Indian Music and Mian Tansen by Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury

Indian Music and Mian Tansen

by Pandit Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury

Indian Music and Mian Tansen (also spelled "Miyan Tansen") is an informative small book about Hindustani music by the eminent musician and scholar Pandit Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury, written and self published in the late 1950's. Pt. B.K.R. Choadhury explains much about the origins and development of North Indian classical music, and it's perpetuation by great artists and their lineages.

I hope all those interested in classical music will find it illuminating. I have put the entire text online as this book is extremely rare and hard to find. My own copy was a xerox of the original, given to me by my first teacher, Prof. Amiya Dasgupta. Please note that there may be small inaccuracies in some details (and possible typos and OCR errors that I haven't spotted), but it remains a unique document of mid-twentieth century Indian scholarship and musicology.

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- David Philipson

Bio of Pandit Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury

Pt. Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury

Pt. B.K.R. Choadhury playing Sursringar (bass sarod).

Pt. B.K.R. Choadhury playing Sursringar (bass sarod).

Pt. Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury
Pt. Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury (~1901-1972?) was from a family of wealthy zamindars (landowners) in East Bengal, what is now Bangladesh. The estate was called Gouripur, in the Mymensingh district. His father, Brajendra Kishore Roy Choudhury, was renowned as a patron of musicians. His son not only continued this tradition of patronage, but became the disciple of many of the great musicians of his time, including Mohammed Wazir Khan, the great Binkar of Rampur and the last descendant of Tansen's daughter Saraswati; Mohammed Ali Khan who was the second son of Basat Khan; Imdad Khan, founder of the lineage of sitar represented today by his grandson Vilayat Khan; Allauddin Khan, father of Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi and guru to Pannalal Ghosh and Ravi Shankar, and Hafiz Ali Khan, the great sarod maestro. Birendra Kishore Roy Choudhury was a master of the Dhrupad style, especially in instrumental music, and played the Bin, the Sursringar and the Senia Rabab.

My labour will bear proper fruits if the learned lovers of Indian music give little time to go through its contents.

Pandit Birendra Kishore Roy Choadhury
Tansen of Gwalior

Tansen of Gwalior - Mughal, 1585-90

National Museum, New Delhi

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