Things you Didn’t Know about Indian Music (Part 1)
Music is unique in all parts of the world, but when it comes to versatility, Indian music is unlike any other.
Not to say that Indian music is superior to any other, but there are certain things you probably didn’t know about it before. These qualities make it unique in its own way.
So, in this two-part series we will be exploring some interesting facts/trivia about the music of a country which is full of diversity.
Padma Bhushan MS Subbulakshmi –
MS Subbulakshmi is the first musician to receive the Padma Bhushan (3rd highest civilian award) in 1954. In 1975 she was awarded with Padma Vibhushan (2nd highest).
Also known as the ‘’Nightingale of India’’ in Indian classical music, she is furthermore the first musician to receive Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public service in 1974.
Music maestro Illayaraja (right) with legendary actor Kamal Haasan (left) (Credit: movie crow.com)
Most Indians know Illayaraja for providing background score for nearly 800 films and 4000 old Bollywood songs in different languages. However, there is another attribute to the great man.
In July 1993, Illayaraja became the first Asian whose symphony was performed by John Scott of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Among the patrons of this Orchestra, is the Queen Elizabeth herself.
Oldest Gharana of Indian Music –
Gwalior Gharana is the oldest Gharana of Hindustani Music. Gharana comes from the word ‘ghar’ which means a house. When a style and method of singing or playing instruments is consistently passed from one generation to another, then a gharana comes into being.
Gwalior Gharana’s founders include Naththan Pir Baksh and Naththan Khan in the 16th century.
First Woman Shehnai Player –
In an otherwise exclusive male club, Bageshwari Qamari is the only famous Shehnai playing woman. Training by Late Ustad Bismillah Khan has made her the ‘’Shehnai Queen’’ of classical music. Since her debut in 1983, she has represented India on many occasions. Most remarkable among these is ‘’The Bharat Mahotsav’’ in Russia (1988)
Rap Album in Hindi –
When Harjeet Singh Sehgal, popularly known as Baba Sehgal made ‘’Thanda Thanda Pani’’ no body knew that it would create history. A remake of ‘’Ice Ice Baby’’ by Vanilla Ice, Baba’s album did a record sale of more than 30k copies.
He also holds the distinction for having his music video ‘’Dil Dhadke’’, to be shown on MTV Asia. Infact it is the first Indian music video to be shown on MTV Asia with many other hindi songs.