Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oldest records of Kashmiri folk song

Browsing around for Kashmiri music, I came across two tracks that are possibly the oldest records of Kashmiri folk music. At least they must be the oldest recordings that are still available. Both the songs were first recorded/released by Folkways Records in 1950s.

First more about Folkways Records.
According to wiki:
The Folkways Records & Service Co. was founded by Moses Asch and Marian Distler in 1948 in New York City. Asch sought to record and document sound from the entire world. From 1948 until Asch's death in 1986, Folkways Records released 2,168 albums. The albums are very diverse in content including traditional and contemporary music from around the world; spoken word, poetry, and muli-lingual instructional recordings; and field recordings of communities, individuals, and natural sounds. It was also an early proponent of the singers and songwriters, such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Leadbelly, who formed the center of the American folk music revival.
(Among them, we would know Pete Seeger as the man behind popular songs like "We Shall Overcome"and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" These songs were later popularized by Joan Baez. Another of his song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” was made famous by The Byrds)

Now More about the two Kashmiri songs:

The name of the artists is unlisted for both the track and name of the tracks also is also arbitrary.

Track titled, Kashmir: Folk Dance, appears in the album
Music of the World's Peoples: Vol. 2
Original Release Date: January 1, 1952
Label: Folkways Records
Song Length: 3:37 minutes

Other track titled, Geet (Kashmir) appears in the album
Music from South Asia
Original Release Date: January 1, 1957
Label: Folkways Records
Song Length: 3:46 minutes

You can sample these songs and buy them here

Listen Now


In addition, in 1962 they came out with an album titled Folk Music of Kashmir that had instrumental as well as wonderful vocal music. The album was recorded and produced by E. Bhavani. However, the liner notes to the album (.pdf file, with excellent short notes on Kashmiri music and some old photographs) mentions the name as E. Bhavnain)

Here is a list of songs from the album:

Side I
1 - Santur, Instrumental, Duration: 3:27
2 - Title Music, Vocal solo with chorus and other instruments, Duration: 3:54
3 - Title Music, Instrumental with flute, Duration: 2:47
4 - Love and the Beauty of Nature, Instrumental, Duration: 3:54
5 - Instrumental, Duration: 3:11
6 - Song of the Boatmen, Boatmen singing, Duration: 4:15
7 - Love Duet, Duet, Duration: 3:51
Side II
1 - Song of the Nightingale, Instrumental Duration: 5:14
2 - Instrumental, Duration: 2:23
3 - Romantic Music, Instrumental, Duration: 2:20
4 - Song of the Silkworms, Vocal with chorus, Duration: 9:29
5 - Beautiful Kashmir, Chorus, Duration: 4:00
6 - Song of Spring, A man singing, Duration: 2:39

This is truly a unique album that has captures the true spirit of Kashmiri folk music.
Songs about Spring, songs of boatman, Silkworm and Natutal beauty are unique recordings ( read my earlier post about traditions of Kashmiri folk music )

The songs from this album that require special mention and some added information about them that is not given along with them:

  • Track 5 from Side 2 titled Beautiful Kashmir, a song in praise of beauty of Kashmir. The song has some robust chorus singing peculiar to joyous Kashmiri songs.
  • Track 3 from Side 1 titled Title Music , fast and up beat, is actually a wonderful recording of a Chakri type of Kashmiri music that is peculiar to Kashmiri wedding celebrations.
  • Track 2 from Side 1 titled Title Music , is of course the famous Kashmiri Song Bumbro Bumbro. This is possibly, the oldest recoding recording of this beloved song of Kashmiris.

You can sample these songs and buy the songs or the entire album at the site Smithsonian Global Sound

1 comment:

  1. sir mujha 1 song chahiya kashmiri ,,usky recording mara pass hai thodi see but i want that full song plz contact me 8527333328 whatsapp me ,,plz

    ReplyDelete

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