Folk Tradition of Bengal (and Rabindranath Tagore)

by Joydeep Mukherjee | 2018 | 49,317 words | ISBN-10: 8186036989 | ISBN-13: 9788186036983

An English study regarding the Folk Tradition of Bengal and its influence on Rabindranath Tagore—an important Bengali polymath from the 19th century who excelled in philosophy, arts (painting), literature and music. This research tries to initiate the semantic aspect of “folk” through the help of various dictionaries....

Chapter 2.7 - Rabindra-Sangeet from the Perspective of Audience

[Full title: Review of Research—Shrotar Drishtite Rabindra-Sangeet (Rabindra-Sangeet from the Perspective of Audience)]

Thumri is basically a branch of classical music composed in Hindi sung after the main course of ‘Raaga’. It is obviously light in comparison to the main. But it needs a polished culture to grip the taste of such classical items. Tagore throughout his life tried to generalize everything popular in other language, culture, country etc. What is interesting is that the research proves that the poet is not the originator of thumri songs in Bangla. He makes it diverse and rich. He does not restrict himself in Hindi thumries. He has gone several times to collect Bangladeshi thumries.

For the better understanding of te common folk he wrote a book on thumri and he named it “Sachitra Viswa Sangeet”. There he creates some ‘taal maalas’ for the singers. The research delicately searches the thumri songs where Tagore brought some changes and made a new one. The researcher gives one or two examples-Tagore wrote “koto kal pore bol Bharat re dukho sagor tori par hobo” (here he makes an address to Bharat Mata and says tell us that how many days it will take to cross the sea of sadness).

It is copied by Tagore from one of Wajid Ali Shah’s songs:

Jab chor chali Lakhnow nagari
kahu hal kadampar ka gujri|

In the very beginning of the nineteenth century he writes:

Tuhi pankajini muhi bhaskara lo
Voy na koro nakoro na koro lo|

The researcher gives a list of such songs to highlight his pattern of thumri songs that he composed. Not only the list but the researcher makes a scan of these songs to show the exact similarities at some points and exclusive deviation from it to create a new form of music.

The songs are:

  1. a) Ganguli mor soibaler idol,
  2. b) Ora okarone chonchal,
  3. c) Keno pantho a choncholota.
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