Origin of Nazrul Geeti
Nazrul Islam started to show his poetic and musical skills from a very tender age. Finally, he started writing songs when he was the member of a Leto Group (Folk Musical Group). Soon he became an expert in composing songs and setting them on tunes by following his uncle Kazi Bazle Karim and a leader of the Leto Group. This group played a major role in his musical career and helped it in forming in the proper shape. Later, Nazrul met Satish Kanjilal, a teacher of Searsolo School, who was fond of Hindustani Classical Music. He gave Nazrul some lessons on Classical Music, following which Nazrul started to widen his knowledge on music, when he was serving as a Havilder in Karachi Barrack under Bengal Regiment.
Musical Style of Nazrul Geeti
Songs of Nazrul Islam can be divided into four groups- Revolutionary Mass Music, Bhakti Geeti, Ghazal and Ragasrayi Songs (songs based on Ragas). Nazrul learned Arabian and Persian language during his childhood, as a result of which, some of his poems and songs have Urdu, Arabian and Persian words. The themes of the songs are based on revolution, devotion, love, nature, patriotism etc.
Revolutionary Mass Music: The songs based on this theme were widely used during the Indian Independence Movement and at Bangladesh Liberation war. The songs are extremely motivational in nature with strong and powerful words which talk about extremities on everything. It also talks against conservatism and helps to observe life in a wider parameter of philosophy and spirituality. Some of the notable patriotic songs of Nazrul are- ‘Mayer Deoya Mota Kapad’, ‘Abonato Bharat Chahe Tomare’, ‘Dhanya Amar Desh’, ‘Mago Tomar Bhabna Keno’, ‘Urdho Gogone Baje Madol’ etc.
Bhakti Geeti: Nazrul Islam composed several devotional songs, which are based on Lord Krishna, Goddess Shyama Kali etc. The songs are typically known as Bhajans and Shyama Sangeet. Some of the notable songs of this type are- ‘He Gobindo Rakho Chorone’, ‘Gangane Krishna Megh Dole’, ‘Jago Jogmaya Jago Mrinmoyee’, ‘Amar Kalo Meyer Payer Tolaye’ etc.
Ghazal: Bengali Ghazals were the innovation of Nazrul Islam, which was the grand introduction of Islam to the traditional Bengali Music. Most of his Ghazals were moulded into the form of Persian Ghazal based on the theme of love. Some of the songs of this type are ‘Paradeshi Priyotomo’, ‘Tomarei Ami’, ‘Sedin Nishithe’, ‘Gagane Pabane’ etc.
Ragasrayi Songs: Nazrul composed several songs, which are based on different ragas. Most of the songs are based on the themes of love and nature. The songs are ‘Piyu Piyu Birohi Papiya Bole’ (Lalit raag); ‘Kaberi Nodi Jole Ke Go Balika’ (Karnati Samant raag); ‘Shaon Asilo Phire’ (Kazi Karfa raag); ‘Jharo Jharo Bari Jhare Ambar Byapiya’ (Sudh Sarang raag); ‘Jaha Kichu Mamo Aache Priyotamo’ (Sindhu Bhairavi raag) etc.
Other Notable Nazrul Geeti Songs
Some of the other notable Nazrul Geeti songs are:
Notable Nazrul Geeti Singers
There are numerous singers of Nazrul Geeti both in India and Bangladesh. The popular Indian Nazrul Geeti singers are:
Namrata Mohanty has sung the Oriya translations of some of the popular songs of Nazrul Islam. Among Bangaladeshi singers of Nazrul Geeti Firoza Begum is the most prominent persona of this genre.