Pt Bhimsen joshi passed away

Hi folks,

With all due to respect to our fellow forum members and their sincerity, I am a little disappointed to see the rather lukewarm response this thread has received.

Indian classical music has never been restricted to the elite. Its core is melody (as opposed to harmony in western classical music) and the melodies originated in different folk cultures of our country quite naturally. Ragas which are the prime essence of Indian classical music is a very high form of this melody (most or many ragas have a mention of a region/place in their name, like: Vrindavani Sarang, Multani, Jaunpuri, Gurjari Todi, Gaud Malhar, Kaushiki Kannada, to give a few examples) . The practitioners of music (both from the South and the North), that is, the musicians have been mostly very ordinary members of the society. It's true that until recently patronage came mainly from high quarters like the Kings or from the temples.

Many of the greats of the North Indian form of Indian Classical music have left us in the last 50 years: Bade Gulam Ali Khan in 1964, Amir Khan in 1972, Nikhil Banerjee in 1985, and more recently Bismillah Khan, Vilayat Khan, Ali Akbar Khan and now Bhimsen Joshi. There is nobody left from that generation save Ravi Shankar who is currently about 90 years of age.

There is a major quality that made this group very special: unbelievable honesty to their art form. Obviously they all possessed legendary gifts. But at the same time, all of them had single-minded dedication to their particular field where everything else became irrelevant.
They all opened up their soul through their music before us. To appreciate their music, one does not need to be an ustad or pandit in Indian classical music, one just needs to open up their own heart and soul (I have personally experimented this with wide varieties of Western audiences, and have found them to be immensely receptive to the extent that many of them got hooked up for the rest of their lives. One cannot underestimate the popularity of Indian classical music in Western countries (and also Japan) these days. It gives decent livelihood to many not-so-famous classical musicians of our country now. Interestingly, the Western audience loves more of the serious form of our music, rather than just the light or the fast parts).

I myself listen to music of all forms from all around the world and my tastes are very varied. But it is hard for me to understand how I may not love my parents, my brothers and sisters, my wife, my son and my friends etc and fall in love with people for example in a different country, without really growing up alongside them. Similarly, I find it very painful to notice that we have not much to discuss our own music where our roots are, but can spend pages and pages of discussion on music that we have not grown up with (yes, I can understand some of us may have actually been brought up differently). My son was born abroad and he came back to India in school-going age. He is an avid music-lover (BTW, my second system has recently been installed in his room) and listens to all varieties, but Indian music (including Classical) features very high on his list. After Bhimsenji passed away, there have been a few TV programmes on TV (including one documentary made by Gulzar, aired on DD National), he watched them all. It is true though that he surely has been influenced by me at least in this area :).

I hope I am not misunderstood here. It just hurts to see a saint-like figure in our music scene has recently passed away, and this thread receiving such a low response. I am genuinely sorry if I have offended anybody's feelings here.

Bravo Asit!
We need more posts that our written with heart and soul and an individual perspective,rather than a simple "I am listening to this or that",which does not really signify anything.
I empathise with your viewpoint that in this forum and in general,there is very little attention being paid to Hindustani Classical music and an inordinate amount of attention to Western and Indian popular music.Many 20th century legends of Hindustani Classical music are passing on,possibly to make music in celestial abodes.The world they leave behind with its ears glued to pop and 'filmy' music,is a sad,impoverished place...
Personally,I listen to very little Indian music,but when I do,it is only from my extremely small library of Hindustani Classical music,in which Bhimsen Joshi features prominently.I have some regrets,but no guilt pangs because I primarily listen to Western and not Hindustani Classical.Music is a universal language.For me Bhimsen Joshi and Mozart belong to the same land.
It is the execrable mainstream music from the east and the west which belongs to a no man's land.It has no heart,soul or roots.Most of it is meaningless noise.
Ultimately the best homage which can be paid to Bhimsen Joshi,is to turn all spontaneous outpourings of grief and regret,into a meaningful forum for the discussion of classical music,by fans who are actually buying and listening to the great Ustad's of the 20th century.
I for one would love to read a thread,dedicated to Bhimsen Joshi,his predecessor's,contemporaries,and heir's.I have no knowledge of the various gharana's,how they evolved,which musicians are attached to them and how they are different from each other.I have no knowledge about the various terms associated with Hindustan Classical Music,and what to look for beyond merely lending it my ear's.I would willingly learn from anyone who could with clarity,simplicity and focus pass on his passion and knowledge for the musicians,the music,the gharana's of Hindustani Classical music.
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Very good thread to pay tribute to a legend!

I grew up primarily in Kannada-speaking cultures of south India/karnataka. And strange as it may sound, listening to Bhimsen Joshi singing Kannada devotional songs has been an integral part of our growing-up experiences. (For those that didn't know, Joshi's birth and initial musical formation was in the bilingual norhern parts of Karnakata). There are some absolute gems that we will keep listening to forever, such as "Sadaa Yenna Hrudayadalli", "Naa Ninna Dhyaanadoliralu" and other songs like that.

May his soul rest in peace.
We the passing of Pt Bhimsen Joshi.. India has lost a truly great singer. Who can forget " Mile sur mera tumhara.." where Pt Bhimsen Joshis deep voice was the uniting and binding factor in the song.

It is indeed a tragic loss. Maybe God wanted him in the heavens above.

Hope one of his disciples will in future carry on the traditions and music he so very well represented.

And this is indeed a nice thread and meaningful too.

The other legend i remember who had such a great quality was the respected MS Subbalakshmi. Ofcourse, members may have their own individual choices and favorite musicians as per personal tastes.

At HFV, we must treasure the legends that remain. people like Jesudas, Bhupen Hazarika, L Subramaniam, Zakir Hussain, Pt Jasraj..and more.

Also.. we must encourage our kids to learn what is traditional and Indian music be it vocals, dance or instruments. It is thru music thet the present, future, black and white will be united.. ( maybe football comes a close second )

Jai Hind !

With best respects and kind regards,
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