Persian poems and listless love songs

Most people who enjoy listening to Ghazals aren’t aware of the intricacies of its poetic form, believes Dr Suvarnalata Rao, head, programming for Indian music. The final sessions of NCPA’s series on musical reflections, Sangit Chintan, aim to introduce enthusiasts to the finer details of this semi-classical genre of the Urdu literary tradition as well as the Sufistic Qawwali.

Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan

The Ghazal workshop (“for a lack of a better term,” explains Rao) will include a talk by renowned performer Rajendra Mehta, who has been associated with the genre for over 50 years. “The idea is to reflect upon this semi-classical form of music with the help of experts,” says Rao, who realises that much of the session is likely to be a bit technical.

“But it is still a good initiation for beginners who are able to appreciate the beautiful poetry and aren’t aware of the details,” she adds. The Sangit Chintan series, which involves instructive and interactive sessions on the various aspects of Indian music, concludes with a session on the Qawwali and its allied forms. “Classical singer Iqbal Ahmad Khan will conduct the session. He comes from a family who has taken keen interest in the Qawwali,” reveals Rao. Khan is also considered to be an active promoter of Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s musical works.

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