Pandit Bhimsen Joshi


    In News 

    • February 4 marks the birth centenary of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

    Image Courtesy: TH

    About Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

    • Born on February 4, 1922, in Gadag district of Karnataka.
    • His powerful voice, amazing breath control, fine musical sensibility and unwavering grasp of the fundamentals made him the supreme Hindustani vocalist.
    • Musical Career: 
    • He became the most popular artist of Kirana Gharana because he combines melody with virtuosity
      • His teacher Sawai Gandharva’s teacher Abdul Karim Khan was a pioneer and the founder of the Kirana Gharana.
      • Kirana Gharana got its name from a small town called Kerana in Uttar Pradesh. It was founded by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. 
      • The Kirana Gharana laid emphasis on melody rather than rhythm. 
    • Famous ragas: Shuddha Kalyan, Miyan Ki Todi, Puriya Dhanashri, Multani, Bhimpalasi, Darbari, Malkauns, Yaman, Asavari Todi, Miyan Ki Malhar, and others.
    • Bhimsen’s compositions and musical talent led to some melodious film songs like ‘Ketaki Gulab Juhi‘ with Manna Dey in Basant Bahar (1956), and ‘Raghubar Tumako Meri Laaj‘ and ‘Thumak Thumak Pag Dumak Kunj Madhu‘ for Amol Palekar’s Ankahee (1985) — he won the National Award for playback singing for the film.
    • He also composed songs for a number of Marathi plays during the 1960s and gained much popularity for devotional songs composed by him during the 1970s.
      • His most popular rendition to date, however, is the song on Doordarshan from the ’80s- ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara‘.
    • Awards to honour him:
      • He was honoured with the Padma Shri (1972), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani vocal music (1975), Padma Bhushan (1985) and Madhya Pradesh government’s “Tansen Samman” in 1992.
      •  Bharat Ratna was bestowed on him in 2008.
    • Death: He passed away on 24 January 2011.

    Hindustani Music

    • Hindustani classical music is the classical music of northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. It may also be called North Indian classical music or, in Hindustani, shastriya sangeet. 
      • The other school of Indian Classical Music is Carnatic music which is practiced mainly in Southern India.
    • The historical roots of both the music types belong to the Bharata’s Natyasastra.
    • Hindustani Music is vocal-centric. The major vocal forms associated with Hindustani classical music are the khayal, Ghazal, dhrupad, dhammar, Tarana and thumri.
    • Most of the Hindustani musicians trace their descent to Tansen.
    • Indian classical music has seven basic notes with five interspersed half-notes, resulting in a 12-note scale. Unlike the 12-note scale in Western music, the base frequency of the scale is not fixed, and intertonal gaps (temperament) may also vary. 


    • It is a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers by lineage or apprenticeship, and by adherence to a particular musical style. 
    • They function in guru-shishya parampara, i.e. disciples learning under a particular guru, transmitting his musical knowledge and style. The famous gharanas are:
      • Gwalior Gharana
      • Agra Gharana
      • Kirana Gharana
      • Bhendi Bazaar Gharana
      • Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana

    Source: TH