Thumri The Music Of Love

Nirmala Devi

About this album

Thumri - the song of love, of romance, passion and pining.

Thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, jhoola, savani - these are the timeless songs of the lives and loves of the Indian folk stylized into a performance genre. Songs, which paint the myriad colures of romance, longing, separation and union - under the rain-washed skies, on, harvested fields, and swinging jhoolas.

In its most stylized contemporary form, the Thumri developed around dance and abhinaya. Abhinaya has been the soul of Indian dance and theatre from ancient times. In angika abhinaya (anga-body) the body speaks, in Satvika abhinaya, the face registers emotions and in vachika abhinaya, music and words come together as a powerful tool for portraying emotions and dramatic situations.

Thus the music of the Gangetic soil merged with the court dances of Luck now to give the World an exquisite music genre where vachika abhinaya came to be the soul of performance.

The Thumri genre is multiplex. The bol-banao thumri set on viambit talas provides the singer an extensive vanvas for reposeful improvisation. The pacy bol-bant thumri, popular in kathak, allows rhythmic play. The dadra is coquettish song with a metric cadence. The kajri extols the romantic moments of the monsoons and chaiti the trauma of separation in the post harvest season.

Nirmala Devi was one of the most respected traditional exponents of the Thumri form. She was steeped in the classy Benaras Ang of Thumri. However she was also trained in the Patiala Gharana and this enabled her create an individual style of her own. She was gifted with a sharp, powerful voice capable of executing super fast tans.


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