Indian Music Today: Our Youngest Stylists
By MOHAN D. NADKARNI
The Bombay Sentinel, January 14, 1956
INDIAN music has a record of achievement through the ages. But the extent of neglect it suffered under the alien rule while popular patronage, too, fell because of economic and social backwardness of society was indeed appalling.
Since independence, however, much artistic and cultural activity has been in evidence all over the country.
The state itself has taken the lead in this respect, and the semblance of general renaissance sweeping over the country has evidently inspired the creation of music academies, cultural trusts and the institution of National Awards.
With the disappearance of the princely order also vanished the last vestiges of private patronage, and the professional musician has now come out of his self-imposed isolation to eke out his living by seeking public patronage.
While numerous music societies and music clubs have come up to encourage and popularize the practical performance of not only the veterans of the old guards but also up-and coming stylists, the missionary movement pioneered in the early twenties by the late Paluskar and Bhatkhande for the revival of traditional music through the medium of mass education has received fresh impetus in the new set up of things.
It has helped in no small measure, to educate the public taste for good music and bring forth appreciative connoisseurs.
Educated artistes like V.S. Kamat , Kalyani Roy, R.V.Jadhav and Nalini Mulgaonkar, who are participating in the sur-singer Samsad’s festival, represent this younger generation of musicians who show much flowering promise.
V. S. Kamat received his early training in music from G.V.Shanbhag. He continued his lessons in the Bharatiya Sangit Shikshapith under the able guidance of such masters as Sitarampant Mody, S.C.R.Bhatt and Chidanand Nagarkar.
Kamat is well-versed in all forms of classical composition. Khayal, however, is his forte. He has a clear and pliable voice, and his exposition reveals a compact style of utterance and a cultivated sence of design.
A popular broadcaster from AIR Bombay, Kamat has given consistently fine performances on the radio.
He recently won the first prize in the amateur music competition held by the Sur-singer Samsad, and his participation in the festival on January 18 will afford him a unique opportunity to display his virtuosity on the public platform for the first time.
A film publicist by profession, Kamat has a full-work schedule that allows him little leisure. Yet, he never fails to start his day with at least an hour’s practice in vicalisation. Youthful and amiable, Kamat is very simple in his habits and has a large circle of friends.
Kalyani Roy received her instructions in the Sitar from Nripendranath Ganguly, a disciple of the veteran Enayat Khan.
She is now a pupil of his worthy son. Vilayat Khan, who has already given her a sound command of technique in sitar playing.
Kalyani Roy specialises in both alap and gat, and she uses her medium with utmost ease. She has participated in many music conferences right from her early age, and has invariably drawn vast appreciative audiences.
This shy, mild-mannered artiste earned the covetable distinction of “SurShree” at the Bengal Music Conference in 1944.
The late Abdul Karim Khan was possibly the greatest exponent of the Kirana school of Vocalists. He evolved a novel mode of expression, and gave a new lease of life to khayal.
Some of the foremost exponents of khayal today are either his pupils, or his pupils, and R. V. Jadhav easily ranks high among the later.
Rajabhau Jadhav has inherited his art from his father, Vishvanath Buwa, a renowned disciple of Abdul Karim Khan and formerly a court musician of Kolhapur.
The salient features of the Kairana school are the detailed but delicate elaboration of melody, and emphasis on total embellishment.
Jadhav has a rich musical voice with a uniform volume, and his singing shows the unmistakable influence of Abdul Karim Khan.
He combines aesthetic balance with scientific precision in the rendering of Khayal even as his sweet and delicate nuances of tone heighten the sensivity of his thumri.
Jadhav is settled in Bombay and broadcasts regularly from AIR. He runs a music school at Bandra, and though still young, he has already established a reputation as an outstanding vocalist.
Nalini Mulgaonkar is an artiste gifted with a natural talent for music and dance. She first made her mark as a danseuse and choreographer of distinction while still in her teens.
Later on, however, she forsook dance for music, and obtained her “Sangit Visharad” from the Vyas Sangit Vidyalaya.
A graduate of Bombay University, Nalini Mulgaonkar has had the benefit of guidance from several vocalists of different schools of music, including Ganpatrao Devaskar of Indore and Laxman Prasad of Jaipur.
She has a neat and streamlined style that represents the harmony of the diverse aspects of other “gayakis”
Another notable feature of her singing is the uncanny skill she displays in rendering songs of lighter variety too.
Her bhavgeets and bhajans enjoy tremendous popularity among the lovers of light music. She broadcasts regularly from AIR, Bombay.