July 23, 2010

How do I know I am singing Raag Dhanasri?

Following the posting of a new shabad in Raag Dhanasri earlier this week (Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon), I received a couple of inquiries on how to sing Dhanasri. People often ask me about styles of singing, and especially definitions of several raags. And because I get these questions often, I think its appropriate to put the response on the blog.

The request reminded me of my last lengthy discussion on Dhanasari -- which was memorable one. A few years ago one beautiful afternoon, after the normal Gurudwara program, I had the fortune of sitting with the gifted Bhai Gurmeet Singh Shaant and his jatha in the Norwalk Gurudwara in Connecticut, and we were sharing Dhanasari bandishes with each other; In his opinion this would be categorized as a Thumri in Dhanasari, not a Khayal, the more popular Kirtan style prevalent nowadays. The best way to learn the musical aspects of Dhanasri is to listen to accomplished musicians sing it. Please see a Compilation of Dhanasri Shabads for more examples of singing Dhanasri.

If I stopped here, I would be wrong.

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July 20, 2010

Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon - Raag Dhanasri

Following is a recording of Guru Tegh Bahadur's shabad "Ab Main Kaun Upao Karoon" that I recently finished mastering. This is the first of six shabads I collaborated with Pandit Rajendra Prasanna, an eminent classical musician from Delhi. The shabad is sung in Raag Dhanasri, and a downloadable version of this shabad, like others, is available on Reverbnation. Hopefully I will post some more shabads from that collaboration, and from others that I currently am in.








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