An Obscure Genre: Comic Verse About Indian Classical Music, part 1.

“Intonational Variation in Oral Tradition — or, Tutti Shruti”

In bygone days in India, the emperor Akbar
Had in his court a singer who was known both near and far.

He had a wondrous repertoire, there was no doubt of that —
But every note in every raga came out slightly flat.

Because his voice was out of tune, they called him Besur Khan,
He founded a tradition, so his gayaki lives on.

For he had some disciples, and they disciples too —
And all of them sing ragas in a loud, discordant moo.

And if you ask them nowadays, “why do you sing so flat?”
They’ll say, “it’s our gharana.”
That’s all there is to that.

I wish the various exigencies of our lives permitted us to exchange badinage in person more often, Surajit. I like the way you think.

23 Mar 2017, 5:08pm
by Surajit Bose

Well Warren what with my first name, my location (Frisco Bay Area), and my singing abilities, my life’s dream is to open a school of Indian music called BaySur.


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