Musicopedia >> History >> Modern Bengali Music: Changing Trends
Modern Bengali Music: Changing Trends
Evolution
Indian music is one of the most profuse in the universe. It has several groups in classical, semi-classical, devotional, popular & even, fusion. With particular regard to Bengali music, the music of Calcutta (now, Kolkata) goes back to the early nineteenth century, when it achieved its earliest official and accepted expression thanks to Ramnidhi Gupta. Moreover Bangla urban music was enhanced by innumerable melodies from the Bengali stage and also flourished in the several minor styles like Baithaki or Kabigann sung chiefly during festivals and pujas. Musical prodigies like Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore) and Dwijendralal Roy grew to eminence in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The 1930s saw the emergence of the extended tradition of Bangla Adhunik Gaan (Bengali Modern Songs); recital and presentation wise they were mainly solo attempts where a specific singer influenced and contolled the uncompromising reverence of the people . This movement was unbroken well into the 1970s. During this period of modern Bangla music, the music of Salil Chowdhury had the most distinctive and significant impact on urban citizens . His songs comprised a new sub-genre of ‘Ganna-Sangeet’ (public songs) and were scripted at the dawn of the left-wing cultural revolution in the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of 1970s, following generations settled in the era of modernity started a quest for a music which they could possibly associate with; a new musical expression which could endeavour to state their dreams and disappointments, articulate current socio-cultural circumstances. A new group emerged on the scene, called Moheener Ghoraguli (Moheen’s Horses), and made the Initial effort to convey this in their musical venture when they profuced their first disc – ‘Sangbigna Pakhikul o Kolkata Bishayak’ (Ruffled feathers and of Kolkata) in 1977. Audiences and press were not ready to acknowledge such a trial, and the band & its founder Gautam Chattopadhyay slipped into oblivion.The advent of Suman Chattopadhyay in the early 1990s revitalised the fondness for analytical Bangla modern melodies – a single instrument and potent lyrics. The triumph of Suman’s songs witnessed others chasing success. In the middle of all this , Bangla rock surfaced as the power of the Bengali youth, talking about their hopes and sorrows, about their everyday conflicts wins and defeats, and above all establishing a personality other than and way from the general one. This materialisation of rock music glimpsed the dawn of Bangla Bands. In Kolkata, currently there exist about twenty Bangla bands who have produced albums. Bands like Bhoomi, Chandrabindoo, Krosswindz, Cactus, the now-defunct Parash Pather and Fossils are recording album sales in of over 20000 copies. The Bengali tunes sung by these bands were either interpretations or variations, but the craze has now shifted towards singing of Bengali rock songs. Presently Bangla bands are topping world music charts.

Trends
While Rabindranath Tagore bequeathed the lively legacy of Rabindra-Sangeet, Dwijendralal Roy is well known his nationalistic masterpieces, but both of them roke new ground with the treatment of western musical styles combined with folk music features in Bangla songs. In the 1930s, the growth of the craze of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen and their romantic films fortified the style of Bangla Adhunik Gaan where love was the foundation of all existence, all manifestation. Radio also performed a role in the rising fame of singers and their tunes. The year 1992 witnessed the beginning of satellite channel in India and global music was no longer an extraneous force but became a piece of Bengali drawing room dialogue.

Major Artists
Ramnidhi Gupta ,Rabindranath Thakur ,Dwijendralal Roy ,Salil Chowdhury ,Moheener Ghoraguli ,Gautam Chattopadhyay ,Suman Chattopadhyay ,Bhoomi ,Chandrabindoo ,Krosswindz ,Cactus ,Parash Pather ,Fossils,Nachiketa Chakrabarti ,Anjan Dutta ,Pratul Mukhopadhyay ,Ranjan Prasad

Genre
Bangla Urban,Baithaki ,Kabigann ,Bangla Adhunik ,Urban Folk,Ganna – Sangeet,Bangla Rock

Trivia
o    To this day, Ramnidhi Gupta’s Bengali songs are frequently alluded to as ‘Nidhubabur Toppa’ (Nidhubabu’s Toppa), and are related with what can be called Purano Kolkatar Gaan (the songs of Old Calcutta).  

o    It is a vital triumph that of all the Bangla bands, Bhoomi has been successful in enlarging the audience of Bangla Band’s urban music beyond the college campus and youth circuits into the mature listeners.