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Punjab and its music

Punjab and its music
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Our Correspondent
Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan and Jawad Ali Khan, the grandsons of the legendary Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and torch bearers of the legacy of the legendary Patiala Gharana performed on the last day of the festival celebrating the traditional music of Punjab, much to the pleasure of the audience at the India International Centre on 31 May.
The Khan brothers were joined by S Alankar Singh on the second and last day as the Festival of Traditional Music of Punjab came to an end.
Presented by the Punjabi Academy and the Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi, the two-day festival brought together five Hindustani music maestros to relive the Punjabi Kheyal ‘bandishes’, Thumri and Sufiana Kalaams.
 ‘It was wonderful to see the Festival get encouraging response from the people of Delhi. Among the audience were connoisseurs of Hindustani classical music and others who were brought here by a desire to know more about the Kheyal style of gayaki.
A number of extremely talented artists have kept these very rich traditions alive through the centuries, and through such festivals, it is our effort to promote the traditional music of Punjab and generate interest among the young generation towards this art form,’ says Rinku Dugga, Secretary, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi.
‘Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful ‘Bandishes’ which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani Classical Music. Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which Kheyal bandishes have been written over the centuries. We are happy that the festival managed to generate interest in the traditional music of Punjab,’ says Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.
The Kheyal Gayeki of Punjab evolved as a more flexible and azad form of expression, with more scope for improvisation, than its precursor Dhrupad. The process of evolution of Kheyal began with the efforts of legendary Sufi poet Amir Khusro in the 12 century and developed later with the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Ferozkhan Adarang, who gave the Kheyal style its present stamp and form.
Sada Rang was the pen name of renowned Hindustani music composer Niyamat Khan, who served in the court of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila, 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 during the 18 century Mughal era.
The Festival was a special tribute to the Kheyal style that is as characteristic of the Punjabi genre as it is of the Hindustani classical music.
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