Music and Art
Tagore composed 2,230 songs and was a prolific painter. His songs compose rabindrasangit (Tagore Song), which merges fluidly into his literature, most of whichpoems or parts of novels, stories, or plays alikewere lyricised. Influenced by the thumri style of Hindustani music, they ran the entire gamut of human emotion, ranging from his early dirge like Brahmo devotional hymns to quasi erotic compositions. They emulated the tonal color of classical ragas to varying extents. Some songs mimicked a given ragas melody and rhythm faithfully, others newly blended elements of different ragas. Yet about nine tenths of his work was not bhanga gaan, the body of tunes revamped with fresh value from select Western, Hindustani, Bengali folk and other regional flavours external to Tagores own ancestral culture. Scholars have attempted to gauge the emotive force and range of Hindustani ragas the pathos of the purabi raga reminded Tagore of the evening tears of a lonely widow, while kanara was the confused realization of a nocturnal wanderer who had lost his way. In bhupali he seemed to hear a voice in the wind saying stop and come hither.Paraj conveyed to him the deep slumber that overtook one at nights end.
Reba Som, Rabindranath Tagore The Singer and His Song.Tagore influenced sitar maestro Vilayat Khan and sarodiyas Buddhadev Dasgupta and Amjad Ali Khan. His songs are widely popular and undergird the Bengali ethos to an extent perhaps rivaling Shakespeares impact on the English speaking world. It is said that his songs are the outcome of five centuries of Bengali literary churning and communal yearning. Dhan Gopal Mukerji has said that these songs transcend the mundane to the aesthetic and express all ranges and categories of human emotion. The poet gave voice to allbig or small, rich or poor. The poor Ganges boatman and the rich landlord air their emotions in them. They birthed a distinctive school of music whose practitioners can be fiercely traditional novel interpretations have drawn severe censure in both West Bengal and Bangladesh.For Bengalis, the songs appeal, stemming from the combination of emotive strength and beauty described as surpassing even Tagores poetry, was such that the Modern Review observed that there is in Bengal no cultured home where Rabindranaths songs are not sung or at least attempted to be sung Even illiterate villagers sing his songs. Arthur Strangways of The Observer introduced non Bengalis to rabindrasangit in The Music of Hindostan, calling it a vehicle of a personality that go behind this or that system of music to that beauty of sound which all systems put out their hands to seize.
In 1971, Amar Shonar Bangla became the national anthem of Bangladesh. It was writtenironicallyto protest the 1905 Partition of Bengal along communal lines lopping Muslim majority East Bengal from Hindu dominated West Bengal was to avert a regional bloodbath. Tagore saw the partition as a ploy to upend the independence movement, and he aimed to rekindle Bengali unity and tar communalism. Jana Gana Mana was written in shadhu bhasha, a Sanskritised register of Bengali, and is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn that Tagore composed. It was first sung in 1911 at a Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress and was adopted in 1950 by the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of India as its national anthem.At sixty, Tagore took up drawing and painting, successful exhibitions of his many workswhich made a debut appearance in Paris upon encouragement by artists he met in the south of France95were held throughout Europe. He was likely red green color blind, resulting in works that exhibited strange colour schemes and off beat aesthetics. Tagore was influenced by scrimshaw from northern New Ireland, Haida carvings from British Columbia, and woodcuts by Max Pechstein. His artists eye for his handwriting were revealed in the simple artistic and rhythmic leitmotifs embellishing the scribbles, cross outs, and word layouts of his manuscripts. Some of Tagores lyrics corresponded in a synesthetic sense with particular paintings.