The Holiday Desk
A musical evening of ‘Bangla Kheyal,’ compèred by eminent composer and maestro Ustad Azad Rahman, was held under the aegis of the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre at Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka on 21 April. The programme included Bangla Dhrupad, Dhamar, Kheyal, Thumri, Tarana and Ghazals. The performing artistes were Dr. Asit Roy, Professor, Department of Music, Rajshahi University, Dr. Podminee Dey Rupali, Chairman, Department of Music, Rajshahi University, Ms. Alif Laila, Assistant Professor, Jatiyo Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Mymensingh and Mr. Bijon Mistri, Classical Music Teacher, Chayyanaut.
The programme under the direction of Azad Rahaman began with a chorus song performed by 60 participants from Sangskriti Kendra and other teaching institutions. Four eminent classical vocalists of Bangladesh presented Bangla Drupad, Dhamar, Kheyal, Thumri and Bangla Ghazal. The chorus songs were on Raga Vimpolasree – ‘Gayano Joty Jalao’ Raga ahir vhairab – ‘Ma ma bole dako’, Raga poto deep – ‘Sobar upore manus sotto’. Dr. Asit Roy presented Dhamar; Raag- Emon ‘Apon Ronge Khelbo Holi’, Dhrupod- ‘Guru Bondona Kori Ekagro mone’, ‘Tarana’ Raag –Malkaus.
Alif Laila presented Raga: Bhinnosoroj, Kheyal – ‘Anubohbe Bujechhi Bhalobasa’, Thumri; Raga; Pahari – ‘Sotobar eki Kotha Bolbo’. Bijon Mistri presented Raga; Bilombito –‘Ei Manob Jibon’, Kheyal- ‘Kisher o Lagiya Esechi Bhubone’.
Dr. Padmini Dey Rupali presented two Bangla Ghazals ‘Morte Hobe Eka, Eka bacha Jabena’, ‘Bhalobasa Badhe Basha Ontore.’ Dr. Asit Roy presented a Tarana.
Accompanists were Mr. Alamgir Parvez Sumon, Assistant Professor, Rajshahi University, on Pakhoaj, Iftekhar Alam Dollar on Tabla, Mr. Ratan Chandra Mazumder on harmonium, Mr. Bodruzzaman Tushar on Tanpura and Ms. Kaniz Fatema Jeba on Tanpura.
Various adornments of Kheyal
Lighter than dhrupad, kheyal is the second branch of classical music which allows the artiste to freely play with various adornments. It is said that it originated from kawali, a form of devotional song, and modified into kheyal by Hazrat Amir Khasru (1253-1325).
Khayal was popularised by Niyamat Khan who was also known as Sadarang, and his nephew Firoz Khan also known as Adarang, both musicians in the court of Muhammad Shah Rangile (1719–1748).
Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is credited to have composed over three thousand songs many of which are based on Hindustani classical raga. According to renowned musicologists the poet created 17 new raga, namely Arun Bhairab, Arunranjani, Sandhya Malati, Shiva Saraswati, Udasi Bhairab, Devayani, Asha Bhairabi, Shivani Bhairabi, Rudra Bhairab, Bonokuntala, Benuka, Minakshi, Yogini, Shankari, Nirjhorini, Dolonchampa and Roopamonjori. He adapted a wide range of North Indian musical styles such as dhrupad, khayal or kheyal, tappa, thumri and so on.
In Bangladesh Ustad Gul Mohammad Khan (1876-1979) was a singer of dhrupad and kheyal. Ustad Mohammad Hossain Khasru (1903-1959), founder principal of the Bulbul Lalitakala Academy or Bulbul Academy for Fine Arts (BAFA), was a consummate classical musician. He was a distinguished singer of kheyal and thumri.
A former Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for two terms, Principal of Government Music College, Mr. Rahman is one of the pioneers of Bengali Kheyal and has written lyrics for many raagas. He produced the first Bangla Kheyal LP in the 1980s and has also composed and sung Bangla Qawwalis. He gave tune to the patriotic song of Bangladesh “Jonmo Amar Dhonno Holo Maago” sung by Feroza Begum and later by Sabina Yasmin. He also played Hindustani ragas on the piano and released them as an LP. Azad Rahman is the founder chairman of Sangskriti Kendra which has organized several international music festivals since 1990.