Often, vocal compositions have crossed barriers of gharanas or stylistic lineages, but there are some that have even entered the concert repertoire of vocalists following different genres of music.  One cannot be sure if these vocalists incorporated such compositions because they were drawn to them aesthetically, or if they wanted to add variety to their repertoire, or still further if they wished to prove that they could even sing classical compositions.  Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that these compositions have a perennial quality.

One such composition is the famous thumri in raag Bhairavi, Baaju Band Khula Khula Jaaee.  Vocalists have rendered this thumri in different taals, but the melodic line has remained the same.  The most iconic presentations of this thumri have been those of Faiyaz Khan of the Agra-Atrauli lineage and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan who popularised the Patiala gayaki or style.

Faiyaz Khan 

This track features Faiyaz Khan of the Agra gharana. He sings this thumri in the 16-count Addha taal, but quickens the pace later to move to Teentaal, also a 16 matra taal.  Listeners will notice Faiyaz Khan’s characteristic play with the words, at times gradual and at other times rushing in to meet the sam or the first matra of the time-cycle. The quickened pace displays a variety of taans and metrical play of the words.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s presentation set to the fourteen matra Deepchandi taal is replete with languorous melodic phrases but with equally unpredictable turns.

Bhimsen Joshi

We conclude with the same thumri sung by Bhimsen Joshi. He is accompanied on harmonium by Purushottam Walawalkar and on tabla by Bharat Kamat.

Next week, we will hear other vocalists sing this thumri.