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Lata Mangeshkar passed away

Srimati Lata Mangeshkar, singing genius and the voice of India, passed away a few days ago. A whole country was moved to grief. The country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, gave her a moving tribute.

Everyone in my family is a big fan of Lata Mangeshkar, as is basically anyone in India with an interest in music. I remember listening to her Meera bhajan album which would run in our home on a vinyl record player. Click on the video to play it on youtube.

Each song is sublime, and composed by her genius brother Hridyanath Mangeshkar.

Lata ji was born in the city of Indore in India. She had three sisters: Asha, Meena and Usha, each an amazing singer in her own right. Her father, Pt Dinanath Mangeshkar, was one of the great classical singers of his era. The famous Dinanath Mangeshkar Natyagriha in Mumbai is dedicated to his memory.

Here is Lata ji singing Bhagavad-Gita chapter 12 (other chapters are also on youtube). These verses feature several ragas as follows (a friend helped me identify the ragas):

Verse 1 – Bilawal
Verse 2-4 – Shuddha Dhaiwat Lalit
Verse 5-8 – Gurjari Todi (with rare use of Pancham)
Verse 9-12 – Alhaiya Bilawal
Verse 13-16 – Bhairavi variant with Shuddha Nishad
Verse 17-20 – Bilawal

While we are on this topic, here are two other songs from two great Marathi classical singers – Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Pt Vasantrao Deshpande. First – a famous abhanga by Pt Bhimsen Joshi:

In this song, the two are singing another famous abhanga:

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