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Know all about Rabindra Sangeet in just 10 minutes!

By Banani

15 December, 2016

5 insights from a true blue Bengali!

Many of us know Rabindranath Tagore for his splendid compositions of “Jana Gana Mana” and “Amar Shonar Bangla”, the national anthems of India and Bangladesh respectively. Sri Lanka’s national anthem is based on a Bengali song written by Tagore.  However, few among us know about Rabindra Sangeet, a significant contribution by Tagore towards his fellowmen who love music. It is quite popular amongst West Bengal folks.

Here are 5 insights into Rabindra Sangeet that you need to know:

  • Music for all moods:

Rabindra Sangeet is an amalgam of Hindustani ragas and traditional tales. He simplified the ragas to blend with the melody of his songs. The music describes the evening tears of a lonely widow or the realization of a nocturnal wanderer who lost his way. One can listen to his songs according to their moods.

                                          Something to check out:

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Sanam-Tumi-Robe-Nirobe-Rabindra-Sangeet.mp4"][/video]

       Sanam Puri performing famous Rabindra Sangeet "Tumi Robe Nirobe"

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Ekla-Cholo-Re-Full-Song-from-Kahaani-AMITABH-BACHCHAN.mp4"][/video]

              "Ekla Cholo" by Amitabh Bachhan-clip from movie "Kahani" 

  • Poetry to Music:

Tagore’s songs are derived either from his poetry or parts of his novels, stories, plays or dramas. It was his uniqueness to fuse them to his soulful music where melody and rhythm run in parallel.

                                            Something to check out:

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Where-The-Mind-Is-Without-Fear-by-Rabindranath-Tagore-Poetry-Reading.mp4"][/video]

                                   The famous poem: "Minds without Fear"

  • Folk Songs of Bengal blends easily

Since the base of Rabindra Sangeet is classical ragas, hence it becomes easy for the folk songs to integrate with it. Nowadays, even Rock Bands are successful in fusing Rabindra Sangeet with their compositions. To match the audience of the present generation, Rabindra Sangeet is delivered with a twist but without getting its integrity being disturbed.

                                           Something to check out:

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Mayabono-Biharini-from-BEDROOM-by-Somlata.mp4"][/video]

                                  Rock version of  "Mayabono Biharini"    

Listen to its original version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiJgLE-pLa0 

  • Accompaniments with instruments

Rabindra Sangeet can be performed with various instruments be it guitar, piano or any other advanced musical instruments, however, Harmonium, tabla, Sitar, Mridangam, Israz, Pakhawaj, Khol, and Bansuri are a must to deliver the real essence of this music.

                                           Something to check out:

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Swagatalakshmi-Dasgupta-RabindraSangeet-E-Ki-Labanye-BADFW-Durga-Puja-2010.mp4"][/video]

    Instruments used like "Tabla and Piano" by Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta

  • Seasons of India

Rabindra Sangeet has compositions related to our varied seasons, maybe it summer, rains, autumn, winter or spring. The songs composed relish the beauty of every season. One can enjoy “Daruno Agnee Banere” on a summer evening or one can listen to “Esho Shyamolo Shundoro” to welcome the rains.

                                        Something to check out:

[video mp4="https://www.bananivista.com/uploads/2016/12/Esho-shyamolo-by-Mrittika-Music-Mojo-Kappa-TV.mp4"][/video]

 Esho Shyamolo Sundoro (welcoming of rainy season) by Madhubanti Bagchi

Tagore’s songs can be find in his book “Gitobitan” where he classified his songs on the basis of “Pooja”-spiritual philosophy, “Swadesh-patriotism”, “Prem-love”, “Anushthanik-celebrations”, “Vichitra-human emotions” and “Prakriti-lover of nature”.

Tagore’s incredible work drew its influences from Western music and is loved not only in India but his work is much adored and followed throughout the world. In fact, music lovers from different generations fall in love with his eclectic music.

Let’s motivate the newer generations to explore more classical and folk music as it will help in reinforcing the sense of history, will give a soul to the universe, and life to everything!