The genius of Pandit K.G. Ginde’s music

The contribution and influence of the late Pandit K.G. Ginde has been largely acknowledged by the older generation of Hindustani classical followers. A disciple of the renowned Pandit S.N. Ratanjankar, principal of Lucknow’s Marris College of Music, he was associated with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Vallabh Sangeet Vidyalaya in Mumbai.

Musical legacy

In memory of the maestro, who passed away on July 13 1994, the event, ‘Agra Gharane Ka Rang, Bandishon Ke Sang’ is being presented by Omkar Sur Mandal this weekend. Vocalist and musicologist Pandit Yashwant Mahale, who learnt from Ratanjankar and later from Ginde, will release two books published by Sanskar Prakashan. Besides Mahale, his disciples Varada Godbole and Apoorva Gokhale will present traditional compositions of the Agra Gharana, with Swapnil Bhise on tabla and Dhyaneshwar Sonawane on harmonium. Mahale will explain his artistic observations and discuss the aesthetic value of these compositions.

The first book, Agra Gharana – Parampara Aur Bandishen consists of 148 compositions in notation form. It will be presented with an audio CD featuring Mahale, Gokhale, Godbole, Anaya Thatte and Sudhindra Bhowmik. Says Mahale, “I have used a mix of popular and rare compositions, and tried to present a full picture on how they have been traditionally performed.” He has also tried to explain the salient features of the Agra gharana – how it blends dhrupad and dhamaar vocal styles with khayal gayaki, and its emphasis on laya (use of rhythm). “We believe that the raag is the role and the bandish or composition is the dialogue, whether we are referring to a beloved or a king,” he says. For the second book, Raagang Raag Vivechan, Mahale has analysed Ginde’s lecture demonstrations. “This was something Ginde Saab was known for and I have researched them in detail for this book,” he says.

Legendary talent

Originally from Bailhongal in north Karnataka, Ginde, influenced by his father and elder brothers, became a musician at a young age. He became Ratanjankar’s disciple at 11 and stayed with him in Lucknow, learning vocal music from him and his senior disciple Pandit S.C.R. Bhat. Founded by the legendary Pandit V.N. Bhatkhande, Marris College was treated as a pilgrimage centre, attracting students like Bhat, violinist V.G. Jog, composer Chinmoy Lahiri and sitar maestro-vocalist D.T. Joshi. Kumar Gandharva often visited the campus. Once his skills were adequately developed, Ginde began performing for the radio and in music festivals, eventually moving to Mumbai.

Later, Ginde cut down on performances to concentrate on teaching and research. It is said that he could produce 2,000 compositions from memory. When Ginde passed away after a sudden heart attack, having just completed a lecture demonstration in Kolkata, it marked the end of an era.

Agra Gharane Ka Rang, Bandishon Ke Sang will take place on Sunday, March 29 at 10 a.m. at Ravindra Natya Mandir Mini Theatre, Prabhadevi, entry is free for all


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