan. He was the most creative musicians. Among his pupils are Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Vasantrao Deshpande, Shiv-kumar Shukla, Ramesh Nadkarni and T.D. Janorikar. Aman Ali also taught the late Amir Khan who often sang Khan’s ‘Jai Mate’, a composition in ‘Hamsadhwani’. In fact, he was instrumental in bringing this raga into the fold of Hindustani music.
Aman Ali’s ancestors came from Uttar Pradesh and settled in Bombay in an area behind the bazaar and they came to called the exponents of the ‘Bhendibazar’ gharana. The style which they evolved has a lot of filigree work and it uses a lot of ‘merukhand’ devices which enable easy multiplication of note patterns. The ragas which they sing are also uncommon though they are lightweight. Suhasini Koratkar, the torch bearer of the gharana was the moving spirit behind this two-day festival.
Anuradha Kuber, a young and highly talented singer from Poona sang a jugalbandi with senior singer Anuradha Marathe and their ‘Hamsadhwani’ was melodious. Shailesh Mavinkurve, a young city based singer sang the raga ‘Bhatiyar’. It was a congregation of a gharana and people of Mumbai loved it as such.
There are several books that have been written on tabla till date by several accomplished tabla players. Almost all of these books and publications provide useful and detailed information on history and origin of tabla playing, theories, historical background of major Gharanas and it’s stylistic differences. “Several published books mention Punjab Gharana (Punjab Style Tabla Playing) as one of the major Gharanas but don’t do justice to presenting it’s rich tradition and styles. My attempt through this book and the compositions and bols presented in it, is to provide a glimpse of the rich style of Punjab Gharana to the practitioners and students,” said Prithiviraj.
The specialty of Punjab style compositions are its phrase patterns, multifaceted rhythmic approach and intricate poetry based on complex mathematical computation and progression.
Hence, an attempt to present the complexities and nuances of Punjab style tabla compositions in this book – first of the series presented to tabla players and music lovers. The sequel to this book will be discussing other aspects of tabla along with varieties of compositions and different taals. Prithiviraj has made several trips to the US and other countries and has made special efforts to popularise the Punjab gharana compositions.