Kirana Gharana is one of the most
popular Hindustani khayal gharanas.
The name of this school of music
derives from Kirana or Kairana, a village near Kurukshetra in
Haryana It is the birthplace of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872-1937),
who was one of the most important musicians of this gharana and of
Hindustani music in general in the twentieth century, and is
considered the real founder of Kirana gharana, as he made it most
popular all over the country. while the roots of the tradition can
be traced back to his great-grandfather Ghulam Ali and Ghulam Maula,
the brother of Ghulam Ali. A frequent visitor to the Court of
Mysore, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan was influenced by Carnatic
Much to the credit of Abdul Karim
Khan, today most Hindustani musicians from Karnataka are exponents
of Kirana Gharana and Kirana Gharana has imbibed many of the
features of the Carnatic tradition. Particularly the culturally
fecund border region between Karnataka and Maharashtra is famous for
its tradition of the Kirana school of singing. The innovations he
brought to his vocal style distinguish Kirana style from others. The
slow melodic development of the raga in Vilmabit (slow tempo) was
the most characteristic aspect of his music. He worked hard to
maintain his voice to be sweet and melodious, which shaped his
music. The thumri style he developed was also quite different from
the poorab or punjabi ang. His thumari progresses in a leisurely
langour with ample abandonment. He was also the first Hindustani
musician to seriously study Carnatic system and probably the first
to be invited to sing all over the south.
Suresh Babu Mane
Sureshbabu had his initial training from
his father, Ustad Karim Khan and later training from the doyen of
Kirana Gharana, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, (who was his uncle).
Sureshbabu was an expert in Khayal, Thumri, Marathi Natya Sangeet,
and Bhajan. He performed in musical roles in several Marathi plays,
and movies. He was a great music composer too.
Sureshbabu's sister, Hirabai Badodekar and
Saraswatibai Rane and Prabha Atre are well-known classical music
singers-- were among his important disciples.
Hirabai had her initial training from her brother
Sureshbabu Mane and later training from the doyen of Kirana Gharana,
Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, who was a cousin of her father, Abdul Karim
Hirabai had a superb voice. She was an expert
in Khyal, Thumri, Marathi Natya Sangeet, and Bhajan. She is credited
with having popularized Hindustani Classical Music among the masses.
Hirabai was the first lady who gave solo performance in open mahafil
in the year 1921. She not only popularized classical music in the
society as a whole, but was respected in affluent class
Hirabai acted in several movies, including "Suvarna
Mandir", "Pratibha", "Janabai", and "Municipality". She also started
a music school, "Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya", to teach music to girls.
The school staged several plays.
Hirabai became a recording artist very early in her
career. (Her 78 rpm recordings have been re-released on cassettes by
RPG in their Classical Gold series.)
A few among Hirabai's many students:
Saraswatibai Rane, Prabha Atre, , Malati Pande.
Working on stage in her mother's 'Nutan Sangeet
Natak Mandali', with luminaries like Bal Gandharva, Master
Krishnarao, Vinayakbuwa Patwardhan, Sawai Gandharva and Meenakshi
Shirodkar, musicals like 'Soubhadra', 'Sanchaya Kollol' and 'Ekacha
Pyala' brought her fame. Between 1929 and 1933 she cut several discs
with the 'Odeon' label under the name of Kumari Saraswati Mane,
rendering Hindi Bhajans and Marathi Bhavgeet. In the meantime, she
married Mr. Sunderrao Rane. In the early 1940's, she made recordings
as a playback singer for movies such as 'Paisa Bolto Aahe' (Marathi,
1943). She also acted in a Marathi film 'Savitri', and later
took to playback singing for Marathi and Hindi films. Probebly she
was the first female artist from the upper crest of the society who
provided platback. She provided playback to over 50 films. She sang
in almost all the films produced by Acharya P. K. Atre. Her song
'Beena madhur madhur vacha bol' in raga Bhimpalas from the
Hindi/Marathi film 'Ram Rajya' (Prakash Films) was most popular. Her
songs were heard all over North India. Younger listeners will
probably remember her rendering Raga Shudh Kalyan with her grand
daughter Shrimati Meena Faterpekar in the movie 'Bhumika', directed
by the renowned director Shyam Benegal. Saraswati Rane cut over 200
songs on 78 rpm discs consisting of classical, light classical and
film songs. She was probably one of the pioneering female playback
singers of the Indian film industry.
However, in order to concentrate on the performance
of Hindustani classical music, at one point in time she virtually
stop accepting offers for playback singing. By then, she was a
regular performer for All India Radio, and had also made several
gramophone records with 'Odeon', 'His Master's Voice', 'Columbia',
and 'Young India' records, apart from her countrywide concert tours.
Her renderings of Ragas Chandrakauns, Basant Bahar, Yaman and the
immortal Marathi numbers 'Ghanashyam Nayani Aalaa', 'Jaa Ghevuni
Sandesh Pakhara', the duets with her sister Hirabai Barodekar remain
ever-popular. She also had the honour of singing the Maharashtra
Geet on the very first Maharashtra Day, the 1st of May, along with
her sister. She has also recorded a LP record of duet with her
sister Heerabai Barodekar in 1960. She received several awards
including the prestigious ITC Award 2006, presented at the ITC
Sangeet Sammelan in Delhi.
She was very active in music circles and used to
attend music programs and functions. She attended the Hirabai
Barodekar birth centenary program at Sharada Sangeet Vidyalaya,
Bandra in May 2006. She participated in this function and sang raga
Shudh Sarang. Smt. Saraswatibai Rane, the last living member
of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan's family passed away at Pune on Tuesday
October 10, 2006.
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