Pandit Jasraj

 

Context:

  • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid rich tribute to Pandit Jasraj on the occasion of the Jayanti of the doyen of Indian Classical Music.
  • The Prime Minister talked of the personification of immortal energy of music by Pandit Jasraj and lauded Durga Jasraj and Pandit Shaarang Dev for keeping alive the glorious legacy of the maestro. 
  • The Prime Minister was speaking at the launch of the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation via video conferencing.
  • The Prime Minister touched upon the vast knowledge imparted by the sages of Indian music tradition.
  • He said that the strength to feel the cosmic energy and ability to see music in the flow of universe is what makes Indian Classical music tradition so exceptional.
  • “Music is a medium that makes us aware of our worldly duties and it also helps us transcend worldly attachments” the Prime Minister said.

 

 

About:

 

  • Pandit Jasrajwas an Indian classical vocalist, belonging to the Mewati gharana (musical apprenticeship lineage). 
  • His musical career spanned 75 years resulting in national and international fame, respect and numerous major awards and accolades.
  • His legacy includes memorable performances of classical and semi-classical vocal music, classical and devotional music, albums and film soundtracks, innovations in various genres including Haveli Sangeethand popularizing the Mewati Gharana – a school of thought in Hindustani classical music.
  • Pandit Jasraj taught music to amateur and professional students in India, Europe, Canada and the United States.

 

Technique and style

Classical music

  • Although Jasraj belonged to the Mewati gharana, a school of music known for its traditional performances of khayals, Jasraj had sung khayals with some flexibility, adding elements of lighter styles, including the thumri. 
  • During the initial stages of his career, he was criticised for incorporating elements from other schools of music, or gharanas, into his singing. 
  • Musicologist Kalidas has noted, however, that this borrowing of elements across gharanashas now become more commonly accepted.
  • Jasraj created a novel form of jugalbandicalled Jasrangi that is styled on the ancient system of moorchhana, between a male and a female vocalist, who each sing different ragas at the same time. 
  • He was also known for presenting a variety of rare ragas including Abiri Todi and Patdeepaki.

 

Semi-classical and popular music
  • In addition to performing classical music, Jasraj had worked to popularise innovations in semi-classical musical styles, such as Haveli Sangeet, which involves semi-classical performances in temples. 
  • He had also sung classical and semi-classical compositions for film soundtracks, such as the song, ‘Vandana Karo’, composed in the raga Ahir Bhairavby the composer Vasant Desai, for the film Ladki Sahyadri Ki (1966), a duet with vocalist Bhimsen Joshi for the soundtrack of the film Birbal My Brother (1975), and a ballad, Vaada Tumse Hai Vaada for a horror film titled 1920 (2008) directed by Vikram Bhatt.
  • In memory of his father, Jasraj organised an annual musical festival called the Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samarohin Hyderabad. 
  • The festival has been held annually since 1972.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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