Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The legendary Miyan TanSen

Akbar And Tansen Visit Haridas

Miyan Tansen or Ramtanu Pandey (1493 or 1506 – 1586 or 1589) is considered among the greatest composer-musicians in Hindustani classical music. He was an extraordinarily gifted vocalist, known for a large number of compositions, and also an instrumentalist who popularized and improved the rabab (of Central Asian origin).
He was one of the Navaratnas (nine jewels) at the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar gave him the title Miyan (an honorific, meaning learned man)...The legendary musical prowess of Tansen surpasses all other legends in Indian music. In terms of influence, he can be compared only to the prolific sufi composer Amir Khusro (1253-1325), or to bhakti tradition composers such as Kabir or Haridas. The Indian sitar is said to have been invented by Amir Khusro (1253-1325), a devotee of the Chistiyya order, after the Persian ‘Setar’, from the saz group of musical instruments..Among the legends about Tansen are stories of his bringing down the rains with Raga Megh Malhar and starting fires with the legendary raga Deepak [7]. Other legends tell of his ability to bring wild animals to listen with attention (or to talk their language). Once, a wild white elephant was captured, but it was fierce and could not be tamed. Finally, Tansen sang to the elephant who calmed down and the emperor was able to ride more

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