Monday, August 15, 2022
West Bengal

Arts & Crafts of West Bengal


Kirtan Style 

Kirtan is a sophisticated style of vocal music deriving from Dhrupad. The lyrics of the Vaishnava poets are classified into episodes in the early life of Sri Krishna. Couplets of the lyrics are sung in a chaste raga in slow dhrupadic measure by the leader of a group of singers and their significance is elaborated in recitation or song. The refrain is taken up by the group in quicker and quicker tempo until the chorus finishes in a crescendo and then the next couplet is taken up by the leader. The process goes on until a particular episode is completed. Tampura and khol,  are used for accompaniment. In recent times the box, harmonium and the violin are also used. The Kirtan style is distinguished by its elements of group singing and its use of complicated time-measures (talas) belonging to the pre-Mughal school of Dhrupad. Four sub styles of Kirtan style have developed in course of time. These are Manoharshahi, Garanhati, Mandarini and Reneti schools, each  with its distinctive manner of presentation and incorporating some features of the different classical styles. There is in Kirtan a harmonious combination of the mode and the lyrical message.