Daily Diary Oct.11
Singer Jagjit Singh

In his 40 years of entertaining and alluring singing career,the soft and "silky" voiced Jagjit Singh created a vast following not only in India but among millions of people of Indian origin settled all over the world as well.
He created a niche for his somewhat thick but soothing voice perfect to enjoy an evening of simple vocal music along with blending orchestra of few instruments.

His self-composed music and singing style,which usually had a light classical touch in it,can aptly be described as a geet performance though the selection of most of the songs were Urdu compositions.

Was Jagjit Singh a gazal singer?

His fans certainly seem to believe in that and called him "king of gazal". With all sincerity he should have refuted and disclaimed this title as his singing style,certainly sweet and melodious lacked the quirks of gazal singing. In this regard those who blame him for "corrupting the gazal" have a valid point.

Distinction can be easily spotted even by a callow Indian vocal music listener that the singing style of Jagjit Singh and the gazal gayaki mastered by Mehndi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Begum Akhtar, Mallika Pukhraj of evergreen number,abhi to main javan hoon, fame,and to some extent Talat Mehmood.

Credit is bestowed upon Jagjit Singh that by his so-called simplyfying style he brought gazal to the masses. But in reality gazal rendering is already a simplified version of classical Indian music along with thumri and dadra. And when altered it gets into different musical track but does not remain in the principality of gazal.

In the words of Mallika-e Ghazal Begum Akhtar, "Ghazal shahee dhang se gayee jaye to uska nasha sar chad ke bolta hai" ( if a ghazal is sung in a proper way it can be very intoxicating"). This nasha is seen less and less these days thanks to the new version of Ghazal gayaki in India.

( Rita also contributed to this Daily Diary page )