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Gurmatt Sangeet Compositions

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I have been searching the internet and various libararies (public and Universities )for Guramt Sangeet compositions in raags. Very little published information found to date.

Can anyone help ?

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I have been searching the internet and various libararies (public and Universities )for Guramt Sangeet compositions in raags. Very little published information found to date.

Can anyone help ?

Found couple of beginners shabads from website :- Gurmatt Sangeet Project

Example Shabad: Jagat Jot Japai Nis Basur Raga Ahir Bhairav Taal : Tintaal

X

Sthaiye D N SM SM N D P M G _ G M R R S S

NH NH DH DH S S S S G _ G M R R S S

Antra M _ M M D D N D SM SM N D RM RM SM SM

RM RM RM RM SM SM SM SM N D P M R R S S

Applying the Notation to the Text

X

Sthaiye D N SM SM N D P M G _ G M R R S S

Ja Aa Ga Ta Jo Oh Ta Ja Pai Ai Ni Sa Ba Aa Su Ra

NH NH DH DH S S S S G _ G M R R S S

Eh Eh Ka Bi Na Ah Ma Na Nai Ai Ka Na Aa Ah Nai Ai

Antra M _ M M D D N D SM SM N D RM RM SM SM

Pu Oo Ra Na Pre Eh Ma Pra Tee Ee Ta Sa Jai Ai (Bra Ta)1

RM RM RM RM SM SM SM SM N D P M R R S S

Go Oh Rha Ma Rhi Ee Ma Tha Bhu Uu La Na Ma Aa Nai Ai

Note 1 The words (Bra Ta) appear in parentheses as they are to be sung when the line is repeated ; they are not to be sung

When the line is sung the first time. Please note that they actually 'belong' to the next line; however, since there are

too many syllables in the next line to fit the available sixteen beats, the word (Bra Ta), occupying two beats is in effect,

pulled in' into the previous line. Please refer to the recording and listen to the first antra carefully for furether clarification

Still searching the Internet and other sources for good quality shabads with Notations and compositions to share with sangat keen to learn Gurmat Sangeet(vocal and tanti saaj).

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Ideally if you have learnt gurmat sangeet from an experienced teacher, u don't need notations. You can easily listen to and memorise kirtan done in raag and even compose your own. If you want quality notations then buy the books by bhai Avtar Singh and Dr Gurnam Singh.

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Hello Shaheediyan,

Many thanks for the information. I will try DTF, if they stock these books..

I got interested in learning tanti saaz, when visiting local gurudwara and heard Raj Academy performing shabads in Gurmatt Sangeet. It was totally mind-blowing.

After the performance, Prof. Surrinder lectured on Sikh music traditions and how they were being lost to popular bollywood tunes.

A workshop was held by Raj Academy and I went along to get further information. My knowledge of Kirtan, Raags, Tanti Saaz was zero. Complete beginner - armchair listener.

The workshop was factual and inspirational, we also got to hold tanti saaz for first time (dilruba, Taus, Saranda ).

Prof JI explained in more detail the declining Sikh music heritage and how they were reviving the art for mainstream public.

The added advantage of learning with Raj Academy was the possibility of gaining a recognised qualification from Thames Valley University in Sikh Musicology.

To get a Sikh musicology course (foundation to Phd level) accredited at a British University was a tremendous achievement by Prof Ji.

Several of the attendees at the workshop enrolled onto the foundation degree course, including myself. We all paid our fees and bought instrument of our choice.

The classes tutored by Ranbir singh were superb. We followed both the theory and practical parts of the syllabus. We were give compositions to learn in order to sing and play correctly our chosen instruments. Three ingredients were needed to ensure success in learning. 1) Dedication 2) Motivation and 3)Practise. He drilled into us the need to practise, practise and practise.

The first year soon ended and everybody had passed foundation 1st year.

We were all looking forward to the second year.

It was during this time, the University had announced increases in all course fees.

Raj Academy informed us they had no option, but to also increase their courses fees. This increase was unacceptable to everybody on the course, and the course was withdrawn.

Raj Academy offered Outreach program (DVD) as an option, but we all felt the need of visible hands-on tutor for teaching purposes. Also, the cost of this alternative was beyond most of the students.

I continue to practise what we had learned from Ranbir Singh.

Tried to learn shabads, by listening to kirtan done in raags by various raggis, but it is not so easy for semi beginner.

The Gurmatt sangeet project have few basic compositions posted on their website, which I found to be good source of self-development.

Number of trained Tanti Saaz players are very few in our Sikh temples. Need exisits to increase awareness and assistance.

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RaajK

Good post , It is very difficult to find a good teacher who will tell you about the raags and their compositions , simple because they dont know , not willing to share the info , or very rare to find.

Hopefully one day , the gurudawara so called committees will keep hold of good Gurmat Sangeet Teachers , and provide the necessary funding to keep the classes running , as its the sangat who request these classes , but no one listens .

If anyone knows of good teachers willing to teach tannti saag ( like Raaj Academy as Raajk has pointed out) on a regular and comitted level please let us know , we will get the sanagat interested and approach the Gurudawara comittee .

Other than that veer ji , just keep googling B)B) , you might stumble on something that your after.

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Gur Fateh Ji

I have some simple suggestions for those interested in learning to do Gurbani Kirtan.

First of all one must realize that the most important aspect of Gurbani Kirtan is Singing Gurbani. All others aspects of Kirtan are secondary to this.

Those having interest and desire to learn doing Gurbani Kirtan should always strive to learn Vocal Music first. Indian Classical Music is the foundation to Vocal Music for Gurbnai Singing.

One must spend as much time and effort to learn and train in Raags. Those who do this, doing Raag based Gurbani Kirtan becomes very easy and real joy for ever.

To learn Raags and Indian Classical Music one can take help of non Sikh musicians. There is big shortage of Sikh teachers of Classical Music.

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There are actually quite a few good raag/tanti saaz teachers around the uk, its just that they are localised and not well promoted (due to lack of demand). In the midlands there is H S Lallie, in London bhai Amerjit Singh Nanaksar, Seatle Singh Sitara etc, there are many.

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Manbir,

Great suggestion!, Can you recommend any good teachers ( Sikh or non-sikhs ) who know about Raags of Guru Granth sahib Ji or Gurbani?

DSG

My experiences so far bear out your comments, regarding Kirtani’s motivation and ability to teach.

I had approached a talented Gurbani kirtani His vocal range was phenomenal. He had trained in India and his ability to sing in raags was above average.

Decided to go private and learn from him, but soon discovered his teaching ability was ZERO. I don’t think he had any idea on how to manage a class or organise a structured method of teaching Gurmatt Sangeet.

After a couple of months teaching the Sa, Re Ga Ma Pa Da Ne scales, he ran out of teaching material. When confronted with questions , his answer was ‘Don’t need to worry, I teach you everything’.

It felt he was simply looking forward each week to payment of tuition fees. Sorry to say, but out of frustration, decided to terminate his services.

I understand Gurmat Sangeet takes dedication and time to learn and prepared to put the effort and time to learn it the correct way. Sorry to say, today the Sikh Panth have many issues with kirtani’s who have set times and hourly rates to teach kirtan.

Shaheedyian,

You are right, good teachers who know Gurmatt Sangeet are very localised and difficult to find, particularly in U.K. I had made contact with the famous Sarangi player and he politely referred me to some unknown teacher. (I think it was one of his students). It felt as if I needed to be at a certain level in my playing and singing abilities, before he was willing to put personal time or effort to teach. ‘’ Catch twenty two comes to mind’’.

If it’s possible to achieve professional qualifications from studying at home, surely with the aid of Technology, it should possible to teach Gurmatt sangeet anywhere in the world, supported by qualified Gurmatt Sangeet teachers !!

The Outreach program devised by Raj Academy fits these requirements very well and appears to be a fantastic learning tool. The only drawback is the cost. In my opinion it is too expensive !!

Also, why does it seem that the Gurudwara Committees do not want to sponsor or fund organisations or individuals who genuinely want to preserve the rich heritage of Gurmatt Sangeet for future generations ?

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I find that many among us who want to learn Gurbani Singing are not taking the proper process to learn it.

No one realizes a Simple fact that learning Gurmat Sangeet should be a Post Graduate Course ! And I find that young boys and girls who have a desire to do good Gurbani Kirtan are being put into it as a beginner.

I feel that those who are desirous of Learning Proper Gurbani Kirtan should first get into the process of learning Indian Classical Music which is a base on which all the music of Indian sub continent stands on. Only after a proper basic training of Indian Classical Music a Sikh should take up the learning of Gurmat Sangeet.

One fact s student of Music should always understand and that is Sangeet is not about learning so many Raags. Its not how many Raags you have learned. It is about how much you have learned the intricacies of music. And how much of music you have ingrained in yourself.

Another very important thing to understand is that: There are two things in Music. Learning Vocal and Learning Instrumental. Two are different. First decide what is your aptitude. You want to learn Vocal Music or you want to learn instrumental Music !

If you want to really learn set you priorities clear from the beginning.

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Gurmat sangeet is simply a spiritual element within the wider shaastri sangeet. They need not be seperate things learnt seperately. Traditionally kirtan was all sung in nirdaareth raags, so the issue of having to learn classical music seperately was and still is a non issue if the teacher has correct vidya over gurbani raag. Saaz, taal and vocal are also not seperate issues. A kirtani needs to have vidya over all 3 elements irrelevant of his/her specialty. Anyone who learns vocal learns vaaja to help with sur gyaan, why? Why not learn a tanti saaz instead from the outset, as was done traditionally? Learning just vocal or saaz is not sikh rvaaj, it was a darbaari sangeet innovation, entertainment based. Kirtan is a different ballgame. A perfect and most famous example of the old Sikh norm was Baba Shaam Singh Ji Sevapanthi, who was an expert in saranda, vocals and taal.

The outreach programme is good, but it is important to ensure this is supplemented with fortnightly face to face learning (at the very least).

Re cost, can you put a value on kirtan or sikhi, in my experience people can. Whilst there is no issue buying designer clothes, big houses, flash cars, holidays etc, when it comes to sikhi our people magically seem to become poor.

On one hand we complain about low quality sikh services, then when some of us dedicate years to learning in order to teach professionally and make a living doing so (in order to dedicate 100 percent time) we complain about cost. If we paid good money for quality sikh services, maybe more intelligent/talented youth would consider making a dedicated career out of sikhi. Its because of this free sikhi attitude that the quality of parchaar and kirtan is so low today.

Not having a go, just giving food for thought.

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shaheediyan ji,

I would beg to defer with you. Your logic is not producing any good Kirtanias and it would never. One can not take out Indian Classical Music from Gurmat Sangeet. How kirtanias were trained in the past, no one knows. I do not know and you do not know. By doing imaginary talks we do not land anywhere.

And vajja is no instrument. Tantisajs are full fledged instruments.

See around carefully and you wont find someone who is doing good singing and playing a tantisaj equally well. See it carefully and you'll know what I mean.

Sorry if it hurts someone. But facts are all showing. By closing our eyes we do not gain anything. We just can not rewrite the basics of Music just to suite our logic.

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Manbir Ji,

You have misunderstood me, I have not differentiated shaastri sangeet from Gurmat sangeet - I have said one falls under the other - they intrinsically linked.

Legends like Baba Shaam Singh, Bhai Jvala Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh, many Namdhari Kirtaniyai, Almast Ji, traditional rababi tradition etc defunk your theory that to be quality suffers if one is a musician and singer. Gurmat Sangeet is much more powerful than Darbari sangeet, as the famous story of Swami Hardas and Tansen shows.

Also, no one is doing imaginery talks - I have been involved in study and research with Raj Academy which hs spoken to many famous kirtaniyai with long lineages - and Bhai Baldeep Singh with his excellent research can show the same conclusion.

The recent innovation of Sikhs having to learn shaastri sangeet from Hindustani classical artists due to loss of knowledge in the Panth should not be used as a basis for re-writing tradition - which can clearly be established though existing exponents with kirtani lineages.

Dhanvaad.

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Yes, Shashtriya Sangeet is intrinsically linked with Gurmat Sangeet. One can not develop on Gurmat Sangeet without the base of Shashtriay Sangeet. That is why I say that those interested in doing good Gurbani Kirtan need to develop themselves upon Indian Classical Music.

The examples you gave clearly prove my view point. We all know of Bhai Avtar Singh who used harmonium through out his life to do Kirtan. And who says Tansen and Haridas needed an instrument to Sing ! Yes, Music as an instrument of devotion is always superior to Music for entertainment.

Clearly, if we want our children to learn Kirtan they have to develop Vocal Singing and their is no substitutive to that, and they do not need to have to learn an instrument to learn vocal. The Best is learn to sing with Tanpura.

Throughout ages Vocalists used Tanpura for singing. We are confusing ourselves and our children by suggesting that Kirtan or Vocal singing has to be done with an instrument. It was always Tanpura and not any instrument that was used for singing. String Instruments or for that matter any other instrument was/is used as an accompaniments.

Mind you, Instruments do not do Gurbani Kirtan. Its the Human being that prays. Instruments are only part of environment.

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Bhai Sahib, Bhai Avtar Singh and his famous Father and lineage before him, used the Taus to perform kirtan. Bhai Avtar Singh started using the vaja when he was a little older. Later in his life he reverted back to Taus. Bhai Baljeet Singh and Gurmeet Singh are another great example. I my self learnt to sing and play the saranda and sarangi at the same time, its a business myth that you cant learn both, as I said, gurmat and shaaatri sangeet are connected, but their purpose and execution (and rvaaj) differ, having taught on this subject I can provide you with many examples. Going right back to the start, Bhai Mardanas kul played rabab and sang kirtan, this was always the case until early 1900s when vaja was introduced.

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shaheediyan ji your information is not totally correct.

Bhai Avtar Singh was born in 1925. All through out, he and his elder brother Bhai Gurcharan Singh used harmonium. Its only after 2000 that Bhai Avtar Singh took up Taus and Harmonium continued to remain part of his jatha.

And you are giving example of Bhai Avtar Singh to youngsters and want them to do Kirtan with String instruments !!

We need to be more serious and thoughtful. Personal or some individual choices should not be forced as a rule. It wont stand the test of time.

The purpose of Gurbani Kirtan is Singing Guru's Bani. If done as per Nirdharit Raags, nothing like it. Instruments or no instruments, does not matter.

Lets not make Musical Instruments more important than Kirtan itself. We should encourage the use of Tantisajs because their sound effect gives a very positive ambiance to Gurbani Kirtan.

For Music, every individual is different. Some have inclination towards Vocal and some have towards Instrumental Music. Those who are inclined to instrumental music should be encouraged to learn Tantisajs and excel in it. Good players of Taus or Dilruba etc can add to the beauty of Gurbani Kirtan tremendously.

Bhul Chuk Maaf

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some very good points ... food for thought B)

The issue / challenge in my personal experience is how would one know where to start from ?

A novice like myself have been to several teachers , they simply give you a shabad and tell you to practice at home , to me as a starter thats great , i get material , i get to play an instrument , i get to sing and play a composition .

BUT

is that the correct way , when Raaj Academy did a workshop , telling the sangat they would teach us about taanti saaj and most importantly to me , about raags i thought great , finally there is light .... but sadly due to cost it all fizzled out

Re cost, can you put a value on kirtan or sikhi, in my experience people can. Whilst there is no issue buying designer clothes, big houses, flash cars, holidays etc, when it comes to sikhi our people magically seem to become poor.

Shaheediyan although i agree with what you write there is a BUT

The sangat have already contributed and still are contributing millions of pounds towards our Gurudawaras approx 300 gurudawras in the uk ... do they not say without the sangats blessing it would not be possible ?

Then why cant the sangat utilise the multi million pound Gurudawaras and get good musicians to teach at there Gurudawaras , have vocal and tanati saaj classes , tell the sangat about raags etc., and give payment to the musicians .

We can only go by peoples experiences , Shaheediyan and Mabir you seem well versed in Gurmat Sangeet , would you be willing or know of any one willing to have a regular class at local Gurudawaras

( BTW ... I think i can see the light :D:D:D )

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I never said saaj were more important than singing - its not a matter of choosing one over the other, Gurus kirtaniye have always excelled at both. Its common knowledge that Bhai Avtar Singh took up the Taus 'again' after many decades of playing vaja. They already knew how to play it, they didn't learn it from scratch in their old age. Rather than arguing with me, ask their son or grand nephew. Saaj help us to keep sur during kirtan, as well as em embellishing/beautifying the kirtan. The reason we promote tanti saaj is to promote/honor Gurus inventions/gift/ravaaj.

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Don't worry about saving the Panth, focus on yourself 1st, get a good education. Buy the books I mentioned so you have the 'regulative' framework for Gurbani raags. Then its just a matter of learning 1 raag correctly i.e rules for ascentt/descent, key notes (vadi, samvadi, niyas etc), alaap creation, rules for saptaks etc. Once you learn 1 raag correctly, you can easily learn the 2nd, 3rd etc as you have an understanding of the principles. Then its just a matter of applying those principles to the next raag whilst respecting its unique nature.

If you can't find a Sikh gurdev, then learn from a Muslim or Hindu one, the basic rules for learning raag, vocals, saaj and taal are the same as shaastri sangeet, its just the execution that is different.

Where are you based, I may be able to suggest someone, pm me if you like.

Personally, of I was in your shoes and kirtan was my priority, I would do whatever it took to learn from our living treasures i.e bhai Balbir Singh, bhai Gurmeet Singh Shant. Amrik Singh Zakhmi, bhai Gurmeet Singh Namdhar, Dr Gurnaam Singh, Prof Kartar Singh, Bhai Nirmal Singh etc just to name a few. Boston is perfectly outstanding example (albeit unique, sadly) of an intelligent sangat who pay world class ragis to come and teach their youngsters.

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some very good points ... food for thought B)

The issue / challenge in my personal experience is how would one know where to start from ?

A novice like myself have been to several teachers , they simply give you a shabad and tell you to practice at home , to me as a starter thats great , i get material , i get to play an instrument , i get to sing and play a composition .

BUT

is that the correct way , when Raaj Academy did a workshop , telling the sangat they would teach us about taanti saaj and most importantly to me , about raags i thought great , finally there is light .... but sadly due to cost it all fizzled out

Learning Sangeet is not about how many Raags you have learnt. Beginners who start learning Shabad compositions from the start reach not very far. For those who want to learn Gurbani Kirtan and want to do Good Singing in future, should always put in effort to develop their Vocal. Those who spend time and effort to develop Vocal Capabilities see the reward in a couple of years. Sur rayaz, Aalap practice, Alankar practice give rich dividends. For those who are Strong in their Basics of Vocals adding Numbers of Raags to their repertoire is a child's play.

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Another thing.

For those who want to learn real good music, Cost is never a hindrance. For Learning Music the Cost is to be paid Not in the form of $ rather you need to Pay in the form of TIME & Effort. Remember great musicians spent their whole Life learning Music.

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Shaheediyan thank you for the information I will try to find & purchase the books you recommended and hopefully with Gods grace , get back on track , I am based in Birmingham .

Manbir , thank you as well , some very good suggestions .

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Sorry forgot one thing

In Boston , are the sangat part of an organisation ? or do the Gurudawaras listen to the sangat ?

I have come across world class renound tabla players like , Ustaad Tari Khan , ustaad Yohesh Samsi doing performances in the uk , and then the organisers hold work shops so that , tabla players can learn from these maestros.

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