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Gangubai Hangal

Dr. Smt. Gangubai Hangal

The question is always raised in the field of Music: "What is the difference between a good singer and a great singer?" A good singer sings the Raga) but a great singer expresses himself or herself through the rendering of the Raga.

Dr. Smt. Gangubai Hangal is the great exponent and senior Guru of Kirana tradition who not only has expressed herself in music but has 'Lived' with Music, for Music, in Music. This divine Swar came on earth 86 years ago in Hubli, a small town of Karnataka, and today undoubtedly has become the most vital force of Hindustani Music.

By experiencing and facing all the hardships and adverse conditions in life at very tender age, Gangubai has acquired unique depth and the emotion of the urge for existence in her Music. She belongs to the Age when music was not democratised. Being the representative artiste of the elder generation, she possesses the Puritan and Classicist approach and honestly respects the Guru-Shishya tradition. She plays an important role in preserving the essence of Kirana Gayki. She says "My Music comes out of the Blessings of my Guru pt. Sawai Gandharva." Along with her Guru, her Gayaki is influenced by Smt. Johrabai, which has led her towards an aggressive and powerful Musical Expression. It is her tremendous faith in her Guru and the tradition which makes her treat Music as a means to pray. Perhaps that is why she says "Raga-Sangeet itself is Bhakti-Sangeet for me. I don't require any other form of music to express myself.

Thus by creating her unique style of performance, Gangubai has become an inspiration for the younger generation. She stands as an ideal example of the great struggle of life for Music. Her musical world is made of the Philosophy of Existence. With these unique features of Gayaki, Gangubai has received worldwide popularity, recognition and honour.

Today, on this great occasion of the inauguration of Bhimsen Joshi Chair, it is our fortune to have her as the chief guest and as the Artiste of the Event. It is an opportunity to search and explore the 'Hidden' behind the divine and vital Swar. Let all of us together wish and pray for her long, healthy and happy life.


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