Rabindranath Tagore composed over 2000 songs that are revered and sung by Bengalis everywhere. However, they remain mostly unknown to listeners from other communities. This book brings the Nobel Laureate’s unique music — Rabindrasangit — to a global audience, with a lucid introduction by Ananda Lal as well as selected songs in international transcription and English translation. It includes an essay written originally in Bengali by the celebrated filmmaker Satyajit Ray, himself a Tagore student and music composer. Ray presents his thoughts on Rabindrasangit, its nuances, music, history, and usage. Lal has also translated this essay into English for the first time.
The book also presents for the first time faithful staff notations of all 41 songs in three of Tagore’s major plays — Rakta-karavi, Tapati, and Arup Ratan — providing a thematic unity to the music section. This volume will be of interest to Tagore and Ray enthusiasts and specialists, musicologists, and students of music, theatre, literature, performance studies, and cultural studies. It will appeal not only to scholars but to general readers wanting to know more about Tagore’s songs, as well as directors, arrangers, composers, and singers who may wish to perform or interpret the songs transcribed.
Prelude. Transliteration. Part One 1. Introduction by Ananda Lal 2. Thoughts on Rabindrasangit by Satyajit Ray Part Two 3. Note on the Music Scores 4. The Songs of Rakta-karabi (Red Oleander) 5. The Songs of Tapati 6. The Songs of Arup Ratan (Formless Jewel)