SUBROTO ROY CHOWDHURY
Shri Part 4
Part I Alaap
Part II Jod
Part III Jhala
Part IV Gats, in Jhaptal
Total time: 60.57
SUBROTO ROY CHOWDHURY was born in Calcutta on January 29, 1943.
Subroto started learning sitar on May 12th, 1956, under the able
tutelage of his first guru Shri Nirmal Chakravarty. Schooled in an
English missionary instition and musically groomed in the classical
Vedic tradition. Subroto combines the traditional approach of the East
with the Western spirit of enquiry and rational thought. An ever
widening canvas of viewpoints and the duality of his psyche has led to
the enlightenement of the man and his music. Inclined towards authentic
traditional classical music forms. Subroto showed an affinity for the
Gurus of yesteryears, rather than the established artists of the time.
This inclination led to his close association with Birendra Kishore
Roychowdhury and Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan.
Deeply moved by the Dhrupad tradition, he delved into history to return
to classicism under the dominant influence of Birendra Kishore
Roychowdhury. The Alaap was that of Subroto`s first love like that of
his Guru. This brought him close to the famous senior Dagar brothers and
he became the disciple of the legendary Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Khan
Dagar. His association with Radhika Mohan Maitra started since 1962 and
his musical training under the former included Masidkhani Gats,
bolbanis, mid-tempo jods and Bandishi alaap.
Subroto got a glimpse of the "Pachao Ke Sitar" (the sitar baj of Western
India) during his brief stint with Bimal Mukherjee. Due to his affinity
towards his grand-Gurus rather than his Gurus, his style is similar to
the 19th Century sitar style. The smooth Veena Meed Ang and the Bolbanis
highlighting the hand are Subroto`s forte. He was introduced by the
late Dr. Suresh Chandra Chakravorty at his debut concert in North
Calcutta in the year 1964. Later he won various awards at the state
level. National level, Interuniversity and All India Radio music
competitions. In the 70`s he started visiting Europe where he played for
the Radio France, BBC, Radio Television Belgium, the North Sea Jazz
Festival in Hague, and the Leverkusen Jazz Festival.
Today, Subroto has performed over 300 concerts all over Europe and the
USA, travelling from India to Spain to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France,
Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Atlantic shores -
spreading the message of universal peace and humanity with his music.
SAIBAL CHATTERJEE is one of the most promising tabla players in
the country. Tutored under the living legend Jnan Prakash Ghosh, he
combines youthful vigour and exuberence with acute aesthetic sense.
UMA ROYCHOWDHURY was groomed in classical music from a very tender age and is also a talented vocalist.
Jhinjoti - The Music
I: A very colourful "Aochar", or medium paced, ornamental Alaap is
followed by a Masid Khani gat of sixteen beats, beginning on the twelfth
beat as per tradition (the Masid Khani baz was popular in Western India
just before the time of Reza Khan).
II: The Aochar is followed by the languid vistaars in slow tempo. This
is followed by fast tempo tans at eight times the basic beat. This is
followed by a brilliant traditional composition in fast teental. This
composition belongs to the Sarod gharana of Niamatulla Khan. The
Jhinjoti ends with a dynamic jhala where the musician's skill and
aesthetic sense are put to test. The Jhala is in pure Enayet Khan
Ragas and Talas
It is the unique unwritten notation system that sets Indian classical
music apart from it`s Occidental counterpart. A concrete notation system
is absent, and one`s ear and aesthetic sense are considered the vital
yardstick. Gurus have handed down a complex system of Ragas and Talas -
replete with tenets and rules from generation to generation. This is
known as the "Guru-Shishaya-parampara" a unique concept of musical
training. Music has come down to us from ancient scriptures, by legend,
by ear and by demonstrations of the Gurus. Refined through centuries, it
remains highly creative due to the degree of improvisation in
performance. Every Raga is thus a melodic seed that derives it's
flavour from extra-musical associations, such as variations in moods,
time of the day and season, i.e. Nature.
An offspring of the Tri-tantri Veena, the sitar is the most popular
string instrument in India. It is carved from seasoned gourd and
teakwood that serve as one of the world`s most ancient natural
amplifiers. The gourd is the base of the instrument and amplify the
sound. Six orseven strings are plucked on a long broad fingerboard, with
twenty moveable metal frets. There are also thirteen sympathetically
resonating strings below, to contribute to the unique tone of the
is a double drum set very popular in India. The
right hand drum is tuned to the tonic, dominant or subdominant. The
left hand drum acts as the bass drum - known as the Baya. It is capable
of many tones which can be varied by the degree of pressure from the
base of the left palm.
The Tamboura is a fretless instrument with five strings. It is carved
out of seasonal wood and requires aesthetic sense and great skill to be
played effectively. It provides the continuous hypnotic drone in the
background, that is essentialto Hindustani Classical music.
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