Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar


Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar

Memory lane of R.D. Burman (Page 5)

Swar_Raj IF-Dazzler

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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 8:33am | IP Logged
Yeah..but it is already sold out so even here I cannot go Angry Cry They chose a really small hall is good but not that large capacity Angry

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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 9:58am | IP Logged
Originally posted by apparaohoare

Anol da,

You have to agree that "Ekta deshlai kathi jalao" is not the best selection of RD's bengali songs.  Chokhe naam e bristi (Jaane kya baat hai) or "Jete dao amai deko na" would have been a much better choice.



Appa I totally agree (rather I think that one is quite cheesy!) - but in this album they did some great experiment with instruments - check that out.

I think it's a great tribute to Pancham  - who gave such priority to the instruments in his music direction. ClapClap

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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 2:03pm | IP Logged
   Dil Padosi Hai   


Asha ki awaaz to paani hain" - Asha's voice is like water that mixes homogeneously with anything. These were Panchamda's words for his and also our beloved enchantress Asha Bhosale and the whole world cannot deny this fact. Asha tai sang for his father for years. In the early sixties decade Asha was the only singer who recorded maximum for Sachin Dev Burman. The young Rahul assisted his father and also gave the singers rehearsals. Later he also ghost directed S.D's films. R.D then established himself as a music director and worked with her in some films when they realised the compatibility between them. He as a versatile musician and she as a versatile singer went all lengths in music. The musical duo later settled as a happy couple after tying a knot in July'1979.

Also other musicians of yesteryears experimented but the common factor in their experiments was Asha. Sachin da recorded the first ever cabaret in her voice for Dev Anand's 'Taxi driver' - "jeene do aur jeeyo", C. Ramchandra tried so many like in Rock'n'roll and in classical in Navrang. Roshan gave her the best qawwali "Nigahen milane ko jee chahta hain" in 'Dil hi to hai', O.P Naiyyar and Asha were again a wonderful team. Also her brother Hridaynath tried most of his difficult to sing songs on Asha tai and succeeded. Similarly Pancham da's experiments in music were frequent and to see them succeed he needed Asha. Both shared a wonderful chemistry when they sang or composed. Both experimented regardless the consequences. It all started after 'Teesri manzil'. Asha was a bit skeptical whether to sing to his tunes initially because he had a different style of composing but she took it as a challenge and just listen to the sheer magic in all its songs. "O mere sona re", "aaja aaja", "o haseena zulfonwali" are obviously the most famous songs in this film but as ever Asha was always one-up in all her duets be it with any musician or singer one cannot deny her grace in "Dekhiye sahibo woh koi aur thi" where in every verse she sounds just 'DIFFERENT'. Panchamda and Asha tai sang their first duet in 'The train' and then teamed up for many numbers including the beautiful "Sapna mera toot gaya" in 'Khel khel mein'.

Some of the greatest songs of this phenomenal couple are "mar dalega dard-e-jigar" (Pati-patni), Jaane jaan dhoondta phir raha"(Jawaani deewani), "Kitne bhi tu karle sitam", "jaane jaan o meri"(Sanam teri kasam), "Kya ghazab karte ho jee"(Love story), "Sharma naa yoon"(Joshila), "Do lafzon ki hain dil ki kahani" (The great gambler), "Hawa ke saath saath", "Zindagi hain khel"( Seeta aur Geeta), "Piya tu ab to aaja"(Caravan), "Mera naam hain Shabnam" (Kati patang), "Bechara dil kya kare", "Ghar jayegi" (Khushboo), "Dum maro dum"(Hare Rama Hare Krishna), "Bheega badan jalne laga"(Abdullah),"Choro choro solah singar karoongi"(Manoranjan), "Hai hai thanda paani" (Bombay to Goa), "Mausam mastana", "Jhuka ke sar" (Satte pe satta), "Yeh ladka hai Allah"(Hum kisise kam nahi), "Aur kya ahd-wafa hote hain"(Sunny), "Piya bawari", "Sun sun sun didi tere liye"( Khoobsurat), . In all these songs one can find a range of styles and experiments. Also some of their not much famous songs like "oye tauba mujhe toone badnaam kar diya"(Jawaani deewani), "Hey baba hey baba"(Manzil manzil), "Badal jo barse to"(Gardish), "Jashn-e bahara"(Abdullah), "Chotisi kahani se" (Ijazat), "Aaja mere pyaar aaja"(Heeralal Pannalal), "Wallah kya nazara hain"(Ishq Ishq Ishq) are substantial but ignored by the intelligent listeners.

"Baat adhoori kyun hain"(Majboor) and "Meri nazar hain tujhpe"(The Burning Train) are best examples of western and Indian classical fused and presented by this team. "Hain agar dushman" in 'hum kisise kam nahin' and the "Pal do pal ka saath hamara"in 'The burning Train' (in both Asha excels
over Rafi) are the evergreen qawwali's in film history. They go high altitudes in 'yaadon ki baaraat' with "Aap ke kamare mein koi rehta hain", this is possible only with a team like Asha-Kishore-RD. RD confidently moved when Asha accompanied him and so came up with utter classics. The Gulzar-Asha-Pancham team was always enthusiastic to innovate and always succeeded, but 1987 was a special year for them when they created waves with 'Dil padosi hain' in the non-film music world and on the filmi front with 'Ijazat' which had beautiful songs like "mera kuchh samaan", Katra katra milti hain" and "Khali haath shyam aayee hain" Asha Bhosale and Gulzar both won the national award for their work in 'Ijazat'.

Asha never let down his hopes. Both can be rightly termed as the best musical couple. Neither was he less nor was she a loser, both Titans, both excellent, both equally in love with music and each other. Both married to music, both married to each other. Asha Rahul Dev Burman, one name that says/sings all.

Edited by Qwest - 24 March 2006 at 2:05pm
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R.D Burman 

Birth of a legend: A genius was born in 27th June the year1939 to a legendary composer named Sachin Dev Burman. Born in a royal family Rahul Dev Burman was nicknamed by Ashok Kumar. Dadamoni saw Sachinda's kid speaking the word Pa, hence the name Pancham. Rahul Dev Burman took keen interest in music at a very early age. R. D. efficiently learnt to play the Mouth - Organ. He also learnt to play Sarod from the legendary Sarod player Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. 

His First Break: The first ever song R. D. Burman composed was at the tender age of nine Aaie Meri Topi Palat for the film Funtoosh for his fathers film the very next year Sachinda borrowed 'Sar Jo Tera Chakraye'for the Guru Dutt film, Pyaasa. At a very young age Panchamda 
displayed his potential of being a music composer. Spotting this 
bundle of talent tempted Guru Dutt to offer a film the son of S. D. Burman (Guru Dutt's in-house composer). Unfortunately the project for which Pancham had scored a song did not see the light of the day. Later actor Mehmood offered Pancham his movie Chhote Nawab. The first song was to be recorded by Lata  Mangeshkar 'Ghar Ajaa Ghir Aayi' in 1961. The song created History in two ways first was the foray of a genius in Hindi film music. This song was instrumental in a patch up between Lata 
Mangeshkar and S. D. Burman (they did not recorded with each other for six years), when Lata came to their house for the song rehearsal. 

Like Father Unlike Son: Pancham was Sachinda's pride. Being a son of a genius music composer music was in his genes. In his early days Rahul Dev Burman was Sachin Dev Burman's assistant, they shared a unique rapport. Sachinda knew his son in and out when, in music sittings,  Pancham would dash out of the music room to smoke and Saschinda would remark "Jao Jao I know you are going out to smoke." Pancham helped his father when S. D. was ailing; he composed a few songs for his father. 

But Pancham was keen to create his own music so he branched out on his own. Sachin Dev was worried when Pancha composed western tunes but R. D. was determined to carve a niche of his own. Sachinda realised his sons popularity when he was taking a walk on the beach and some one pointed out "Woh Dekh R. D. Burman Ka Baap" (Look at R. D. Burman's father). A father was recognised because of his son! Sachin da couldn't be any prouder. Sachinda also guided Pancham when he composed 
Bada Nathkhat Hai Re according to Shakti Samanta the situation was of a regular Bhajan. So R. D. composed a trademark Bhajan when Sachinda heard the tune, he remarked that the song did not have his element and every composition by a composer should reflect his idiosyncrasy. So Rahul Dev Burman recomposed the Bhajan and viola, the aria was a piece de resistance.

Edited by Qwest - 24 March 2006 at 2:39pm
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Song Sung Blue: Rahul Dev Burman
by Subhash K. Jha

Remembering the finger-snappers and the soulful songs sung by R.D. Burman himself... on the occasion of his fourth death anniversary which fell on January 4, 1998.

It was an inherited talent. Music was a gift bequeathed to Rahul Dev Burman, who passed away so suddenly four years ago, by his father, Sachin Dev Burman. If Burman Dada immortalised himself with his two manjhi songs -- O re manjhi (Bandini) and Sun mere bandhu re (Sujata) -- Burman Baba belted out O manjhi teri naiyya se chhoota kinara in that long-forgotten river-bank(rupt) bilingual Aar Paar directed by Shakti Samanta.

This timeless manjhi song proves that Papa and Burman Jr were sailing in the same boat. Sadly, by the time RD's boat sailed into the 1980s, it developed a leak. If the song hadn't gone unnoticed, RD would surely have sung more such reflective quasi-philosophical songs. Doubtless, the distinctive voice of R.D. Burman was capable of conveying the emotional of a lyric as well, if not better than some male playback singers who sang for him. This is specially true of RD's tunes for Amit Kumar. In the popular Bade achhe lagte hain (Balika Badhu), Amit's voice synchronises so well with RD's that listeners can scarcely tell when Pancham stealthily slips into the number with the boatman's clarion call O manjhi re jaiyo piya ke des... R.D. Burman often contributed key lines to his compositions without claiming credit. Though the legendary cabaret number Piya tu ab to aaja in Caravan is credited only to Asha Bhosle, Pancham's banshee cries of Monica o my darling have rooted the number in the public's mind.

In the hauntingly bare Kishore Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar love duet Hum dono do premee duniya chhod chale (Ajnabi), the composer chips in as the bystander at the railway station to ask where the fugitive lovers are off to. In Lata's version of Phoolon ka taron ka sab ka kehna hai (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), Pancham sings for 'Daddy' Kishore Sahu -- with Daddy ka mummy ka sabka kehna hai ek hazaron mein teri behna hai... These incidental vocal appearances verify Pancham's casual yet unforgettable artistry.

Recalls Gulzar, "Pancham was an excellent singer. He knew the nuances of classical singing. For my films, he sang only a couple of songs. But he lent his voice even so often. For instance, in Jabbar Patel's Musafir, the boatman's voice-over, is Pancham! As a singer, he would perfect a tune by singing it repeatedly. In the album that I did with him in 1994, listen to how well he has sang the numbers Raah pe rahte hain and Koi diya jale kahin (later rendered by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, respectively).
Then in Dil Padosi Hai, the original soundtracks by Pancham before they were dubbed by Asha Bhosle are superb. They show his range as a singer.

The solos and duets that R.D. Burman sang in the '70s asserted his growing reputation as a rock-'n'-roll renegade. Somehow the serious songs sung by Pancham (such as the manjhi number in Aar Paar) never got their due. The hits that Pancham sang were almost invariably gimmicky.

With Mohammed Rafi, RD was heard in his element in the yummy Yamma yamma number in Shaan. RD's most memorable duet of male bonding was the zany jazz-tinged title song of Gol Maal. Sung with Sapan Chakravarty, the song's verve is unmatched by any other song of male bonding in the '80s except perhaps Jaan-e-Jigar, the groovy Goan gaana that RD 'dared' to duet with his favourite male singer, Kishore Kumar in Pukaar.
Whenever R.D. Burman went solo, he made sure it was a song that needed his voice, and no one else's. Incredibly, the all-time favourite Mehbooba oh mehbooba (Sholay), might not have been sung by Pancham at all. At first, this vibrant sexy titillator was to be sung by Asha Bhosle. When Jalal Agha was brought into the picture to lend a vocal drizzle to Helen's sizzle, R.D. Burman was considered by Javed Akhtar, Anand Bakshi and Ramesh Sippy as the best bet for this number inspired by a Demis Roussos chart-topper.

Equally accomplished was Pancham's interpretation of the locomotive rhythms of Dhanno ki aankhon mein raat ka surma. Gulzar's words in Kitaab were transported to a wonderland of images. It became a voyage of self-discovery for Pancham. Equally devil-may-care was RD's interpretation of the number Kal kya hoga kisko pataa (Kasme Vaade) and Samundar mein naha ke (Pukar).

And how elegantly Pancham wore the shirt of hurt into the two Nasir Hussain musicals Hum Kisise Kam Nahin and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai. In the ever-young songs Tum kya jaano mohabbat kya hai and Dil lena khel hai dildar ka, R.D. walked tall over a terrain of pain. The most meditative solo melody that Pancham sang was Yeh zindagi kuchh bhi sahi in the flop Kumar Gaurav-Poonam Dhillon starrer, Romance, containing some of RD's best compositions ever. The emotional grip of the lyrical delivery rivals Kabhi palkon pe aansoon which Kishore Kumar sang for R.D. Burman in Harjaee. With his singing soul companion Asha Bhosle, R.D. created a dense romantic atmosphere. Though they sang no more than seven or eight full-fledged duets, the slender repertoire created a voluminous impression because of their impact.

The first duet that R.D. and Asha sang was O meri jaan main ne kahaa (The Train). The Rajesh Khanna-R.D. Burman team that bloomed in the '70s was in its infancy when R.D. composed and sang with Asha for The Train. The film had two strikingly original-sounding solos Gulabi aankhen by Mohammed Rafi and Kis liye maine pyar kiya by Lata. Inadvertently, the RD-Asha duet was left out, sidetracked.

R.D. Burman and Asha Bhosle had their revenge the very next year when their uptempo number outpaced all other chartbusters of Apna Desh. Their heat-and-run number? The high-pitched ode to raunch -- Duniya mein logon ko dhokha kabhi ho jaata hai. The number stressed the outlandishness of Pancham's vocals. Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz were dressed as a couple of freakos in this climactic song. Just when you thought they were the '70s version of Sonny and Cher, belying all expectations, the RD-Asha pair hit an all-time high of emotional expression in Sapna mera toot gaya in Khel Khel Mein. While Kishore Kumar accompanied Asha in all the frothy fun duets in the film, R.D.Burman stepped in to create waves in this memorable song of parting and remembrance. Peculiar, passionate and palpably Pancham is Na jaa jaan-e-jaan that largely ignored scene stealer RD-Asha duet in Joshilay. Here and in the disco-very-very special of the '80s, Jaan-e-jaan o meri jaan-e-jaan in Sanam Teri Kasam, Pancham stepped back into the shadows to let Asha 'squeal' the limelight. But his contribution to the two duets is like mistletoe decorating a Christmas tree.

The last duet that R.D. Burman sang with Asha was Yeh din to aata hai (Mahaan). Sadly by then R.D. Burman's career was under a cloud There's an interesting end-game associated with R.D. Burman's career as a singer. In the selective, reluctant and meagre repertoire of songs that the chameleon composer chose to sing, one song is extra-special. Kya bhala hai kya bura in Gulzar's unreleased Libaas. It's one of the few film songs that dare to make light of the burden of existence. The song is special for another reason. It's the only time, Rahul Dev Burman dared to face at the microphone with the singer who had seen him as a child fooling around in shorts at his papa's recordings... and whom the young adult-Pancham hesitantly approached to sing the first song that he ever composed.
That duet with Lata Mangeshkar was the last song R.D. Burman ever sang in a film.

Edited by Qwest - 24 March 2006 at 7:48pm
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'I charge less for Bengali songs'
Ready with her new album after five years, ASHA BHONSLE talks to Pratim D. Gupta about providing relief to the remix market, the reason for cutting down on film songs and her new international album featuring Ekta deshlai kathi jalao
(From top) A glimpse of Asha in her latest music video; a file picture of the singing star with RD Burman

You are coming out with a private album after five years. Why such a long gap?

The last albums I did were Jaanam Samjha Karo, Aap Ki Asha and Parde Mein Rehne Do. These days you have to be very careful with the music companies you are working with. Sometimes they don't pay you properly. Sometimes they don't publicise the album properly. And at times, they don't even release the album — record chhapti hi nahin hai. It's happened with me before. The labels here tell their foreign companies that the album didn't work and eat up the money. Nuqsan batake poore paise kha jate hain. In such scenarios, it doesn't make sense to sing songs. All the efforts go to waste.

So you are back with HMV for your new album…

Haan, HMV ke liye main bachpan se gaati hoon. The people who are looking after HMV now, the Goenkas, are khandaani people. So I sat with them and we planned out this album.

There's this guy, Somesh Mathur, who has been after me for the last five or six years, trying to convince me to sing these ghazals recreated by him. Main taalti rahi… But this time, my son Anand asked me to listen to the songs. And I found them really nice — songs from India, songs from Pakistan, sung by greats like Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Haasan — Aaj jaane ki zid na karo and Aawargi… One of them is by Jagjit Singh. It was a new challenge. R.D. Burman ke baad, koi challenge to bacha nahin

Have you kept the original flavour of the ghazals or sung them in your style?

I obviously haven't changed the songs. Since they are all of three to four minutes and they are not classical songs, we haven't been able to increase the duration. The orchestration is different. Uss din ke baaja peti aajkal ke bachchon ko pasand nahin ayenge. So we've made the arrangement different. I loved singing the songs — kuch kami nahin chhodi

The independent album industry has been badly hit in recent times due to the remix rage and rampant piracy. Do you think your album will be able to break the jinx?

I definitely think so. Jo jo gaane humne gaaye hain, likhawat achhi hai, samajhne mein mushkil nahin hai. So I feel it will be kind of a relief to the constant dhan dhana dhan. Also, the music video (to go on air from Friday) has been shot very well — aisa jo mann ko bhayega… The most important thing is that the music will touch you emotionally.

Why have you cut down on your film songs so much?

Mujhe woh log mere paise nahin de sakte. They can't pay me the amount I charge per song. When people come all the way from Calcutta, I happily sing for them. Main Bangal ke liye kam leti hoon. I have nothing against singing for Hindi films. I recently sang Lucky lips and it became a big hit. But if people don't pay me properly why go out of my way to sing in films? Mujhe naya naam ya naya paisa leke kya karna hai? I don't want to be in the rat race anymore.

Your versatility is still unmatched. How do you still balance a remix with a ghazal?

I have learnt to sing that way. Having sung for the last 60 years, I can interpret all kinds of feelings. Subah bhajan, dopahar ko qawwali, shaam ko cabaret… that's what I have been singing all these years. Now it has become a habit.

So, these days just looking at the song is enough to understand the thought behind it.

You have sung with Boy George and Code Red. Any new global projects?

Yes, I have collaborated with a San Francisco band called Chrono Scotte who came to London and did research on RD Burman's songs, finally handpicking nine numbers. RD ko kahaan pahuncha diya… The album will be released under the Warner Bros music label this September. Apart from the eight Hindi songs, they have even chosen a Bengali song having liked the rhythm and tune. (Sings) Ekta deshlai kathi jalao

Edited by Qwest - 24 March 2006 at 8:20pm
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Dr. Narasinha Kamath




I have already written on Sulekha, four articles on Hindustani Classical ragas on flute, which readers liked. This time I wish to write an article on a pop instrument -- which is our good old mouth organ. In the United States, the mouth organ is called a harmonica. Unlike the flute, the mouth organ is not a classical instrument. One cannot play classical tunes on the mouth organ. I just wanted to bring a change; that is why I decided to write this article. In the 1950's and 60's, the mouth organ was an extremely popular instrument and many teenagers used to play this instrument. The reason why it was popular then was because those years formed the golden era of Hindi film music, which consisted of beautiful melodies. The mouth organ goes perfectly well with melodious and rhythmic tunes. But today unfortunately, the mouth organ is a dying instrument. This is so because most of the modern day Hindi film music does not have any melody. So one cannot play tunes of modern day Hindi film songs on mouth organ, hence the demise. Of course, there are some exceptions.

I remember during my college days in 1958, lots of college students, some of them in my St. Xavier's college in Mumbai, used to play the mouth organ in the corridors of the college so as to attract the attention of beautiful girls. They used to play the song Yun to ham ne lakh hasin dekhe hai, Tumsa nahin dekha (meaning 'I have seen so many beauties before but none of them were like you') from the superhit Hindi film Tumsa Nahin Dekha. Of course, I was not playing the mouth organ at that time; I was a disciplined student. I started playing the instrument only a few years ago. I have attached two audio files along with this article. In my first audio file, I have played a very famous Hindi film song, Hai apna dil to awaara from the Hindi film Solva Saal and in my second audio file, I have played another very famous song, Yaad kiya dilne kahan from the Hindi film Patita. In fact these two are my most favorite songs for playing on the mouth organ. Hai apna dil is pure melody whereas Yaad kiya dilne has some light shades of raga Pahadi. In every mouth organ concert, I play both these songs without fail. In fact, my most favorite song on mouth organ, Yaad kiya dilne kahan was composed by the great music director, Shankar-Jaikishan in 1953. This is a very romantic song and has not lost its beauty even after almost 50 years. What a composition!

Although the flute is my most favorite instrument, I still love playing the mouth organ. The mouth organ has a bluish sound and sounds very melodious when you play it holding close to microphone. It sounds almost like the accordion if played correctly. Hemendra Mahavar who once accompanied Anup Jalota, the famous bhajan singer, accompanied me with his tabla while I played the two mouth organ tunes. Actually, I am a hobbyist and Mr. Mahavar is a classical Tabla player. Mr. Mahavar is a modest person and did not mind playing with a hobbyist like me, that too on a mouth organ. Normally a professional musician will never accompany a hobbyist. Although the mouth organ is a pop instrument, last year, I saw one professional chromatic mouth organ player who accompanied a South Indian Classical vocal player in his concert tour of USA. This shows that it is not just a toy but can be accompanied with classical music.

But to do this, one has to have a high degree of proficiency in playing the mouth organ with classical music. It has lots of limitations since it does not have all the swaras. This is the reason you cannot play classical music on the mouth organ. But you will be surprised that with some difficulty, you can play classical tunes like Piya tose (film: Guide, raga: Khamaj), Rasik Balma. Please refer to my earlier articles on Flute: Rasik Balma (Shudh Kalyan) and Flute: A Celestial Experience. You can also play the famous Marathi classical song Ghanashyam sundara on mouth organ. Please refer to my earlier article on Flute: Raga Bhoopali (Mohanam). I play the mouth organ in every concert. I want to revive public interest in the instrument by once again introducing it to the music lovers so as to revive its past glory.

Now let me describe the instrument, the mouth organ. Mouth organs come in different sizes. They start with 8 holes; they also make 16 holes, 18 holes and 24 holes mouth organs. In China they even make 48 holes. There are two types of mouth organs. The first type is called the diatonic type and the second type is called chromatic. Diatonic type mouth organ is roughly equivalent to the white keys of the harmonium, meaning it has only shudh swaras whereas the chromatic type mouth organ has a sliding key, which can be slid by pressing a button at the end. This chromatic type mouth organ is equivalent to having both white and black keys of the harmonium. In other words, the chromatic type mouth organ can produce both shudh and komal swaras like in a harmonium. The chromatic type of mouth organ is more difficult to play since it has a sliding scale unlike the diatonic type. The mouth organ can be played with a single note at a time or by playing chords or a combination of both. Following are some of the techniques of how to play it.

Single note playing with whistle position of mouth: Open your mouth as if you are going to whistle. With this position of the mouth, bring say the 4th hole of the mouth organ and hold tight against your lips and and place your index fingers tightly over holes 3 and 5 and blow out of the 4th hole (exhale). If your fingers are tightly covering hole numbers 3 and 5, then you will get the clear single note. Do this many times until you get a clear note. It will take some time to create a pure single note. Then with the same position of the mouth, blow in (inhale) so as to create a pure note. Again try this method several times until you get a clear note. Memorize the sound and the position of the hole every time you create a pure note. Repeat this for all the remaining holes and memorize all the notes in a similar manner. Once you practice on all the holes, then you do not have to use your index fingers to cover the previous and the next holes (in this example hole number 3 and 5, for playing hole number 4). You will be able to create a pure single note just by using whistle position (pouching) without having to use index fingers to cover hole number 3 and 5. Note that on every hole that you inhale and exhale, when you inhale you get the next note to the one that you got when you exhaled. Also by widening the whistle position of mouth you can play chords by blowing adjacent holes simultaneously.

Single note playing by blocking with tongue: Say you want to create a single note from the 4th hole using your tongue. To play a single note from hole 4, block holes 1, 2 and 3 using your tongue and blow out from hole 4 to create a pure note. Similarly create sound from other holes by using the blocking method. Blocking by tongue is a very difficult technique. For playing single notes, I would advise beginners to use the whistle position of the mouth as described in the earlier paragraph.

You can create hand effects by holding the mouth organ in such a manner so as to create a large airtight cup. You can also bend a given note on the mouth organ by tilting it. Breathing technique comes naturally to you as you continue practicing the instrument.

Difference between flute playing and mouth organ playing is that in the case of the flute, to create a note you only blow out. There is no blowing in for flute. But in the case of the mouth organ, to create a note you do both -- inhale and exhale. In the case of the flute, you cannot play chords (playing 2 or more notes simultaneously); you can play only one note at a time on the flute whereas you can play chords on the mouth organ as explained earlier. This is not to compare the flute with the mouth organ. Both are totally different instruments, except that both are wind instruments. Flute is a high classical instrument whereas mouth organ is a pop instrument. For learning to play mouth organ, you should buy a book. There is a lot of online help available on the Internet, which can teach you how to play the mouth organ. I learnt to play it on my own by practicing a lot. The mouth organ is my most favorite instrument after the flute.

Like a small flute, mouth organ is easily portable, which can be carried in pant pockets. The best mouth organs are made by Hohner Company in Germany, the country that invented the mouth organ. China makes very good quality and very inexpensive mouth organs. In Chennai, one can buy a 24 holes China made diatonic mouth organ for only 100 rupees in Burma Bazaar. Note that it is great fun to play the mouth organ in the bus, trains and on picnics to entertain people. People just love the rhythm and the sound from the mouth organ. Playing the mouth organ is regarded by doctors as "a perfect aid to health". This is so because playing the mouth organ develops the lungs and air passages and thus prevents catarrhal trouble. Some experts believe that playing it constantly can get rid of the common cold, which affects almost every one of us. This is because while playing the mouth organ, you both inhale and exhale air.

Very few people know that the famous music director, R. D. Burman was a great mouth organ player. The mouth organ was R. D. Burman's most favorite instrument. In fact he played it for many of the Hindi film songs composed by his father, the great maestro S. D. Burman. In fact, the tune which I played in my audio file, Hai apna dil to awaara was originally played by R. D. Burman at the start of this song and in between the stanzas. It seems that S. D. Burman composed the song Hai Apna dil while keeping the mouth organ and his son, Rahul Dev Burman in mind. R. D. Burman also played the mouth organ for some of the songs of the hit film, Dosti at the request of its music directors, Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Some of the other films where R. D. Burman played the mouth organ are Sholay, Teen Deviyaan, Manzil, Pyaasa and a few others. In the famous Guru Dutt film, Pyaasa, R. D. Burman played the mouth organ whenever Mala Sinha appeared on the screen. He represented Mala Sinha's emotions very well using the sound from the mouth organ in the background. R. D. Burman was also called as Pancham. When he was three years old, he constantly used to press the Black 5 key of the harmonium and then utter the words, Pa Pa Pa. One day when actor Ashok Kumar was visting S. D. Burman, he heard young R. D. Burman humming Pa Pa Pa and he gave him the name Pancham. My current article on the mouth organ is my tribute to the great music director, R. D. Burman.

Edited by Qwest - 24 March 2006 at 8:41pm
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A flautist returns to favourite studio, now a disco

Renuka Suryanarayan

Mumbai, January 25:LIKE the Pied Piper, he strikes up a tune almost instinctively, lost to the world. But soon, it's the world around that's lost in the gently wafting notes. Three of the four watchmen near the gate abruptly stop their conversation and edge towards him. A few businessmen lumbering up the stairs to the higher floors stop in their tracks and turn around. Soon, a small crowd gathers, hanging on to his every note. The waiters in the nearby canteen watch too, open-mouthed. Krishna has arrived at Film Centre, Tardeo, and the gopis can't be too far.

This image of him as the teasing, amorous Krishna seems to follow flautist Ronu Majumdar everywhere, whether on stage or whipping out the handy bamboo flute whenever the mood strikes.

But today's mood is special, as he's on a nostalgia trip to the place that housed his favourite recording room at Film Centre. It was also R D Burman's favourite haunt, and Majumdar was also Burmanda's fave flautist. The two worked together all the way until 1942 - A Love Story. ''For 10 years, I toiled hours — sometimes entire days — at recordings with Burmanda, who had a soft corner for Raag Khamaj. It was his favourite, S D Burman's favourite and mine too. And it came out with a lilt on my flute. Many of his best songs were in Khamaj, like Bada Natkhat Hai Re, or Kuch To Log Kahenge, Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna. I remember the inspired tracks that we would play, after days and weeks of rehearsals, nothing like the track recordings of today,'' he laments, covering his face with both hands. ''Now I never know who the singer is, or even what the other musicians are playing,'' he adds.

The studio has closed down now, but the area remains filled with music of a different kind. ''Recording room? Ab to woh disco hai!'' chides the watchman. At the very spot where Kalyanji and R D Burman used to record their ageless numbers, stands Velocity. But the evenings here swing to the kind of music they would have loved too. ''This place has a lot of resonance, echoes of songs like Agar Tum Na Hote, songs from films like Love Story, Musafir in which the song Khaali Haath was almost a duet I did with Asha Bhonsle,'' says this international artiste.

He remembers spending months, at Rs 160 a day, at this recording room — his bread and butter. He recalls R D's words, ''A soloist's job is to make the song better. But a beautiful piece is like a beautiful woman. Simplicity is the essence, not over-embellishment.''

Having been launched as the city's main colour processing laboratory in the 1950s, Film Centre saw almost every Bollywood great visiting the laboratory for processing. From Raj Kapoor to Dev Anand, to the Chopras, almost every film-maker who worshipped colour came here to do their processing and also for the colour film rolls.

Last year, the colour laboratory closed down too, the whole of Film Centre now taken over by commercial premises. From Film Centre to Santa Barbara was a leap that fate carved out for Majumdar. It came in the form of Pandit Ravi Shankar, who took a liking to the AIR award-winning youngster and made him an important part of the orchestra that played Ata Swagatam at the Asiad, in 1982. Now, with a string of fusion albums under his belt, besides a musical score for the Hollywood film Primary Colors and also a Grammy nomination, Majumdar is one of the best recognised international exponents of the Indian bansuri.

He says Primary Colors ''just happened''. Ry Cooder, the Grammy-award winning guitarist and John Hassels on the trumpet actually recorded the Wide Sky composition in a church in Santa Barbara. It was a part of the album Facinoma. Cooder liked it so much that he used it in Primary Colors.

''Pandit Ravi Shankar was my grand guru and Vijay Raghav Rao was my major guru,'' says Majumdar, whose first lessons were from Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale. Whenever his globe-trotting schedule permits, Majumdar now records in studios in far-off Andheri, his last were for the film Makdee. ''Viju Shah again has a soft corner for my flute, so also Vishal Bharadwaj,'' he reveals, of his forays into film music.

His latest album, Krishna's Journey, has hit the stores. But he's still celebrating another journey.

Edited by Qwest - 25 March 2006 at 12:12am

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