Indian classical music is one of the ancient musical traditions in the world which evolved with respect to numerous regional styles and folk traditions. It got its birth from the hymns which were present in the Vedas.
Before the 13th century, India’s music was more or less homogeneous. However, it later developed into the two musical system; the Hindustani and the Carnatic.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.Plato
Indian classical musicians and vocalists have helped to popularise Indian music throughout the world. Since the dawn of time, people have been practising the skill of classical singing.
While this part of the world has seen hundreds of singing legends, we, at Podium School have managed to handpick some of the finest classical singers of all time for you.
5 Most Popular Indian Classical Singers Of All Times
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
the Indian classical music singer Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi of Karnataka was one of India’s most talented and inspirational vocalists. He became well-known for his mastery of the Khayal, a Hindustani classical music genre, as well as his presentation of devotional music. He was born on February 4, 1922, in the Dharwad area of Karnataka, the oldest of 16 siblings.
Joshi has been enthralled by the compelling melodies of Indian Classical music since he was a child. He began his musical study under Inayat Khan’s student Agasara Channappa, a seasoned vocalist. He went on to acquire a variety of additional genres and techniques from a variety of tutors after that. Pandit Ji’s versatility also allowed him to transition seamlessly from classical to abhang, natyageet, semi-classical, and even playback singing.
Padma Shri (1972), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani Vocal Music (1975), Padma Bhushan (1985), Madhya Pradesh’s “Tansen Samman” in 1992, and India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, were among the honours bestowed upon him (2008).
Joshi’s powerful vocals, adaptability, and ability to transition effortlessly from the most difficult parts of a melody set him apart from other classical singers of his generation.
M. S. Subbulakshmi
MS Subbulakshmi is a name that is well-known in the Carnatic music industry. Her performances enchanted the audience, transporting them to a another world. On September 19, 1916, Subbulakshmi was born in Madurai. This traditional vocalist came from a long line of singers. Her voice, though, drips in milk and honey, and she shone brightest of all.
Subbulakshmi began her musical career at a young age. When she was ten years old, she made her first performance on stage and recorded her first song. She was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Carnatic music with various awards. MS Subbulakshmi received India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1998.
She was also the first Indian woman to earn the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. Subbulakshmi, affectionately known as M.S by her devotees, was a true pioneer in the field of women’s emancipation. Similarly, she set an example for women of her time by leading by example.
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
In Indian classical music, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan is a well-known and respected figure. He was a Hindustani classical vocalist from Patiala in India. In 1902, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born in Kasur, British India, in the former Punjab Province. Bade Ghulam began vocal music training from his chacha Kale Khan at the age of five, and then from his father.
The Ustad was noted for mastering the skill of perfecting music while keeping in mind the audience in front of whom he performed majestically. He avoided singing in films for a long time, despite appeals and persuasions from well-known producers and music directors.
Ustad Ji was also regarded as the twentieth-century Tansen. Many significant accolades were bestowed to him, including the Padma Bhushan in 1962. In his brief career, this brilliant musician made a significant contribution to Hindustani classical music.
Indian classical singer Girija Devi represents the peak of perfection in the world of thumri, a popular type of Hindustani classical music vocal melody. She was born on May 8, 1929, in Varanasi, and began learning Khayal and Tappa at the age of five.
Girija Devi’s first teacher was Sarju Prasad Misra. She also made her debut public appearance on All India Radio Allahabad in 1949. Swimming in its waters, fishing in its waters, and playing on its banks as a child were among the singer’s many memories of the sacred river Ganga.
Throughout her career, Girija Devi received numerous major accolades, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and Sangeet Natak Fellowship Award.
Girija Devi’s passion for classical music and dedication to it led her to success.
Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna
One of the most well-known names in Classical Carnatic Music is Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. Balamuralikrishna was born in Sankaraguptam, present-day Andhra Pradesh, on October 6, 1930.
He began performing musical concerts when he was five years old. When he was eight years old, he performed a captivating recital at Vijayawada’s renowned Thyagaraja Aradhana. His remarkable voice quickly gained him notoriety and acclaim.
He also knows how to play the violin, viola, khanjira, and veena. For his contributions to two films, he received two National Film Awards (1976, 1987), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1975, and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, in 1991 to name a few.
These Indian Classical Music heroes not only cultivated a passion for the diverse Ragas, Khayals, and Tappas, but they also catapulted the dynamic Indian Classical genre to its pinnacle of popularity. Podium School salutes them and hopes that the next generation of young artist take their stories of legacy as a token of inspiration.
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