The concept of “Gharana” system in music underwent many amendments over centuries. One section of followers considers it as a hurdle or constraints, that don’t believe in imitation but on creativity and condemn it through non assertive ways. The remaining half of artist believes it a simple way where one can learn from a particular institution and move ahead. But Gusai Gharana has remained secluded from both its attributes. One should put his complete devotion towards his guru and try to get maximum possible knowledge of music from him or her. 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.
Kunwar Shyamji Maharaj was a brilliant composer. He never created any piece of ‘Bandish’ for the sake of creation or deliberately put words for a particular raga but all his compositions were consequently developed as a result of his true devotion and dedication for music. 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. There lies a huge difference between the compositions which are outcome of such a great perseverance and the Bandishes which are composed to serve the purpose of creation. One can find a great urge and longing of a lover to become one with his beloved with the pure emotion of devotion in his compositions. The literature used in the Bandish would simply facilitate to evoke the emotion along with the particular raga where one could find a confluence of ‘Swara’ and the words. He never had a thought of making his own gharana or institution through his disciples. He simply served the purpose of music i.e. to get one with the divine, confluence of ‘Naad’ or Sound (music) with ‘Brahma’. He passed away in the year 1910.
Swamiji taught his art to two brothers, Gattu and Gopal. In few years they attained mastery over their voice and gained fame for their different way of singing which attributed long ‘Taan’ patterns of rhythmic approach. Even they remained secluded from the gharana tradition and served the music whole- heartedly. Pt. Mohan Mishra form Allahabad was disciple of Gattu Gopal, he had treasured many compositions of Swamiji which also involved nearly 50 ‘Dhrupad’ Bandish. Gusai Gharana was further flourished by Gunigandharva Pt. Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale. He made a huge contribution to this tradition by his heavenly voice; his immense knowledge of music had the ability to give a life-form to the raga he would present. He was truly a musical saint who had done an intensive research of music and spiritualism. During his stay in Mumbai at the Bhagwandas ashram, he kept himself away from all sort of fame and politics and simply kept on serving the music. His student’s list consists of great names like Pt. Rajaram Shukla, Pt. Murli Manohar Shukla, Pt. Govind Prasad Jaipurwale (son), Smt. Suhasini Mulgaonkar, Smt. Sunanda Jog, Shri. Girdhar Prasad Jaipurwale (son), Shri. Bhavdip Jaipurwale (grandson) and many more.
Pt. Rajaram Shukla had a great and huge disciple family. He had composed many lively Bandish which reflected an amalgamation of melody and literature. He also served the music whole-heartedly and poured his knowledge in front of his disciples with great humility. Among his students, some of well known are Pt.Murli Manohar Shukla, Shri. Pramod Choksi, Shri. Ramesh Kalgutkar, Pt. Kalika Maharaj, Shri. Digambar Tivatne, music director Vishwanath More, Shri. Rajeev Zaveri, Smt. Kunda Kulkarni, Smt. Jaishree Chaugule, Shri. Rajkuamar Singh, Shri. Rajesh Mule, Shri. Dayal Singh, Shri. Madhukar Dhumal, Shri. VijaySingh (Patna) and many more.
Pt. Murli Manohar Shukla, one of the important disciples of Pt.Rajaram Shukla has also composed many bandishes. He also had his work published in the book named “Manhar Sangeet Rachna” in 3 different parts.
One can find a great literature work in Gusai Gharana along with the doctrine of music and spirituality.