Pandit Radhavallabh Chaturvedi


Early Life & Education:

Music composer Pt. Radhavallabh Chaturvedi was born on 12 January 1917 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. He was a man of rebellious nature who never believed in stereotypes. That is why, at the age of 18, taking a pledge to practice music, he left his home. The further story of his life is related to Lucknow. Here he completed his music education, and due to his talent, he made this city his land of action (karmabhoomi) also. He was equally well versed in light music, folk music and classical music.

His Music Career:

After receiving the degree of Sangeet Visharad from Bhatkhande Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Lucknow in the year 1940, he was appointed as a Folk Musician in Akashvani Lucknow in 1942. He discovered rare folklore and folk songs from remote rural areas and also preserved them by registering their musical score.

His Books:

Pt. Radhavallabh Chaturvedi keeping in mind classical music and its complexity wrote an easily accessible and authentic book Sa Re Ga Ma on the basic principles of classical music so that the book reaches even those people whom he could not reach out to personally. In the book, he has summarized the elements of classical music that make classical music what it is, in easy language and in an effortless manner.
So Sa Re Ga Ma can also be said to be a primer of classical music. The book covers everything from the origin of naada, swar i.e. tune, octave or saptak, shruti, aalap, taan, murki, time division of ragas, origin of ragas, comparative study of North Indian and Carnatic music, singing styles prevalent in music, interpretation of major ragas, major rhythms and the various tonal patterns of North Indian classical music, a brief history of Indian classical music and biographies of prominent music personalities.
In one of the chapters Panditji has outlined the challenges, problems and possible efforts for the development of particular areas in the cultural and artistic fields in post-independence India. Not only students of music, but also the music enthusiasts will be impressed by the book.
Pt. Radhavallabh Chaturvedi was a master singer of the genres like Dhrupad, Dhamar, Khayal, Thumri, Ghazal, etc., but his understanding and command in the field of folk songs is unanimous and unquestioned.
Panditji’s book Unchi Atariya Rang Bhari has a collection of 106 folk songs of various types including Sariya, Sohar, Mundan, Tona, Jevanar, Vidai, Chakia, Panaghat, Kajri, Jhula, Chaumasa, Chaiti, Rasiya, Devigeet, Dhamar, etc., which are printed along with lyrical intonations and introductions as well as notations. There was a need for classical dexterity to notate the folk songs, and he fulfilled the same.
Just as Bhikhari Thakur is remembered in the context of Bhojpuri folklore, Isuri is remembered for his Bundeli Phag, similarly Pt. Radhavallabh Chaturvedi will always be remembered in the context of Awadhi folklore.
Both the above two books of his (Sa Re Ga Ma and Unchi Atariya Rang Bhari) whose new editions have recently been published by Sangeet Natak Akademi are available at the sales counter of Sangeet Natak Akademi at the ground floor of Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Feroze Shah Road, New Delhi 110 001. For those desirous of purchasing the book from other places of India or abroad, they may please write to the D.S. (Publication), Sangeet Natak Akademi at [email protected]
Unchi Atariya Rang Bhari is priced Rs 625/- and Sa Re Ga Ma is priced Rs 440/-. Sangeet Natak Akademi is offering a discount of 40 per cent on these books. For those who wish buy and have it sent to their residence outside Delhi, speed post charges will be added to the cost of the publications. Payment can be made online from other cities/towns/villages of India or abroad (using Swift Code) to the Akademi’s account details of which will be shared by email along with the total amount to be paid on receiving order(s) of purchase

Interesting Facts about Pt. Radhavallabh Chaturvedi:

  • Pandit ji was also a good violinist.
  • Radhavallabh ji respected all religions and sects. This list of Muslim artistes who performed with him and prosper in his time and were an example of the Ganga jamuni Sanskrit of Uttar Pradesh were:
    • MUJADDID NIYAZI (sang famous duet)
    • MAMOOD
  • He Had a wonderful equation with begum Akhtar as well.
  • World famous ghazal and light music artist Neena mehta was also his deciple.
  • Radhavallabh ji belonged to that era where he got to associate and work with legends like sitar’s devi,Gopi Krishna,Hemant kumar,Sakharam ji on pakhawaj,roshan ji,MUJADID NIYAZI , film actor Govinda s mausi kunkum dhar,Govinda s mother NIRMALA DEVI,BEGHUM AKHTAR,PARHIN SULTANA.
  • An example of his zeal to promote and chisel female performers is that of famous Bengali female singer of that time REVA GON singing typical AWADHI SONG WITH PROPER AWADHI DILICT effortlessly under his guidance.
  • HE WAS ALSO NICK NAMED ‘पागलों का बादशाह’ (Reference urmil kumar thapliyal article in chayanat magazine.)
  • He was also a social reformer as he fought against the orthodox elements of society and got many inter cast marriages done.(interesting anecdotes from Chayanat article from HERBANS JAISWAL WIFE MANORAMA JAISWAL CAN BE NARRATED ON STAGE)

  • पंडित जी की घर की फ़िज़ा में संगीत प्रेम इस कदर घुला हुआ था की घर में उनका प्यारा पालतू Alsatian कुत्ता टोनी भी रियाज़ में बैठता था और सुर से सुर मिलाने में मानो पारंगत हो गया था.
  • मैनपुरी गाँव की लड़की और आज़ाद पंछी रम्भा जब उनकी जीवन साथी बनी तो राधावल्लभ ने रंभा को बराबरी का दर्जा दिया.रंभा को शिव बिहारी मिश्रा जी से सितार बजाना सिखवाया.और रंभा को तराशा.
  • राधावल्लभ रूढ़िवादी परम्परा और विचारधारा और जीवनशैली के व्यक्ति बिल्कुल नहीं थे. इसकी झलक इनके सादगीभरे जीवन में साफ़ झलकती थीं. उनके घर के खाने में भी विविधता में एकता की झलक थी. अलग अलग प्रांतों के भोजन और पकवान बनते थे.
  • KS मेहरा chayanat article – पान की दुकान पे बजने वाले रेडीओ पे लोग इकट्ठा होकर कान लगाकर पंडित जी का गाना सुनते थे.
  • मुहल्ले की औरतें पंडित जी के रेडीओ प्रोग्राम के telecast के समय कॉपी पेन्सल लेकर उनकी धुने और बोल लिखकर अपने घर मोहल्ले के कार्यक्रमों में गाकर खूब वाहवाही लूटती थीं.
  • संगीत सन्ध्या और ताल कचहरी जमकरआयोजित कराते थे.
  • होली के अवसर पे कई वर्ष लगातार पंडित जी अपना ग्रूप लेकर प्रधान मंत्री जवाहर लाल नेहरू के तीन मूर्ति भवन के लॉन में कार्यक्रम प्रस्तुत करते थे.
  • भारत में टेलिविज़न की शुरुआत हुई तो दिल्ली में होली के अवसर पर टीवी कार्यक्रम देते थे.
  • कम ही लोग जानते होंगे की पंडित जी सूर्यकांतत्रिपाठी निराला के पड़ोसी भी रहे है.latoosh रोड पर अग़ल बग़ल रहते थे दोनो.
  • पंडित जी की पुस्तक सारेगामा के नए अडिशन का कवर पेज भी उनकी शख़्सियत से मेल खाता है.संगीत धर्म जाती के भेद भाव से परे है. इस कवर पेज पर हरिदास द्वारा तानसेन को संगीत सीखता देख रहें है बादशाह अकबर.
  • पंडित जी ने फ़िल्मों की लोकप्रियता के आगे रेडीओ के माध्यम से हिंदुस्तानी लोकगीत और शास्त्रीय संगीत की लोकप्रियता बनाएरखने में अभूतपूर्व योगदान किया.

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