Music can transport us to a different world, evoke emotions and create images in our minds. It holds a special place in our hearts and has been a part of our culture for centuries. In traditional Indian classical music, Gharanas and Banis have significantly retained their rich heritage.
Gharanas are music schools with distinct styles, techniques and methods of performing. These schools were formed in different regions of India, and their unique styles have been passed down from generation to generation. On the other hand, Banis are variations within a particular Gharana, mainly in the style of singing, compositions and ragas.
Hindustani Classical Gharanas:
The Gharana of Agra is known for layakari (rhythmic play) and complex rhythmic patterns. Musicians of this school of thought produce complex rhythm patterns that they integrate into their compositions, leaving their audience entranced.
The Kirana Gharana style of singing is known for its purity and aestheticism. Pure and aesthetic presentation is the emphasis that the artists from Kirana Gharana give to Gayaki ang, which gives importance to the finesse in vocal expression. The Gharana has produced masters who will surely remain in classical music history.
Patiala Gharana is famous for its vigorous performance of classical music. Artists coming from this gharana have an influence on thumri and ghazal. They put their emotive depth into performance. The style of Patiala Gharana evokes a passion that grips listeners and remains in their memories.
The Gwalior Gharana was one of the oldest ones, focusing on the exact and scientific presentation of the ragas. Musicians belonging to this Gharana explore the precise mathematical aspects of ragas, leaving their audience’s intellect stimulated and souls moved. Many aspiring classical musicians have drawn guidance from the Gwalior Gharana.
The Jaipur-Ataruli Gharana is renowned for its complicated ragas and layakari, which it has used to mark out a distinct niche in the classical music scene. The artists from this gharana are famous for their unique performances of ragas, which combine elements of tradition and modernity.
Carnatic Classical Banis:
Dhanammal is the name of a bani where the traditional and authentic aspects of ragas and compositions are concerned. The artists belonging to the Dhanammal Bani are known for their strict dedication to classical traditions and performances as the expressions of the cleanliness of Carnatic music.
The Ariyakudi bani is associated with Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, and it represents a dynamic approach to Carnatic classical music. Musicians belonging to Bani make a performance vibrant, bringing life into it, thus making music a lively activity for people.
A form of playing the tambura named after Palghat Mani Iyer stresses laya (rhythm) and mathematical precision. These bani artists display exceptional rhythmic ability and perform ceremonial enactments of Carnatic music’s intricate rhythmic structures.
The Trivandrum Bani is a manifestation of rich bhava (or emotion) and complex rhythmic patterns that characterise Carnatic music. The musicians in this bani create an enthralling musical journey that explores the complexities of mood and rhythm.
Finally, classical music is a rich mine of traditions, and Gharanas and banis are lanterns leading new artists through the centuries. As we listen to the music of different cultures, we become witnesses and participants in a journey that spans time. Each melody carries with it the echoes of the past and the promises of the future. The blending of different musical styles creates a magical tapestry of sound, rich and diverse, that represents the living legacy of classical music.