'Must Listen' list of North Indian Classical Vocal Music
Rajeev Patke's Music Pages
Art is long; life is short!
The storehouse of recorded North Indian classical vocal music may be a tiny fraction of what has been sung, but even that fraction adds up to a legacy that cannot be listened to and done full justice to within a single lifetime.
It is in such circumstances that a selection can provide interested listeners a chance to (i) test their own sense of what is special, unique and intensely rewarding in this genre of music, and (ii) develop their own list of what is part of a 'must listen' injunction: life would be the poorer if we spent it without having listened at least once such music in our lifetimes (and if possible, more often).
It is in this context that the following selection is offered. It is divided into the different time-periods that have been regarded traditionally as appropriate to the performance of these ragas. For each raga, not more than 2 or 3 examples are selected, although it is indeed possible to add many more examples for each raga. Khyal and dhrupad are so varied on account of differences in gharanas, and in performance styles typical of specific gurus or traditions, that it is neither possible nor desirable to claim that only one specific example is 'the best' instance for any raga.
Brief audio samples are provided to give listeners a chance to confirm the claim that this music is exceptionally worth listening to. The selections should also whet the appetite for listening to each performance in full. Wherever possible information is provided on publication details. It is not the intention of this website to disregard copyright for commercial recordings, hence the music samples are confined to short selections, and the information provided should direct listeners to the appropriate source.
The site is an ongoing project, hence more or less indefinitely UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
All suggestions about additional inclusions are welcome, accompanied by a brief account of why you think the performance excellent..
Last updated on 14 August 2009