Baul- The Folk Music of Bengal - Page 8

Posted: 17 years ago
Originally posted by Bhaskar.T

So is it that Baul songs are palli geeti too. They can be called the same.

No all Baul songs are not Palli Geeti bt yes some palli geeti r inspired from baul songs.


Posted: 17 years ago
Originally posted by ad_0112

Barnalidi..shadher lau is a baul song right??

ok Adi tomaar shadher lao peyechhi 😆😆




Posted: 17 years ago

Thanku Barnalidi..😃... Kintu ebar "lau-chingri" payi kothai ?😉😆

Originally posted by Barnali

ok Adi tomaar shadher lao peyechhi 😆😆




Posted: 17 years ago

Enchanting with Baul music

In modern times, we need to find and understand ourselves. And Baul is all about this inner search, says Parvathy Baul in a chat with Renu Ramnath
Parvathy Baul "Baul music is relevant, more than ever, in today's world," says Parvathy Baul, an exponent of this West Bengal tradition. "In modern times, we really need to find ourselves, [and] we need to understand [ourselves]. And Baul is all about this inner search." Ms. Parvathy, one of the few women practitioners of Baul music, says the art has been with her since childhood. In Kochi on Friday with a group of Baul singers from West Bengal for a performance at the Ernakulam Town Hall, she spoke of her journey in this tradition. Born in North Lakshminpur in Assam, as the fourth child of Birendranath Parial and Sandhya Chakraborty, Ms. Parvathy grew up in Coochbehar in West Bengal. Her name was Mousumi Parial; Parvathy Baul is the name she accepted after her initiation as a Baul. Like all girls belonging to the Bengali middle-class, she too had undergone training in classical music and dance at home, with her siblings. But it was not classical music that drew the free-spirited Parvathy. From childhood, she had nurtured a deep interest in folk culture, especially songs of Bhavaiya and Goalparia Geet, traditional folk music found along the Assam-Bengal border. "At the age of 15, I met a blind Baul in a train," recalls Parvathy. "I was on my way to Shantiniketan, for pursuing art studies." Baul singers were familiar to her from childhood in Coochbehar, when men and women artistes would visit her home, singing to the accompaniment of instruments, which they played, and receiving rice and lentils in return. But meeting that blind Baul, who sang of vision and light, transformed her, changing the direction of her life, forever. At Shantiniketan, her affinity with the Bauls grew. She began practising the music in earnest, becoming a disciple of Phulmala Dashi, a famed artiste of Amodpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal. A search into the Baul way of life made her abandon the formal structure of university education. "Phulmala Dashi once told me that Baul meant rootless," Ms. Parvathy remembers. In 1995, she left the university and later received initiation into the Baul tradition from Sanatan Das Baul, one of the greatest living masters of the music. She practises with Shashanko Goshai, aged almost 100, Banamala Dashi of Murshidabad, Salavat Mahato of Purulia and Pratima Barua of Assam. He studies on Indian spiritual traditions took Ms. Parvathy to Kerala in 1997, when she met Ravi Gopalan Nair, performer-trainer, puppeteer and mask-maker, and married him. From 2000, she has been travelling widely, performing in music festivals in India and abroad, such as those in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Lebanon. While singing, she uses music instruments such as Ektara, a single-stringed one made of bamboo, leather and wood or shell of lau (bottle-gourd), and Duggi, a small, round percussion instrument made of clay and leather, usually tied to the hip of the performer. Dancing and singing with Ektara and Duggi is one of the oldest styles of Baul. Ms. Parvathy has developed a unique performance of 'Chithrakatha Geetham,' in which she employs her skills as performer, singer and painter. It is closely related to the ancient traditions of storytelling of India, in which the storyteller uses painted scrolls as illustrations for the stories narrated through songs. Ms. Parvathy recently released a book titled Song of the Great Soul: An Introduction to the Baul Path, which gives an introduction to the Baul tradition. The work has English translations of some Baul songs and is illustrated with paintings and drawings by Ms. Parvathy as well as with woodcuts by her and Mr. Ravi Gopalan Nair.

Though there are men and woman practitioners of the Baul tradition, very few women become performers, she says. Most of them remain busy in the Akhra, ashram of Baul practitioners, and they call themselves 'Sevadashis.' Ms. Parvathy is, at present, based in Nedumangad, near Thiruvananthapuram, where she and her husband live and run a training centre called the Ekatara Baul Sangeetha Kalari.


Posted: 17 years ago
Originally posted by ad_0112

Thanku Barnalidi..😃... Kintu ebar "lau-chingri" payi kothai ?😉😆

Shetaar jonne to to ebaar tomake aamaar kachhe ashte hobe Adi 😆 ta chhara kono upaye neyi.😆


Posted: 17 years ago

Historically, it is not easy to trace the root of Bengali music back to very old times, but it has experienced a wide variation. Like music from any part of the world, Bengali music can be classified into different categories. Here is an effort :

    Folks Songs
      Baul - songs sung by a specific group of people known as Bauls.
      *Purnadas Baul, Prahlad Brahmachari
      Bhatiali - mostly the songs of the boatmen. S.D.Burman did lots of experiment with these tunes and applied them in popular modern songs. Kirtan -  religious songs usually sung in chorus. *Chhabi Bandyopadhyay
    • Others - there are all different kinds of country songs with different anonymous origins. * Nirmalendu Choudhury, Angsuman Roy, Runa Laila, Abbasuddin, Amar Pal, Swapan Bose
    Majlishi Classical Songs - thungri, toppa *Ramkumar Chattopadhyay Classical Music
      Vocal - Kheyal, different ragas. *Ajay Chakrabarty, Gnanprakash Ghosh, Chinmay Lahiri, Prasun Banerjee, Girija Devi, Shyamal Lahiri, Rashid Khan, Ahsish Khan
    • Instrumental - Sitar, Sarod, Flute, Tabla *Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Budhaditya Mukherjee, Monilal Nag 
    Devotional Songs - Ramprasadi, ShyamaSangeet, Bhaktigeeti *Pannalal Bhattacharya Rabindra Sangeet - songs written and tuned by Rabindranath Tagore
    * Kanika Banerjee, Suchitra Mitra, Debabrata Biswas, Arghya Sen, Asoktaru Banerjee, Ritu Guha,Chinmoy Chatterjee, Dwijen Mukherjee, Pankaj Kumar Mallick, Purabi Dutta, Sailajananda Majumdar, Rajeswari Dutta, Rezwana Banya Choudhury, Sanjeeda Khatun,  Purba Dam, Bani Thakur, Sumitra Sen, Hemanta Mukherjee, Sagar Sen, Nilima Sen, Subinoy Roy
    Najrul Geeti - songs written by Kazi Nazrul Islam * Firoza Begum, Krishna Chatterjee, Anjali Mukherjee, Dhiren Bose, Manabendra Mukherjee, Anup Ghosal, Satinath Mukherjee, Tarun Banerjee, Dhananjoy Bhattacharya,  Atulprasadi, Dwijendrageeti, Rajanikanta Sen - patriotic, devotional and modern songs * Krishna Chatterjee, Anjali Mukherjee General Modern Bengali Songs : Film and non-film songs
    * Hemanta Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Sandhya Mukherjee, Shyamal Mitra, Arati Mukherjee, Kishore Kumar, Sachin Dev Burman, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Satinath Mukherjee, Jaganmoy Mitra, 
    Ganasangeet : generally sung in chorus carrying some social message 
    * Ajit Pandey, Ruma Guha Thakurata
    Jeebanmukhi Gaan : different kind of modern songs * Suman Chatterjee, Anjan Dutta, Nachiketa Chakrabarty, Mousumi Bhowmick, Lopamudra Mitra
  • Band : Bengali rock style group. Some of them - Cactus, Paraspathar, Chandrabindoo, Bhumi.

         Please vist the link for Bangala information


Edited by Qwest - 17 years ago
Posted: 17 years ago
Thanx qwest... here's one more.

Jaan Sufi, Jaan Baul

Jaan Baul - the heart of Baul. Bapi Das Baul's pedigree is peerless. In his family history, he represents the eighth generation to follow the Baul path of "unsense", to keep faith with the Baul phisolophy of ulta and to keep it alive in song. Ulta carries the sense of the haywire and topsyturvy, the reverse or the wrong way round. Ulta is a word that perfectly captures the themes of reversal in Baul philosphy. The Bauls are a clan of itinerant or sometimes settled minstrels and mystical storytellers. Both sexes belong to it. Although many Bauls have been settled for generations their stories in song journey on. They are madcaps, in the hallowed sense of touched by the divine. Baul madness communicates a personal spirituality with mystic overtones most sweetly. They do it without the need of priestcraft.

If literature lives by interpretation, the power of an oral tradition thrives in the imagination of its listeners, in its ability to communicate. Baul lyrics can be maddeningly unambiguous or elusive. They can operate on different levels, dishing up riddle and allegory. They can sound nonsensical to anyone not on their wavelenght but can equally communicate to anyone who listens even if they are unaware of its deeper symbolism. Images of a calf suckling its mother or rain falling from earth to sky can sound like unadulerated Dadism or or absurdist profundity. Images of the lotus can conjure Tantric Buddhism. References to Hindu or Muslim scriptures can pull in a crowd like the whip crack of a circus ringmaster. Baul philosophy feeds these storyteller's imaginations as they go about seeking the divine within the human.

For centuries the Bauls have been emblematic in Bengali culture, living on the fringes of society, whether mainstream Hindu or Muslim society. To Bengalis and beyond they represent an alternative or non-conformist way of looking at divinity and life. For many in Bengali society, they are no longer figures of fun or fellows to mock as they once were in cultivated Calcutta circles. The Bauls have become the gatekeepers to Wonderland. Bapi's family has a lot to do with that, for members of their family were the among the first to carry the Baul message abroad, beyond present-day Bengal and Bangladesh.

Bapi's grandfather was Nabani Das. Nabani Das was one of the several Bauls who were associated with Bengal's greatest Man of Letters of the 20th Century, Rabindranath Tagore (1888-1961). Tagore received international recognition in 1913 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. For Bengalis, in a subcontinent saddled with empire, the Bengali Renaissance was a matter of cultural pride. Tagore saw the beauty in Baul song and sensibility. It was an audacious, radical and far-sighted move. After Tagore came out as their champion, poking fun at Baul ways increasingly became seen as the sign of ignorance it was. Later Bengali musicians such as Allauddin Khan and his disciples, his son Ali Akbar khan, his brother-in-law Ravi Shankar and Nikhil Banerjee all reworked Baul melodicism. In a culture riven with caste inequities the Baul way, like the Sikh way, defied Brahmanic absolutism - even if Indians still grade people on caste lines in denial of their faith - and united Hindu and Muslim in societies in which Baul, Hindu or Sufi mysticism is found.

Kshitimohan Sen, who arrived at Shantiniketan - Tagore's 'Haven of Peace' -in 1908, became, as Shashibhusan Das Gupta put it in the 1946, "a pioneer in collecting the Baul songs and in popularising them among the elite of our country." Bapi's grandfather too gravitated to Shantiniketan. Bapi recalls that Tagore earmarked "a big bodhi tree" - banyan tree - there for his grandfather. In its shade Nabani Das could illuminate, entertain and enlighten Tagore. Or, to invoke a later expression, could simply do his thing, the Baul thing.

Tagore, "the Greatest of the Bauls of Bengal", as the American scholar Edward C. Dimock once described him, was fascinated not only by Bengali high culture but also the poetry of everyday people. Baul song and philosophy flavoured Tagore's creative juices. Supposedly Nabani Das inspired several archetypal Baul characters in Tagore's work. "People called him a khepa Baul, Khepa Baul Nabani Das," Bapi laughs. Khepa means madcap." Nabani Das was not the sole Baul influence, of course. The composer Lalon Fakir - also known as Lalon Shah - also played an enormous role, as did Baul lyricism generally. Faqir, as the word is better spelled, means a self-denying, devout man of God. Tagore put khepa Bauls on the international map. Tagore, who influenced generations of Bengalis with his early nationalism and subsequent cosmopolitanism, also instilled a pride and a new-found interest in the Bauls.

The influence proved two-way, for Baul singers absorbed Tagore's songs into their bloodstream besides works attributed to Lalon Shah and Kabir.

Bapi's father Purnachandra Das was no less an influence. He and his brother Luxman would carry the Baul to other shores in person. Allen Ginsberg, told me in September 1996, shortly before his death next year, how he "spent a lot of time with [the Bauls] up in Northern Bengal" while there between March 1962 and May 1963. Ginsy remembered Purna Das and Nabani Das fondly. " took down some of Nabani Das's lyrics - on-spot translations - and they're included in a book called Indian Journals." It didn't end there. In 1967 the President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad conferred the title Baul Samrat or Emperor of the Bauls on Purna Das. Purna Das achieved a different sort of paper immortality when Bob Dylan placed him on the cover on his John Wesley Harding in 1968. That is him as Dylan's right-hand man. In an era when Indians were as likely to be red as dressed in saffron, it took a while to restore the mysterious, grainy grey character to colour.

Paradoxes abound on the Baul path. Baul songs are ecstatic communications with the divine within ourselves. The human is the Divine. Listening to Subhendu Das sing Sufi-inspired songs does not contradict the traditional Baul search of the Man of the Heart - Maner Manush, the ideal within us, so close and yet so far that it entails a lifetime's search. "If you know yourself," Subhendu clarifies, "then you understand other people. If you don't know yourself then you can't know other people properly. That is part of our philosophy also. First you learn about yourself, then you find out what makes other people tick and from that develops a love of everybody. When you have a love for yourself then you have a love for everybody. Otherwise you are selfish, you love yourself that little bit more and do not respect your fellow man. We are all equal. If you listen to Baul songs," he offers, "if you learn about Baul philosophy, no religion exists. There is no Hinduism. There is no God. No mosque. There is only one thing: the human. Nothing exists without the human." Jaan Sufi itself means 'The Heart of Sufi'. It has another meaning in Bengali: Understand Sufi.

Posted: 17 years ago

Sat, 25 Feb 2006 03:39:29 -0800

On 19 th february Mr Subhash Chakrabarti, the sports and transport
minister of West Bengal Govt inaugruated The 104 birth anniversary of
lok kavi Vijoy sarkar who with his melodious folklyrics stregthened
the heritage of Bengali folk culture accross the border. The lata
Mangeshkar of Bangladesh, the daughter of legendary Abbasuddin,Ms
firdausi Rehman was the guest of honour. Both Mr Chakrabarti and Ms
Rehman insisted to maintain the rich folk heritage to face the
dangers of globalisation.
They said that only our folk can save our
mother language
. They deplored the consumer deculturisation and
refered the Bangla Matribhash Struggle.Bangladesh TV star Nishad
kamal, vetern artists Amar Paul and Sanjeet Mandal and a number of
folk artists sang the songs of Vijay sarkar and Abbasuddin.

Director of Dhaka Bangla Academy Mr Shaqurrehaman informed the
audiance about the research worksof the academy on Vijay Sarkar in
particular and Bangla folk in general. Deputy Registrar of Kolkata Univarsity Dr Nitish Biswas, novelist Mr  Kapil krishna Thakur,Chair person of Pather Panchaly Mrs  RamalaChakrabarti,kvi manoranjan Sarkar wer other dignitariespresent on the dias in Salt Lake Yuva Bharati Stadium.
Main function was celebrated in keutia on Kalyani highway,at the
residence of lokkavi Vijay sarkar on 20th and 21st Feb.All the artists performed there, too. Prticularly, the forgotten Jari Gaan was sung by Mr rousan Ali, the son of thelegendari Jaari singer Moslem, Mr saiful and party.

Palash Biswas

2002 Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)

Edited by Qwest - 17 years ago

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