About Girija Devi
- She was an eminent Indian classical vocalist representing the Benaras gharana.
- She was proficient singer of different genres of Hindustani vocal music like Khyal, Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti and Kajari.
- She is known as the ‘Queen of Thumri’.
- She was a genius in her sphere of Indian classical vocal rendition.
- She had been felicitated with the Padma Shree (1972), Padma Bhushan (1989) and Padma Vibhushan (2016), which are among the highest civilian awards of India.
- The Tansen award named after Tansen (one of the nine gems in the court of Emperor Akhbar) was also conferred to her.
- It is a Hindustani classical music.
- It originated in the Eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, mainly Lucknow and Benares, around 18th century AD.
- It was believed to be first patronised in the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow.
- It was developed by the famous musician Sadiq Ali Shah.
- It is believed to have influenced by Hori, Kajri and Dadra popular in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
- Some people consider that an older musical presentation called ‘chalika'(described in the Harivansha), to be the precursor of Thumri.
- It is a romantic and erotic style of signing.
- The song composition is based on the romantic-devotional literature inspired by the bhakti movement.
- The text is usually derived from the Radha-Krishna theme and is of primary importance.
Style of singing
- The songs are usually sung in slower tempo, giving more importance to the lyrics with short alaps.
- They are composed in lighter ragas and have simpler talas.
- It is primarily a vocal style of romance music written from the perspective of the woman and sung in a literary dialect of Hindi called Braj Bhasha.
- The songs are generally written in Braj Bhasha, Khari Boli and Urdu.
- A Thumri recital typically consists of one or two male/female vocalists accompanied by sarangi and/or harmonium, tanpura and tabla.
- There are three main gharanas of Thumri:
- Qadar Piya, Sanad Piya, Lallan Piya, Kenwar Shyam, Nawaj Wajid Ali Shah are well known Thumri singers of the Lucknow Gharana.
- Rasoolan Bai, Siddeshwari Devi and Girja Devi are exponents of the Benaras style of Thumri.
- Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was one of the most famous singer who belonged to the Patiala gharana.
Section : History & Culture