Dr. N. Rajam
I got an occasion to listen to the music concert of Shri. Murli Manohar Shukla recently and it was indeed a memorable one.
Pandit Murli Manohar Shukla was Initiated at early age into the intricacies of both Vocal and instrumental music. His music contains a thoughtful and clear procedure. He is tuneful and expert in vocalizing artistic Sargams and Taans. He sings Bandishes of Kunwarshyam and Lakshmanprasadji with an equal ease and artistry. His remarkable style and voice projection deserves wide listening by all the music lovers since they contain treasure of innumerable musical jewelries. The improvisational forays in Khyal singing by merely keeping 3 to 4 notes as a base and developing the theme and coming back to the original Shadja requires the tremendous understanding and control. The festooned Khyal singing in a Mukhada of a Raga quite unhurried yet meticulous . . .
The doyen and founder of the gharana was none other than Goswami Lalji Maharaj ‘Kunwar Shyam’, he was a great devotee of Shree Krishna and never performed anything outside the Radhe-Krishna temple. He was able to create it with the help of his ‘Sadhana’ which is a combination of devotion and long perseverance to attain a mastery over anything. He simply served the purpose of music i.e. to get one with the divine, confluence of ‘Naad’ or Sound (music) with ‘Brahma’. Swamiji taught his art to two brothers, Gattu and Gopal. Even they remained secluded from the gharana tradition and served the music whole- heartedly. Gusai gharana was further flourished by Gunigandharva Pt. Laxman Prasad Jaipurwale. He made a huge contribution . . .
Pandit Murli Manohar Shukla published three books of his own compositions with pseudonym ‘Manhar’. Among Pandit Shukla’s most treasured gifts to the music fraternity is a collection of more than 500 Bandishes in many ragas that are published in Manhar Sangeet Rachna. Manhar Sangeet Rachna includes Swar Sadhna Vidhi of Jaipur Kunwarshyam Gharana that helps to develop Tonal Quality, Music Theory & Music Notation Symbols, Raag & Taal Description along with his compositions (Bandishes, Dhrupad, Thumri, Tarana) set in various Raag & Taal. Along with being an Archetype for Professional Artists, this book also serves as reference to Advance Students of Hindustani Classical Music opting for Visharad, Alankaar or equivalent exams . . .
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