A veritable treasure trove
By Sumit Savur

The music of India series produced for CBS by Chandiramani Enterprises is by for the most comprehensive as well as the most ambitious coverage of indian music in all its diversity,. The series under review not only covers o wide spectrum of ragas and takas but seeks to acquaint the listener with vorious musical forms of vocal music form raagdari to the traditionol thumris, classical foams of the traditional thumris classical ghazals and bhajans so also the instrumental counterpart will prove on education in itself as these cassetters bright to light a bewildering variety of the classical as well talk musical insturments -strings wind and percussion for the curious as well as serious student of indian music, here is a veritable treasure that will reveal why the music of indian is regarded as the most ancient by virtue of its diversity as well as its complexity .consider this as a preview of the glory that is India.

Gayaki Raag aur Taal Volume I and II
Browsing through these thumris one inescapable conclusion was the extent of inspiration that the marathi pad has derived form Hindustani music several of these thumris found their way to man marathi stage thanks to man like womonroo sadolikar - - -shruti:s father who both acted and directed music for marathi theatre and in turn shaped and moulded shruti music.

Saaz Raag aur Taal Volume I and III
This instrumental counterpart seek to familiarize the listener with the bewildering variety of strings woodwinds and bowed instruments that are available in the indian repertoire. Add to this the range of percussion instruments which constitute a taal vodya katcheri as the camatics appropriately call it. once again chandiramani has drawn upon vast resources of traditional concert instruments drawn form both the hindustani as well as comatic mainstream as also folk instruments form all over this country understandably there is a mix of classical and folk idiom in the pieces presented the talents of Anna Joshi in the percussion department have been well and truly hamessed while the dependable support of Shridhar Padhye and Arjun Shejwal merits mention for sheer consistency here again the spectrum of ragas as well as talas; variety is the keynote let"s start at the very beginning (as julie andrews crooned in the sound of music)with volumes of ragdari vocal these two cassettes cover the ten thaats or classifications of ragas namely bhairav, todi, bilawal, aassavri, poorvi, marwa, kalyon, khamaj, kafi and bhairavi which are significantly deait with in their chronological order each thaat gets a brace of ragas which in tum are set to diverse talas ranging in beat cycles of 6 to 16. While most of the compositions sung by shruti katkar (sodolikar) are sung with feeling, the choice of the mole counterpart (pt, krishnarao chonkor is from a performing standpoint is not exactly exemplary as it should be for a series of educative values while none would dispute the scholarships of Chankar as a performer he is over the hill and the pieces rendered by him are in sharp contrast in terms of tunefulness with each altenate pieces rendered by him are in sharp contrast in terms of tunefulnees with each afiemate piece sung by shruti and chankar the performing standard is subject to ups and downs understandably shruti.s ragas emerge as shining examples of musicianship.

Traditional thumris Volume I and II
The companion volumes of thumris is a delectable spread -it has been arranged by pt. Krishnarao chankar but presented with all her heart by shruti katkor (sodoilkor ).here are classics in semi-calssicalmode 18 gems of time -tested thumris that have become popular over the year . they range form plya ke milne ki aas in jogia. You have heard these well-loved classics from begum akhtar to bhimson joshi nonethelees shruti sings them yet again with freshness . malu is one of the singles which is exclusively devoted to sitar by chandrashekhar naringrekar novelty is the keynote of this cassette as the ragas as well as talas are of unusual character . for instance the ragas heard include sarsawati, nat bhoirav ,harikouns, jog ,ahir lalat and kakila deepakam the latter obviously inspired form camatic systems yet again the correspanding talas range form vikram taal (6betas) Aadi taal (8 beats) matta taal (9 beats0 surfakta (10 beats) chautaal (12 beats) and chamoor (14 beats) all these taals have been played with master by Arjun Shejwal who beats a sonorous beat on the pakhawaj. saz -e-dill is a collection of ghazals based on classical ragas the lyrical beauty of doog ghailb zafor and their ilk is cloaked in the dignity of classical ragas such as kafi bibhas harikount etc the music composed by chandiramani in association with bulo C, rani finds eloquent expression in the voices of shruti katkar usha amankar and kavita krishnamurti. The ghazals are set to a variety of beat cycles All in all this is a treat for those who love poetry but find classical raagdori sangeet rather heavy going.

Bhakti Varsha Bhajans
Coming at the other and of the musical spectrum is a delightful collection of the bhajans of saint poets like tulsi sur nanak mira kabir narndev bramhanand and so on once again it is the ragas that embellish once again underlines the versatility of shruti as the render the bhajans set to music by the Chandiramani -Bulo C. Ran Duo .         

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