Raagotsav Celebrates Music and Musicians

By Pickle  July 14, 2020
Raagotsav Celebrates Music and Musicians, Pickle Media

Raagotsav, dedicated to the rich and age-old tradition of instrument music and its legendary practitioners, will be streamed by Films Division (http://www.filmsdivision.org) between July 14 and 16

Films Division is gearing up to present ‘Raagotsav… Celebration of Monsoon’, an online festival of select pick from ‘precious films’ on Indian classical music in its archive. First part of the festival, dedicated to the rich and age-old tradition of instrument music and its legendary practitioners, will be streamed between 14 and 16 July, said a statement.

‘These documentaries tell music lovers about major streams of instrument music – string, wind and percussion and also about maestros, Ustad Allaudin Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Ahmad Jaan Thirakwa, Ustad Alla Rakha, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt. Ramnarayan, Pt. Sivkumar Sharma, Sheikh Chinna Moulana and others who have influenced music lovers, old and young alike for centuries,’ it said and added: ‘The rare collection will be showcased on Films Division Website and You Tube channel for free viewing.’


In India, many instruments have been skillfully used for music composition, accompaniment and for solo performance, from time immemorial. An informative compile of such instruments through the film ‘Music of India’-Instrument (11min./1952/ Bhaskar Rao) will kick start ‘Raagotsav’.

To understand how passion for music brought an 8-year-old boy from a remote village in the then East Bengal (present day Bangladesh) to the city of Kolkata, the documentary on the life of the legendary multi instrumentalist-composer and music teacher, Ustad Allauddin Khan, ‘Baba’ (15 min./1976/N. D. Keluskar) is a must watch, according to Films Division.


Produced 50 years ago on life and work of tabla maestro, Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa’ a rare B&W biography (14min./1971/L Shankar) takes us to the golden era of music. The credit for elevating the status of Shehnai, a wind instrument played in marriages and religious processions only to the solo concert stage goes to one and only ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan’ and this short film (19 min./2007/Dinesh Prabhakar) showcases master’s life and his illustrious journey leading to the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.


Pandit Ravi Shankar, the worldfamous Sitar exponent and the first instrumentalist to be bestowed with Bharat Ratna has expressed his views about the tradition of Indian Gurukul system in the documentary ‘Moments with Maestro’ (18min./1970/Pramod Pati). Also interesting is the biography of Sheik Chinna Moulana who mastered and popularised Nadaswaram, a double reed wind instrument played mostly in temples and during Hindu weddings in South India, where ‘Shruti & Grace of Indian Music’ (14 min./ 1974/ Shyam Benegal) is majorly on grammar of Indian classical music.

DA Y 2…

On day 2 of ‘Raagotsav’, the story of a Tabla genius and his music philosophy is revealed in ‘Ustad Alla Rakha’ (13 min./1970/ C S Nair). ‘Tala and Rhythm –Mridangam’ (11 min./1972/ Shyam Benegal) underlines importance of the ancient percussion instrument in Carnatic music. Through ‘Music of India’- Drum (10 min./1952/Bhaskar Rao), a short overview is taken on variety of drums used in India. ‘Pandit Ramnarayan’ (50 min./2007/ V. Packirisamy) denotes the journey of Sarangi maestro who took the hitherto accompanying instrument to the glorious level of solo excellence. ‘Bansuri Guru’ (57 min./2014/Rajeev Chaurasia) shows the fascinating musical journey of flute magician Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia whose mellifluous bansuri rendition is enchanting music lovers across globe for over six decades.


On 16 July, the last day ‘Raagotsav’- Part I, another masterpiece ‘Antardhwani’ (65 min./2008)/ Jabbar Patel) brings to life the musical journey of great Santoor exponent Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan belongs to the family that introduced Sarod to the world. His illustrious musical journey, love for Sarod and grooming of his sons….Music aficionados can listen to all these and more in his own words in ‘Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’ (62 min./1990/Gulzar). The documentary ‘Bansuriwala’ (52 min./2016/Biplab Majumdar) is on ace flutist Pt. Ronu Mujumdar. This documentary gives us the experience of meditation through soothing music.

According to Films Division, ‘Raagotsav’ aims to double the celebration of monsoon and bring pure joy and celestial ecstasy to all music lovers, uplifting their spirit in the present days of isolation and depression. Those interested can visit http://www.filmsdivision.org and click @ “Documentary of the Week” or follow FD YouTube Channel to enjoy the rare films on Indian classical music.

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