Rabindra Sangeet is a classic manifestation of a breathtaking fusion of Rabindranath Thakur’s poetic elegance and soulful music. Quite literally, Rabindra Sangeet is the songs written and music composed by Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore, Photo from Flickr
All about Rabindra Sangeet
“I get lost in my songs and then I think those are my best work, if all my poetry is forgotten, all my songs will remain with my countrymen, they have a great beauty, I leave them as a legacy.” – Rabindra Nath Tagore
No one could have explained Geet bitan better than the maestro himself. The collection of the songs written by Rabindra Nath Tagore is known as Geetbitan or the “garden of songs.” His songs in the book are classified into six categories;
• Puja (Devotion/Prayer)
• Prem (Love)
• Prakriti (Nature)
• Bichitra (Diverse)
• Swadesh (Country or Patriotism)
• Aanushthanik (Festivities or Celebrations)
Rabindra Sangeet is one of the cornerstones of Bengali culture and tradition. Rabindra Sangeet is a perfect blend of Hindustani classical and European classical music and represents Tagore’s school of music. It is influenced by many other music styles inclusive of Carnatic music, Bhatiyali, Baul and many other folk music. Rabindra Nath Tagore has penned 2,230 songs. The National anthems of India (Jana Gana Man) and Bangladesh (Amar sonar Bangla) were also composed and written by Rabindra Nath Tagore.
Rabindra Sangeet and Soul of Kolkata
Rabindra Sangeet can very well be called as the genetic chromosome of Kolkata. There is an environment of Rabindra Sangeet in every home. Listening to the music of Rabindra Nath Tagore, memorizing and singing his songs and instilling his philosophies in life forms the pulse of Kolkata and Bengali life style. There is a culture of Rabindra Sangeet in every home, every nook and corner of Kolkata.
The depth and spirituality, innate to Rabindra Sangeet finds way in every Bengali’s heart and their love and understanding of literature gives them not only an in depth understanding of Rabindra Sangeet but also makes it a part of their day to day life.
In the contemporary Kolkata, the music of Rabindra Nath finds expression through various fusion and stays alive in the heart of millions of youth. They are taking the meaning and philosophy of Rabindra Nath much further by adapting themselves to the soulful and classical beats of Rabindra Nath and adding a touch of their modernity through elegant fusion.
Even today the streets of Kolkata are abuzz with various vocalists and musicians practicing and playing Rabindra Sangeet. These artists have made Rabindra Sangeet a part of their life and the music stays alive through these beautiful voices.
The essence of Rabindra Sangeet
The essence of Rabindra sangeet lies in its poetry, unmatched musical style and an intricate emotional appeal. Gurudev RABINDRA Nath Thakur immortalized his music by characterizing it as “Bhavsangeet” or songs which emphasize emotions. He classified his musical renditions based on their emotional tone; Devotion (Puja), Love (Prem), Nature (Prakriti), and patriotism (Swadesh). His music drew inspiration from different classical forms and folk music but the stress was always laid on the emotional magnanimity.
The core of the Rabindra Sangeet lies in the enormous wealth of human emotions and hence its reach is universal in nature and language or nationality has never been a barrier in its impact. Tagore himself has been magnanimous in appreciating and accepting different musical styles from the entire world and his brand of music has always received an untarnished adulation and unraveled following from lands far and away.
The essence of Tagore’s songs or Rabindra Sangeet lies in the ideology that they have a philosophy or a message embedded in them. The upsurge of emotions or the shades of human feelings in his songs play a higher and more important role than the beats, rhythms or the words. The meaning of the songs can be comprehended from the point where the lyrics end; poetry begins where the word stops!
Take for an example, the lyrics of his popular composition, “Jodi tor dak shune, keo na ashe, tabe ekla chalo re; ekla chalo, ekla chalo, ekla chalo, ekla chalo re!” (If they answer not to thy call, walk alone!)
These lines very well form the essence of life’s philosophy and so is Rabindra Sangeet, adding meaning and soul to the otherwise meaningless life.
Rabindra Sangeet is a journey towards wholeness or completeness of self and being one with our inner self!