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Nuances of Semi-Classical Music : Trends and Traits


Semi-classical music is a beautiful genre that combines elements of classical music with folk music traditions and creates a uniqueness in Indian Music styles. It holds a unique place in all music genre, blending the complexities of classical compositions with the emotive appeal of folk legacy. Semi- Classical cannot be segregate from the classical music only because it is semi-classical or named as partial classical. It is always shared by many of the renown musicians that singing semi classical need more focused reeyaz than other genre because blending the melody of bandish in various raga itself is a big challenge thus Pandit Channula, Vidushi Girija Devi and many of the renowned artist usually said  in interview, singing Dadra, Thumri, Kajri , Chaiti is not lighter than classical but very challenging to maintain the concept of  Ragadari in multiple Ragas. 


Of course semiclassical music is the part of classic tradition of the India but it has a deep reach of folk and traditional music. It can be said that the Raga Music- Khyal and Dhrupad are more confined and based on single raga and its integrated form but Dadra- Thumri are more profound and excellent to express eternal emotions. Semiclassical singing can be said as the garland of Rasa and Bhav which are webbed in a raga with bundle of similar raga to explore the aesthetical feeling of the literature in various way. 


Hindustani Semi Classical music is the most vibrant form that represent the equal value of literature because the meaning of the lyrics is most prominent part to express the warmth and beauty of the lyrics. In Dadra, Thumri and other semi classical form the lyrics of the composition, what we called Bandishs, plays great role in choosing the raga. Among the Navarasa (Nine Elements of aesthetic ), most of the Rasa are expressed through singing. It can be said that multiple emotions are expressed in Thumri and Dadra. Raga Kafi, Khamaj, Pilu, Tilang, Tilakkamod, Pahari, Desh, Sohani, Bhairavi, Mand, are the most common raga in semiclassical format of Hindustani music. 


Dealing with semiclassical music needs more expertise in sur,  depth in raga and understanding the emotions of the Bandish. Dadra, Thumri, Kajri, Chaiti, Chaita, Hori, Jhula, Sohar, Mangal and numerous form of traditional and folk singing are transformed to semiclassical form but now we are at the stage where folk culture are dying day by day because of lack of audience, lack of proper takeover of folk style by next generation, and lack of economical growth of the folk artist. 

Nov 2023- All right reserved @musicbanaras.com


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