Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gopal Nayak and Amir Khusrau

Amir Khusro’s putative associations with the Tarana run much deeper. One of the most persistent legends of Hindustani music relates to the encounter between Amir Khusro, who was then associated with the court of emperor Allauddin Khilji, and Gopal Nayak, court-musician to the king of Devagiri. Allauddin commanded Gopal Nayak to present the Raga Kadambak for six evenings running. During the entire performance, Khusro lay concealed under the emperor’s throne, and stealthily absorbed all that the Nayak had sung. On the seventh day, he astonished everyone present in the court by reproducing all that Gopal Nayak had presented. However, since he couldn’t follow the Nayak’s language, he substituted the text of the compositions with meaningless syllables. And that is how the Tarana was born!

(Willard 1834: 121)


bohotkhoob said...

Gopal Nayak, according to one tradition, presented the Geet Govind. Khusrau prepared his response in the form of Qaul Qalbana which he did not present himself, but through 12 young students, the original Qawwal Bachche.

The above video of the original andaaz of Geet Govind and the following Qaul Qalbana is from a recital in Delhin and is followed by an interview with Abu Muhammad.

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