Bishnupur Gharana Music of Bengal
A Dhrupad Style of Bengali Music Bishnupur Gharana
A Dhrupad style of Bengali Classical Music is Vishnupur or Bishnupur Gharana. This Music Gharana has originated from Bishnupur of Bankura district West Bengal. In the past it was the kingdom of Malla Kings and the place was known as Mallabhum. They were the worshipor of Lord Vishnu thus the place was named as Vishnupur or Bishnupur. The time of this Music Gharana is very ancient of 1370 A.D. Bishnupur was the sole cultural centre of Eastern India in the past and now it is the only Ghrana exists in Bengal.
During the time of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb an Islamic fanatic when the Islamic fanaticism was at peak point,the musicians fled to Bishnupur and sought refuge to the Maharaja of Bishnupur. As the Maharaja or King was so attached to music he gave them shelter in the Bishnupur Court. There musicians started this Gharana. Famous Dhrupad vocalist Bahadur Khan a follower of Tansen style music made this Gharana popular. Bahdur Khan was also very skilled who could play instruments like Veena, Surashringaar. The then Mallabhum King Raghunath Singh Deo II honoured him and employed him as the court singer. Even the King wanted to spread this Gharana to all the places and so made arrangements for people of his kingdom that they can learn this Gharana from Ustad Bahadur Khan without any fees.
Pandit Ramachandra Bhattacharya was one of the famous students of Ustad Bahadur Khan and according to historians that from Pandit Bhattacharya time this Gharana actually started. The in the eighteenth and nineteenth century the Khayal style started to become popular around musicians in the country and Dhrupad style became the flavour of Bishnupuri musicians.
During the visit of Prince Edward in 1921 six Gharanas were performed by six artists and three artists presented Bishnupur Gharana. Prince was mesmerized by this Dhrupad style of music. The musicians who performed Bishnupur Gharana music were Gopeshwar Bandopadhaya, Satyakinkar Bandopadhaya and Khetra Mohan Goswami.
Gramophone recorded this Gharana of Dhrupad style first ever in the year 1902. There was a music conference organised in the year 1921 where Radhika Prasad Goswami, Gopeswar Bandopadhaya and Satyakinkar Bandopadhaya gave their performance on this Gharana of Dhrupad music. Satyakinkar Bandopadhaya stood first in the conference jointly with Enayat Khan.
The Bishnupur Gharana, where artists unfold the beauty of Raga Bhairava through the Alap. It is actually a melodius presentation by using Shuddha Dhaivata in Raga Vasanta. There is a touch of Komal Nisada of Bhairava Raga.
The famous Bengali Torja (Question-Answer) was invented from this Gharana tradition and this Torja is still very popular in West Bengal. Akash Vani airs this kind of programs frequently.
Some Famous Musicians of this Gharana:
Ustad Bahadur Khan
Pandit Ramachandra Bhattacharya
Pandit Gopeswar Bandopadhaya
Pandit Radhika Prasad Goswami
Pandit Ramprasanna Bandopadhaya
In this modern age of modern Pop music still this Bishnupur Gharana finds a place and acknowledgement from modern arstists too. That is the victory for this Bishnupur Gharana.
Hope you like this information about the Bishnupur Gharana, only Bengali Gharana available now.