On a Punjab kind of high

On a Punjab kind of high
The traditional classical music of Punjab with its characteristic ‘Kheyal bandishes’ wooed the classical music lovers of Delhi as veteran singers Balwant Singh Namdhari and B S Narang opened the two-day festival with heart warming performances.

Presented by Delhi government’s Department of Art, Culture & Languages and the Punjabi Academy, the festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit and presided over by Minister of Education, Languages, Social Welfare, Child and Women Development, Prof Kiran Walia.

The ‘Festival of Traditional Music of Punjab’ that will end on Sunday has brought together some of the most respected names in Punjabi classical music.

Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful bandishes or compositions which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani classical music. The music is enriched by the words of Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, the eminent music composers and artists of the 18th century Mughal era.

'We are really happy to put together this festival that will showcase Punjabi Kheyal compositions that have been sung by Hindustani musicians, whether from Punjab or elsewhere, over the last two centuries. It is our effort through this festival to revive an interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation,' said Rawail Singh, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.

It is worth noting that Punjabi is the only other language apart from Brajbhasha in which Kheyal bandishes have been written over the centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the Kheyal style of Hindustani classical music, have composed some beautiful bandishes in Punjabi which will be presented in this Festival.

Sada Rang was the pen name of renowned Hindustani music composer Niyamat Khan, who served in the court of Mughal ruler Muhammad Shah, who was a great patron of arts. Sada Rang, along with his nephew Ada Rang is created with transforming the Kheyal style of Hindustani music through their compositions.

Veteran Punjabi classical singers from Pakistan Ustad Badar-uz-Zaman and Ustad Qamar-uz-Zaman brought alive the Pakistani tradition of the art of Punjabi Kheyal music on the last day of the festival of Punjabi classical music in the national capital. Eminent Punjabi vocalist from India Nivedita Singh gave the Zaman brothers good company as the trio enthralled the Delhi audience with their renditions.

The Delhi Administration established the Punjabi Academy in September, 1981 to propagate and promote Punjabi language, literature and culture as an integral part of composite culture of Union Territory of Delhi.

Ever since its inception, the Academy has been playing a catalytic role in the proliferation of Punjabi literary and cultural activities, in the spheres of music, folk dances, seminars, symposia, short story, poetry, novel, literary criticism, drama etc. during the last two decades, the Academy has assumed a significant role and status of premier organization in the field of Punjabi language, literature and culture. Department of Art, Culture and Language (Government of Delhi) is the administrative department of Punjabi Academy.


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