Why I feel Gurmat Sangeet is Important…

October 28, 2005

Gur Fateh!

This week has been rather hectic..with all the deadlines just round the corner the coming few weeks are going to be as hectic if not worse.

Today I plan to write about why I feel Gurmat Sangeet is important and its traditions. The reason I am writing is every now and then people ask me what is so special about gurmat sangeet.

However, before I go on to talk about gurmat sangeet I will like to ask you to watch out for this space as soon I will be posting an article written by Amardeep Jee on diwali/bandhi choor. I might add a paragraph or too to it. The findings, I am sure will shock most if not all my readers.

I have been listening to Kirtan done as per traditions of Gurmat Sangeet for over a year now. And I must say it really helps to understand Gurbani better. By understanding I mean understanding the underlying meaning(s) not living by those teachings. Living by those teachings is simple yet very difficult as your interpretation changes with time. As you divulge deeper you interpret things differently.

You may ask why gurmat sangeet, we can read pothis and understand it. Also why cant we get this from the normal kirtan we hear in the gurudawara sahib on a regular basis. The reason is simple. In Pothis you will read translations/ explaination and this surely helps us understand gurbani better but most of us don’t really get down to doing that. Also unfortunately today a lot of kirtaneeyas do not use the Raho line as the chorus and this leads to an incorrect interpretation of the shabad. When a shabad isung, the raho line is the chorus. Raho line is the main theme of the shabad so the main theme gets re- enforced. In addition kirtan done by puritan kirtaneeyas, they explain the meanings of some of the words used in the shabad so it becomes easier to understand the shabd. Also they explain the tradition behind how they are singing. Right now I do not know the importance of this tradition but I am sure I will understand with time.

In the earlier days when our gurus were in the human form the kirtan diwan followed a particular order:

Dandot Bandan or Mangal Charan
Dhrupad/Vilambit
Chota/Bara Khyal
End with a Pauri
Anand Sahib( if its the end of the diwan and degh and fresh degh is prepared)

Dhrupad Vilambit and Khyal are different styles of singing. They were prevalent during the times of our gurus. Right now I do not really understand the importance of singing in these styles but I am sure with time I will understand some time in the future.

Initially when I stared listening to Kirtan done as per traditions of Gurmat Sangeet I just let the kirtan play in my room for about 1 week just to get used to the voice of the Kirtaneeyas and their style of doing kirtan and it was not too long before I developed a liking for it.
Some good website to download and read about gurmat sangeet please visit the following links

www.gurmatsangeetproject.com
Look around on the website and you may want to begin by downloading the kirtan done by Dharam Singh Zakhmi jee

Bhai Avtar Singh Jee is good as well but his style of singing is more classical.

www.musicalframewrok.blogspot.com
has articles written by Amardeep Jee on Gurmat Sangeet.

www.bhaibaldeepsingh.com
Bhai Baldeep Singh is he the grand nephew of Bhai Avtar Singh and has done a lot to preserve the traditions of Gurmat Sangeet

You can also scroll down on my blog and download the shabads on Dhrupad and Alaniyah. I will remove these shabads on Monday 0000GMT in order to put up more shabads.

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