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Unbeatable Tappas From Leading Vocalists

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Tappa is a form of music which is extremely attractive as it is difficult to render. It falls under the category of semi classical music. The form originated in the early 19th century when Ghulam Nabi, a classical singer of the Gwalior gharana was touring Punjab for his classical music concerts. It is said that, despite his complete mastery of music, he was unable to make an impact on the first leg of his tour. He was then advised by the cognoscenti that he should try and sing something which the people could easily relate to and understand.

A genius that he was, he picked up some Punjabi songs using the local dialect and set them to tune in ragas like 'Kafi' , 'Khamaj' and 'Bhairavi'.

That did the trick and the rest of his tour was a roaring success. These songs came to be known as Tappas. They were originally sung by camel riders. Therefore, they were full of jerky movements and had a certain bounce about them. Ghulam Nabi's 'Nom de plume' was 'Shourimiyan' and all the Tappas which were composed by him bore his signature. 'Udayan' took an adventurous decision to hold an exclusive Tappa concert last week which featured Gwalior gharana singer Neela Bhagwat and Jaipur Attrauli gharana singer Saniya Patankar.

The informative yet captivating programme was compered by santoor player Snehal Muzoomdar. One was a bit apprehensive about the feasibility of an exclusive Tappa concert in the sense that the form is too racy to hold one's attention for a long duration.

Yet, it must be said to the credit of the singers that they did manage to hold the attention of the audience till the last. Moreover, they rendered their Tappas in a manner that touched the soul of the listeners. ‘O Miyan Janewale', the traditional Kafi Tappa was sung with the requisite vigour by young Saniya Patankar. ‘Bol Suna Jani’, the one in ‘Sindhura’ sung by Neela Bhagwat was extremely evocative. Tappas from different languages were sung by them. Gujrati, Bangla, Marathi and Sanskrit were roped in. Some of them were composed by Neela Bhagwat herself. Muzoomdar's commentary was crisp and lively.

Kudos to young Yadnesh Raikar for his superb violin support. Mandar Puranik on the tabla was professional as ever.

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