Thursday, February 12, 2009

THUMRI :A STYLE OF CLASSICAL SINGING

LAKSHMI SHANKAR
GIRIJA  DEVI

NIRMALA DEVI

SHOBHA  GURTU
video
SIDDHESHWARI  DEVI
BEGUM  AKHTAR
USTAD BADE GHULAM ALI KHAN
Thumri is one of the most enchanting forms of musical expression in the Hindustani tradition.It expresses singer’s soul and temperament. Thumri is purely romantic or devotional in its content.In thumri singing stress is mainly on the portraiture of the mood, enshrined in the lyrics.The expressive part of the poetic theme of thumri ,depends on the singer’s musical expression.For projecting the mood of the thumri,singers employ ornamentations such as ‘खटका ’,’मुरकी ’,’मींड ’ etc.,alongwith voice modulation and delicate intonation.. The word Thumri has been derived from a combination of two terms ‘ठुमक ’ and ‘रिझाना ’.Thus it has an association with dance.ठुमरी  came in fashion in the early 19th century, in eastern उत्तर  प्रदेश  as an accompanying song of dance.But thumri got nurtured and groomed during the rein of नवाब  वाजिद  अली  शाह  of अवध , who was the greatest known patroniser of thumri and kathak dance. Nawab himself wrote thumris under the pen name of ‘अख्तर  पिया ’ and ‘बाबुल  मोरा  नैहर  छूटो  ही  जाये ..’ is one of his most popular thumris even today.The kathak maestros बिंदा  दीन  and his brother कालका  प्रसाद ,composed thumris, that were suitable for kathak dancing. Thus in लखनऊ  and बनारस  घराना ,thumri evolved into several varieties.In Lucknow style the cOntent of thumri is mostly an Urdu poem or ghazal,while in Benaras ,tappa is more popular. There are two main classes of thumri,”बोल -बाँट  की  ठुमरी ” and “बोल -बनाव  की  ठुमरी ”.The first style has stress on rhythm that is ‘thumak’ while the second style has combination of both ‘thumak’ and ‘rijhana’.Later another style of thumri singing got developed in पंजाब  , on which the influence of folk and पहाड़ी  tunes is found. The ragas most commonly suited to thumri singing are:भैरवी ,जोगिया ,देस , गारा , झिंझोटी ,खम्माज , काफी , पीलू , तिलक -कामोद ,तिलंग  .The taals employed are दीपचंदी ,चाचर ,तीनताल ,सितारखानी ,अद्धा  and पंजाबी  ठेका ,कहरवा . The credit of popularity of पूर्वी  अंग ठुमरी  goes to जानकी  बाई ,जोहरा  बाई ,रसूलन  बाई  ,सिद्धेश्वरी  देवी , बेगम  अख्तर  ,while पंजाबी  अंग  ठुमरी  got new dimensions due to उस्ताद  brothers बड़े  ग़ुलाम  अली  खान  and बरकत  अली  खान . Their traditions were inherited and further enriched with the hue and character of their own individual vocalism by गिरिजा  देवी ,निर्मला  देवी , लक्ष्मी  शंकर , सविता  देवी ,परवीन  सुल्ताना  ,शोभा  गुर्टू  and many other singers of new generation .Almost every male or female vocalist of Hindustani Classical style,have more or less shown his or her skills in Thumri singing.The Hindustani Classical Instrumentalists of ‘गायकी  अंग ’ have also presented many beautiful Thumri compositions on their सितार , सरोद , संतूर , शेहनाई  and बांसुरी  etc.Even in todays modern age , Thumri is still gracefully popular not less than a ख्याल  or ध्रुपद .It is a gem of Hindustani Classical Music.

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