Indian Musicians 2014

A Miniature Sheet consisting of 8 nos. of commemorative postage stamps on the Indian Musicians :

Indian Musicians [Miniature Sheet]Issued by India

Issued on Sep 3, 2014

Issued for : There have been many maestros who have nurtured Indian classical music and have made its presence felt in the national and international arena. India Post is paying a tribute to such legendary maestros of Indian Classical Music by releasing a set of eight stamps on Indian Musicians.

Picture : The eminent Indian Musicians : Ali Akbar Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, D. K. Pattammal, Gangubai Hangal, Kumar Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Ravi Shankar & Vilayat Khan.

Designed by : Sankha Samanta

Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition

Watermark : No

Colour : Multicoloured

Denomination : 500 Paise (6 stamps) & 2500 Paise (2 stamps)

Printing Process : Wet Offset

Number Printed : 0.5 Million (6 stamps), 0.8 Million (2 stamps), 0.4 Million Miniature sheets & 0.1 Million Sheetlets (each)

Printers : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad

About : 

  • Music has always been an important aspect of Indian life. Classical Music, which is based on ragas, has been the mainstay of the life of the people in the country. Its various forms have been used in movies, music albums, folk songs, etc.
  • Indian Classical Music is of two types – Hindustani and Carnatic music. Hindustani music is mainly found in North India. Khayal and Dhrupad are its two main forms. There is a significant amount of Persian influence in Hindustani music in terms of the instruments, style of presentation and ragas. There is also a rich tradition of Gharanas in classical Hindustani Music. Carnatic music, found mainly in South India, tends to be rhythmically intensive and structured when compared with Hindustani Music.
  • Ali Akbar Khan, also known as Khansahib or Ustad, was a Hindustani classical musician of Maihar gharana, known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. Born on 14th April, 1922 in Comilla, Bangladesh, he was instrumental in popularizing Indian classical music in the West, both as a performer and a teacher. He set up a music school in Calcutta in 1956, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967 in California, USA, with a branch in Basel, Switzerland. He was also a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music in the University of California. Ali Akbar Khan received the Padma Vibhushan in 1989. He passed away on 18th June, 2009 in California, USA.
  • Bhimsen Joshi, a renowned vocalist of Hindustani music, was born on 4th February, 1922 in Gadag, Karnataka. Right from his childhood he was drawn towards music. Starting with his first live performance at the young age of 19 in 1941, Bhimsen Joshi went on to be acclaimed for khayal form of singing and devotional music. He sang for several films and received the National Film Award for Best Playback Singer. A classicist by training and temperament, Bhimsen Joshi was renowned for having evolved an approach that sought to achieve a balance between what may be termed as “traditional values and massculture tastes“, and, as such, he went on to have what is perhaps the largest commercially recorded repertoire in Hindustani vocal music. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1998 and the Bharat Ratna in 2008. He died on 24th January, 2011.
  • Damal Krishnaswamy Pattammal or D. K. Pattammal, a legendary singer of Carnatic Music, was born on 28th March, 1919 in Damal, a village near Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. At the young age of four, Pattammal began rigorous training in music and gained recognition for her singing ability in her teens. She went on to become the first Brahmin woman to sing on stage. The greatest turning point in her career was when she ventured into singing the RagamTanamPallavi, which was then considered the exclusive domain of male singers, and earned her the title Pallavi Pattammal. Pattammal is the first Carnatic singer and probably the only one to have given concerts for 75 years with many international performances. She received many awards with the notable ones being the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. She died on 16th July, 2009.
  • Gangubai Hangal, was born on 5th March, 1913 at Dharwad, Karnataka. She was initiated into music by her mother, Ambabai, who was also an eminent Carnatic singer. At the age of 11, Gangubai Hangal sang the welcome song in the Congress session at Belgaum in 1924 where notable freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were present. Since her first public concert in Mumbai in 1931, Hangal went on to record discs with HMV and appeared in live programmes of All India Radio. She was conferred the Tansen Award in 1984, Padma Bhushan in 1971 and Padma Vibhushan in 2002. She died on 21st July, 2009.
  • Kumar Gandharva, or Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkalimath, a noted Hindustani Classical singer, well known for his unique vocal style, was born on 8th April, 1924 in Belgaum, Karnataka. Kumar Gandharva experimented with other forms of singing such as Nirguni bhajans (Devotional songs), folk songs, and with both ragas and presentation, often going from fast to slow compositions in the same raga. He is remembered for his great legacy of innovation, questioning tradition without rejecting it wholesale, resulting in music in touch with the roots of Indian culture, especially the folk music of Madhya Pradesh. His innovative approach towards music led to the creation of new ragas from combinations of older ragas. The noted singer was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1990. He died on 12th January, 1992.
  • Mallikarjun Mansur, a Hindustani classical singer of the khyal style in the JaipurAtrauli gharana, was born on 31st December, 1910 at Dharwad, Karnataka. He started his music training with Carnatic music and later learnt Hindustani music in which he excelled. Mansur was well known for his command over a large number of rare ragas such as Shuddh Nat, Asa Jogiya, Hem Nat, etc. as well as his constant, mercurial improvisations in both melody and metre without ever losing the emotional content of the song. Gradually he developed his own style of rendition. He wrote an autobiographical book titled Nanna Rasayatre in Kannada. He received the Padma Shri in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 1992. He died on 12th September, 1992.
  • Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro, was born in Varanasi on 7th April, 1920. He spent his youth touring India and Europe with the dance group of his brother, Uday Shankar. Thus he was exposed to both Indian and Western dance and music. He gave up dancing in 1938 to learn sitar. After completion of his studies in 1944, he worked as a composer for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi from 1949 to 1956. In 1956, he began his tour of Europe and America and popularized Indian classical music through teaching, performances and by associating with the violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, and Beatles guitarist, George Harrison. Ravi Shankar served as a nominated Member of Rajya Sabha from 1986-1992. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1999. This exponent of sitar continued to perform till his death on 11th December, 2012.
  • Vilayat Khan, was born on 28th August, 1928 in Gauripur, British India to Enayat Khan, a sitar maestro. He was one of the great pioneers of Indian classical music who introduced the music to the West along with Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan and others. He recorded his first 78-RPM disc at the age of 8, and gave his last concert in 2004 at the age of 75. Though he was awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, he refused to accept it. He died on 13th March, 2004.
  • Text: Based on the material provided by Sangeet Natak Akademi and Internet.

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