The Limping Beauty and the Challenges— Birth of Saptarishi and Peeyush Talas

Note: Please scroll down to read an approximate translation by Dr. Pragya Pyasi, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Hyderabad.

It was early 1995. We all were so much under the overwhelming influences of the four instrument-giants Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Vilayet Khan, and Nikhil Banerjee that our minds were kind of hypnotized state with their influences. The senior musicians, also my Ustadji, in those days knew that I was a kind of non-routine boy.

 In those days I was at Khairagarh, teaching at the University. I was scratching my heads, practicing day and night, and frantically trying to discover more playing spaces for non-routine musical imaginations. My sitar playing was going through a lot of challenges. It was not giving satisfaction. I wanted to reach new horizons but failing. 

I was also listening as much as I could. I was trying to identify the music stars’ performed elements and understand the inherent patterns. Suddenly it clicked that there may be some unexplored space in the tala area. 

In those days it was in active discussions whether a tala with fractional matra is good to be adapted in performances. Many musicians did not appreciate this. They thought these are limping talas. However, music pillars like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustd. Ali Akbar Khan never cared. These giants and later musicians freely played fractional matra tala-s. I started carefully listening to the recording of these music masters. This exercise helped me to discover that these musicians restricted their imaginations in tala-play to either whole matra talas or talas with a fraction of ½ matra. I found their recitals based on 5 ½, 7 ½, and 8 ½ matra talas. This immediately opened up the scope for more thoughts, some room to flow musical imaginations, and scope for further explorations.

Saptarishi Tala of 9 1/3 matras

Dr. Anil Beohar

I started thinking and immediately thought of other fractions like 1/3, ¼, 1/5, and so on.  I composed two talas; one in 9 1/3 matras and the other in 10 3/4 matras. After composing naming automatically comes as the next step. I discussed this with my musicologist friend Dr. Anil B. Beohar. Anil said that the 9 1/3 beat tala has 7 gurus and 7 akshar kAla in tisra jAti laghu. So he named it Saptarishi because of the multiple presences of the number 7 in the construction of the tala. I thought this a wonderful idea. I agreed to name this 9 1/3 beat tala as Saptarishi. The other tala was named on my father’s name and that became Peeyush tala of 10 ¾ matra.

Dhi- –   na- – | Dhi- –  Dhi- –  na- –  | Ti- –    na – –  | Titina   DhinaDhi  na|

X 2 0 3

Dhi- –

X

Note: As this is a tala that takes a fraction of 1/3 the notation has to be written showing three spaces for each matra for easier communication.

Peeyush Tala of 10 ¾ matra

Dhi  na | Dhi  Dhi  na  | Ti  na  | Dhina DhiDhi na-,Dhina DhiDhina |Dhi

X          2                           0             3                                                                X

Note: Please note that the 8th and the 9th matra is going in 2 times laya when the next matras are in 4 times laya.                                       

Sanjoy Bandopadhyay (sitar) and Abhijit Banerjee (tabla) at Indian International Centre New Delhi on 10 October 1995

I gave the first performance in the Saptarishi tala with my dear Abhijit Banerjee on the tabla. That was the autumn of 1995. Abhijit came to me after a concert with Pt. Ajay Chakraborty in Taj Festival in Agra. He came to my aunt’s B-382 CR Park residence. Abhijit took some rest and then we sat for practicing. I composed a gat in Rageshree based on Saptarishi tala. We prepared for the next evening’s concert. I played the Sapatarshi composition at the  India International Centre, New Delhi on 10 October 1995, the formal beginning of the journey of a new musical dimension. Here is a tiny excerpt from the concert.

Rageshree in 9 1/3 mantra Saptarishi Tala by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay (sitar). Abhijit Banerjee on Tabla.
Sanjoy Bandopadhyay with Pt. Birju Maharaj after Lucknow concert. Mukund Bhale on the right.

Later, I played this tala in other concerts. One of the important music programs was in Lucknow. It was organized by the UP Sangeet Natak Academy in Lucknow. I was privileged to have Pandit Birju Maharaj as a listener. Mukund Bhale gave me tabla support. Maharajji loved the recital a lot.

Earlier on the same day, we also recorded a piece based on Saptarishi tala in All India Radio, Lucknow. This was again full of excitement. We all know that Lucknow is the fort of Tabla playing. The radio station wanted some good tabla player from the city provides me tabla support. But I strongly urged and persuaded that Mukund should provide me tabla support. Lucknow is a city of reverence to any Hindustani Musician. That was the reason that I wished to record something special. I wished that I play a piece based on Saptarishi tala of 9 1/3 beats. I tried to convince the AIR Programme Executive that Mukund and I played several concerts and it will be good if the radio station permits me to opt for Mukund. At this, the tabla players around got upset and very angry. But finally, they accepted it. 

I recorded with Mukund in the presence of a good number of eminent tabla artists. I must thank all of them for their kindness and understanding.

खंड में सौन्दर्य सृजन- सप्तऋषि एवं पीयूष ताल

भावानुवाद : प्रज्ञा प्यासी

संगीत के क्षेत्र में समर्पित मेरे व्यक्तिगत जीवन के वे अध्याय जो मुझे आज भी निरंतर क्रियाशील रहकर नित्य नवीन अन्वेषण एवं सृजन के सोपानों की ओर प्रेरित करते हैं, उन पर , अपने शिष्यों, विद्यार्थियों, संगीत रसिकों , एवं समीक्षकों से चर्चा करने में,  मैं आज भी आनंद की  अनुभूति करता हूँ|
मेरे स्मृतिपटल में आज वर्ष 1995 के आसपास का कालखंड पुनः जीवंत हो रहा है, जब लगभग सम्पूर्ण विश्व में भारतीय संगीत के चार दिग्गज वादकों – पं. रवि शंकर, उ.अली अकबर खान , उ. विलायत खान एवं पं. निखिल बनर्जी के चमत्कारिक प्रभाव से दिव्य सम्मोहन छाया था | ऐसे समय में मेरे उस्ताद पंडित राधिका मोहन मित्रा समेत सभी वरिष्ठ संगीतज्ञ इस बात से भली भांति परिचित थे, कि परम्पराओं के प्रति निष्ठा रखने के पश्चात भी, पूर्व निर्मित राजपथ के अनुसरण मात्र से ही मैं संतुष्ट होने वाला नहीं हूँ| 
      उन दिनों मैं खैरागढ़ विश्वविद्यालय में कार्यरत  था| दिन रात अभ्यास और गहन चिंतन द्वारा मैं चेष्टा कर रहा था कि, निर्धारित एवं नियमित सांगीतिक  कल्पनाओं के अतिरिक्त भी नवीन आयामों की खोज की जाए। सितार वादन की दृष्टि से यह अत्यंत चुनौतीपूर्ण था और मैं इस स्थिति से कदापि संतुष्ट नहीं था| अपने वादन को एक नवीन क्षितिज तक पहुंचाने की मेरी  इच्छा निरंतर असफल हो रही थी। मैं अधिक से अधिक संगीत सुनकर  विशिष्ट संगीतज्ञों के प्रदर्शन में निहित श्रेष्ठ तत्वों एवं प्रतिमानों को भी समझने का प्रयास कर रहा था| इस समयांतराल में अचानक विचार आया कि ताल के क्षेत्र में कुछ नवाचारी संरचनागत सौंदर्य या नव सृजन की संभावना हो सकती है| 

उन दिनों संगीत जगत में यह विचारणीय प्रश्न भी चर्चा में था कि, “भिन्नात्मक” मात्राओं के तालों को प्रदर्शनों में व्यावहारिक रूप से प्रयोग किया जाये अथवा नहीं| जो संगीतज्ञ इसके पक्ष में नहीं थे, उनके विचार से ये लंगड़े ताल थे| हालाँकि पंडित रवि शंकर एवं उस्ताद अली अकबर खान जैसे संगीत स्तंभों ने इस बात की परवाह न करते हुए ना केवल उन्मुक्त रूप से भिन्नातमक तालों का वादन किया  वरन अन्य कलाकारों ने भी उनका अनुसरण करते हुए भिन्नात्मक तालों के प्रचार को गति प्रदान की| मैंने इन कलाकारों की रिकॉर्डिंग्स को ध्यान से सुनना आरम्भ किया, और इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुंचा कि कलाकारों ने अपनी कल्पना को या तो पूर्ण मात्रा वाले तालों या फिर आधी मात्रा के छंद तक ही सीमित रखा है| उनकी प्रस्तुतियों में 5 ½, 7 ½, एवं 8 ½ मात्रा के ताल ही शामिल थे| अंततः इस अनुसंधान ने सांगीतिक कल्पनाओं के विस्तार एवं सृजनात्मक चिंतन की असीम संभावनाओं  के द्वार खोल दिए| 

9 1/3 मात्रा का सप्तऋषि ताल

कुछ समय मंथन के पश्चात ही 1/3, ¼, 1/5 के छंदों  (फ्रैक्शन) की कल्पना  उभरने लगी और शीघ्र ही 9 1/3 एवं 10 ¾ मात्राओं के दो तालों का जन्म हुआ| तालों के सृजन के पश्चात नामांकन के लिए मैंने अपने सहकर्मी, संगीतशास्त्री डॉ. अनिल ब्योहार के साथ चर्चा की| उन्होंने बताया कि 9 1/3 मात्रा के ताल में सात गुरु एवं तिस्र जाति लघु में सात अक्षर काल हैं | अतः ताल निर्माण की प्रक्रिया में सात की संख्या का बारम्बार प्रयोग होने के कारण इस ताल का नामकरण उन्होंने “सप्त ऋषि ” किया| मैं उनके मत से प्रभावित हुआ और सप्तऋषि नाम के लिए अपनी सहमति जता दी| दूसरे ताल को मैंने अपने पिताजी को समर्पित किया और इस प्रकार 10 ¾ मात्रा का पीयूष ताल अस्तित्व में आया|

प्रथम औपचारिक प्रस्तुति 

10 अक्टूबर 1995 को इंडिया इंटरनेशनल सेंटर, नई दिल्ली में सप्तर्षि ताल की प्रस्तुति के साथ मेरी सांगीतिक यात्रा के नवीन आयाम का औपचारिक अनावरण हुआ। इस कार्यक्रम में मैंने सप्तर्षि ताल पर आधारित रागश्री में एक गत का वादन किया| तबले पर संगति हेतु इस प्रथम प्रदर्शन में मेरे प्रिय तबला वादक अभिजीत बनर्जी ने बखूबी मेरा साथ निभाया। 

उक्त कार्यक्रम का एक छोटा सा अंश यहाँ प्रस्तुत है।

इसके बाद मैंने इस ताल को अन्य संगीत कार्यक्रमों में भी बजाया। लखनऊ के एक महत्वपूर्ण कार्यक्रम का उल्लेख करना मुझे यहाँ उचित प्रतीत हो रहा है, जिसका आयोजन उत्तर प्रदेश संगीत नाटक अकादमी द्वारा किया गया था। इस कार्यक्रम में श्रोता के रूप में पंडित बिरजू महाराज की उपस्थिति एवं उनके द्वारा प्रशंसा पाना एक अविस्मरणीय अनुभूति थी । इस कार्क्रम में पंडित मुकुंद भाले ने तबला संगति प्रदान की। 

कार्यक्रम से पहले उसी दिन प्रातः, मुकुंद जी के साथ मैंने आकाशवाणी, लखनऊ में सप्तऋषि ताल पर आधारित एक अंश भी रिकॉर्ड किया था। हालाँकि इस रिकॉर्डिंग के लिए मुझे लखनऊ के अन्य तबला वादकों की नाराज़गी का सामना भी करना पड़ा| लखनऊ तबला वादकों का गढ़ है और आकाशवाणी के अधिकारी चाहते थे की शहर के तबला वादकों में से कोई मेरी संगत करे| मेरा आग्रह था कि मुकुंद जी हीमुझे तबला समर्थन प्रदान करें क्योंकि मैं 9 1/3 मात्रा  के सप्तऋषि ताल पर आधारित रचना की प्रस्तुति चाहता था। अंततः मुकुंद जी के साथ ही रिकॉर्डिंग संपन्न हुई और अन्य तबला वादकों का क्रोध भी किसी प्रकार शांत हुआ|

Anil Madhyam

Note: This was originally posted on January 5, 2012 by sitardivine

Sanjoyda talks about the birth of Anil-Madhyam. “It was coldish 26 December… six notes came to me whispering.. I started humming… immediately started to love them.  I called Dilip [Mukherjee] on his cell phone ‘Dilip, sandhyebelaa free aachho? Tumi ele aktu jantar niye bastaam’ [Dilip, are you free this evening? If you come then I would like to sit with my instrument]. Dilip readily agreed.

In the evening after playing a bit of Bihag I thought of the six notes.. I tuned my tarab strings and started strumming. Dilip immediately reacted.. “ Sanjoyda, sundar lagchhe to! Ki raag?” [Sanjoyda, this is sounding beautiful! What is the raga?]”

Sanjoyda chose to play Anil-Madhyam at the 01 January 2012 evening concert to celebrate the birth-centenary of Acharya Anil Roychaudhury. Listen how he introduced the raga. He spoke in Bengali. Here is what he said… 

Enjoy the rendering … 

 Raga details

  • Name of the raga: Anil-Madhyam
  • Conceptualized by: Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay on 24 December 2011
  • First performed by Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay on the sitar on 01 January 2012 in a concert organized by Vistar as a tribute to Acharya Anil Roychaudhury during his birth-cenetenary celebration.

Notation system
Shudh svaras in Caps: SRGMPDN
Vikrit svaras in smalls: r g m d n
Tar saptak : S’ R’ G’ M’ etc
Mandra saptak: N1 D1 P1 etc.

Raga: Anil-Madhyam

Arohan: S R g m P n S’

Avarohan: S’ n P m g R S

Pakad: R n1 S, RgPm

Important note focus: Tivra-m

Chalan:

  1. R n1 S g S, R g P m
  2. P1 n1 P1, m1 P1 S
  3. P1 n1 g R n1  m1 P1 S
  4. P1 n1 R, S g S, R n1 S, P1 m1
  5. n1 S R g m, S g R n1 P1
  6. S R g m P m
  7. g m P n g,  R g m R, S g S, n1 g R, S R g P m
  8. R n1 S R g m P n – P
  9. m P S’, R’ S’ n – P
  10. P n R’, P n g’ R’ S’
  11. R g m P n S’ R’ g’ R’ S’
  12. S’ n P m g R S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahiri Marwa and Pt. Buddhadev Dasgupta

Note: This was originally posted on March29, 2014.

On the day before yesterday [27 Mar 2014] at the ‘Vistar’ program Buddhada [Padmabhushan Pt. Buddhadev Dasgupta] suddenly asked me if I knew ‘Ahiri Marwa’ [আহীরী মারোয়া জানিস?]. I said, no, I did not learn any rag named ‘Ahiri Marwa’ [না শিখিনি]. Next evening when I came back home with Dilip [Dilip Mukherjee, a wonderful tabla player and an excellent human being] and went straight to my riyaz-room. Suddenly I remembered Buddhada saying “আহীরী মারোয়া জানিস?” I thought why not try mixing some components of ‘Ahir Bhairav’ [frankly I have not learned Ahiri, but had the opportunity to listen to this raga from Pt. Balaram Pathak many years back… But I don’t remember anything and was not in a mood to consult any book to find out the raga details] and went straight working on blending the components of D1nr component of ‘Ahir Bhairav’ and ‘Marwa’ in the ‘rGMD’ region and playing phrases skipping ‘n’. It gave me a good feel.. I thought why not record it? I grabbed an audio recorder and pressed the red button and here it is… Today, before putting the raga for your evaluation I searched the google with “Ahiri Marwa” and did not come with any result. I think this might be also named as ‘Komal Marwa’ too. Listen and comment if you have time… It remained to be asked to Buddhada how he asked me on ‘Ahiri Marwa’, did he listen to it anywhere or contemplating on composing such a raga. In any case, it was fun to blend these two ragas of completely different moods and almost opposite playing times.

A depiction of Ahiri Marwa is available in Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay’s Music Album titled ‘rare Ragas on the Sitar’.

————————————————–

March 29, 2014

This was posted in Facebook. Here are some interesting comments…

Uma Shankar Sharma asks: What will be time to play this raga?

SB replies: This is a good question. Firstly I played this for fun and wanted to feel how the combination of these two ragas sounds. I don’t know if the raga has been already composed by somebody and so on. If you ask me, then I would tell you that, it all depends on how this raga will get expressed by the performer. If you take this as a ‘Mishra Raga’ then a musician can highlight either the Ahiri part ore the Marwa parts. If someone makes the ‘Ahiri’ effectively prominent then it should be played in the morning and vice-versa. I find the probable application of Komal-re very interesting as you have altogether different komal-re for these two component ragas. I hope you enjoyed raga textures…

Anindya Banerjee:  We have learnt Ahiri Bhatiyar from Khansahib, where there is little resemblance with Marwa and Ahiri

 Sanjoy Bandopadhyay @Anindya Banerjee The reason possibly is, Bhatiyar and Marwa have similarities. Does ‘Ahiri Bhariyar’ take both the Madhyamas? Here, I used only ‘Tivra m’ for ‘Ahiri Marwa’. I also proposed a name for the raga ‘Komal Marva’.

Tim Hoffman: Thanks for the info on a vital process such as has throughout history of Hindustani music given the world some of its most interesting modal forms.  [March 30, 2014 at 8:58am]

A sketch discovered after 45 years…

This was originally posted on August 7, 2012. Then my Mejdi was happy, glad and constantly putting her full energy to keep us all happier with her glowing presence. We are not ready to accept that not seeing is missing her! Since July 22 2019 the feel of her presence, in a sense, has been getting stronger! – Bublu, Gangtok | March 22, 2020

I was trying to understand how to digitize books, studying the DIY Book-Scanner that Google adopted for digitizing millions of books [DIY is the acronym for ‘Do It Yourself’]. I managed somehow to erect a home set-up. Yes, the book stand made of cardboard, one camera and so on. I was trying the software that I would use for digitizing.

I wanted to try the set-up and first laid my hand on a sitar-notebook, my first one that was mostly written by my Guru Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra. I discovered a loose leaf inside the notebook. This was already brittle. There was grocery list on one side and the other side showed a pen-sketch. I got excited! Someone drew my sketch!!

I liked the pen-lines. A simple ball point pen was used. ‘Bublu’ was written on the work. ‘Bublu’ is one of my pet names. I was not sure about the artist and started conjecturing. The drawing gave me the impression that it was done when I was around twelve year old. I thought I recognized the handwriting, I thought it was Mejdi’s. The other possibility was Chhordi. I was not sure. But they did not remember anything! Finally, Chhordi came and saw the sketch and ascertained that it was Mejdi’s handwriting…

Mejdi, Sushanta Siromoni [2010]

Mejdi loved to sketch, when she was young, during her school and college days. She did not have any formal training. But, she saw her aunt [Pishi] at work, who was a serious artist. I am glad that at least one of Mejdi’s work-specimen got discovered by chance. She almost forgot that she used to sketch for the sheer love of it.. This piece of art has been waiting for 45 years to be get rediscovered..! Thanks to DIY project!!!

A Poetic Praise

Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay gave a sitar solo recital at his workplace Rabindra Bharati University. The program was arranged on February 26, 2012 at the Uday Shankar Hall at Emerald Bower Campus to observe the sesquicentennial birthday celebration of Swami Vivekananda. Professor Bandopadhyay played Shudh-Sarang and a dhun based on the Tagore song ‘Megher kole rod hesechhe..’ ..  The recital received very warm appreciations from the audiences.. Sanjoyjee’s colleague Dr. Bidyut Kanti Chaudhury, who is a natural poet and gives outlets to his expressions through poems, could not retain himself and immediately grabbed a piece of worn out paper and wrote a few lines. Later he gave it to Panditjee in a fresh new piece of paper.. We liked the poetry and take the opportunity to share with you.. the poetry by Dr. Bidyut Kanti Chaudhury on Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay..

৬০ পেরিয়ে

৬০ পার করাটা অনেক চেষ্টা করেও শেষ পর্যন্ত আটকানো গেলনা| কুষ্ঠিতে ছিলনা তাও পৌঁছেই গেলাম|এগার বছর বয়সেই সটকে যাবার কথা ছিল, তার জায়গায় ষাট! অতএব এ পর্যন্ত ৪৯ বছর ফাউ| ফাউ সবারই ভালো লাগে, সত্যি বলতে কি আমারও অল্প অল্প লাগে| জন্মদিনের দুদিন আগে জানতে পারলাম আমার শ্রীমতীজী কিছু একটা ফাঁদছেন, টের পেলাম উনি ছাত্র-ছাত্রীদের সাথেও কথাবার্তা বলছেন| ১৬ সেপ্টেম্বর সকালে ওঠার পরই তাড়াতাড়ি ইউনিভার্সিটি থেকে ঘরে ফেরার ফরমান জারী হল|

বিকেল সাড়ে-চারটে নাগাদ বাড়ী ফিরে দেখি সাবির সেই বর্ধমান থেকে আমার আগেই হাজির| এরপর আস্তে আস্তে অন্যরাও হাজির হল| ত্রৈলী সেই হাওড়া থেকে সাবির এর পর-পরই চলে এল | একটু পর ঢুকল সুমেধা| এর মাঝে সাবির আর অনির্বান টুক করে গাড়ী নিয়ে বেরিয়ে গিয়ে কিছু বিশালাকায় পাত্রে খাবার নিয়ে চলে এসেছে| নভনীল, বাড়ীতে শোকের পরিবেশ থাকা সত্তেও, অল্প সময়ের জন্য চলে এসেছিল| ওকে পেয়ে আমাদের খুব ভাল লেগেছিল| সন্ধে গড়িয়ে গেলে এল দীপঙ্কর, অনুশ্রী আর তাদের ছোট্ট মিষ্টি মেয়ে| মাঝে বনুদি আর অঞ্জনদা| একটু রাত করেই দিলীপ আর সপরিবার পরিমল ঢুকল| সবশেষে এল সুজু, অরুন আর পুকলাই| ওরা যখন এলো তখন পার্টি বেশ জমজমাট| অনির্বাণ সরোদ নিয়ে বাজনার ঘরে বাজিয়ে চলেছে| মাঝের বড় ঘরে গান, হাসাহাসি, কবিতা| আর মা’র ঘরে অঞ্জনদা, বনুদি আর পরে জুড়ল আমার মেয়ে মিম্মাই| সেখানেও চলছে নানা মজার মজার গল্প-গুজব| আর অন্য ঘরগুলো? সেখানে ঢাই করা জিনিস-পত্র, প্রয়োজনে আমরা সেখানে গিয়ে কাজ করে বেরিয়ে আসছি| সব মিলিয়ে এক অদ্ভুত খুশীর মেজাজ| শব্দ নানা ধরনের হলেও তাতে ঠোকাঠুকি নেই| চলুক না আলাদা স্কেলে সরোদ আর গান| গানের পেছনে মৃদু সরোদের আওয়াজ, কখনও বা রান্নাঘর থেকে বাসনের শব্দ, সব আওয়াজই যেন মিলেমিশে খুশীর ছবি এঁকে চলেছে| ওই ছবিই কিছুটা ধরে রাখার চেষ্টা করেছি এই ছোট্ট ভিডিও তে| পার্টি যখন শেষ হল তখন আমার গিন্নির জন্মদিন ১৭ সেপ্টেম্বর ছুঁয়ে পরের দিন সকাল দু’টো!

আমরা সবাই মিস করলাম সুবীর, কর্নজিত, আয়ুষ, রাজরূপা, সুহাস, বিট্টু আর কুশলকে| কেউ বা ষ্টুডিও-তে আটকা, কেউ বা সেদিনই বিদেশ পারি দিল, কেউ আছে দেশের বাইরে বা কারুর বাড়ীতে পুজো| আর মিস করেছি তরাই, দেবাশিস আর তুলুকে|

 ঐদিন তোলা অল্প কিছু ছবি এই ছোট্ট এলবামে রাখা রইল| 

Brief Bio-data

Name Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay 
Date of Birth September 16, 1954 
Snail mail3/1/1D Padmapukur Road, Kolkata 700092 [W.B.]
Email / Phonesitardivine@gmail.com | 9433230717 / 9163365904
Training Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra, Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee, Pt. Peejush Prasanna Bandopadhyay, Pt. Manas Chakraborty. Also from Pt. Ajay Sinha Roy, Pt. D.T. Joshi, Pt. Shankar Ghosh. 
AIR grade Top Grade 
PerformancesLarge music festivals in India, Bangladesh, European Countries, USA, Canada, South Africa, Mauritius, etc. 
Discography12 CDs including from the RPG-HMV and India Archive Music, USA. 
Academic placements Ustad Allauddin Khan Professor at Rabindra Bharati University. Currently Professor at the Sikkim University. 
Important foreign assignments Participation at UNESCO Conference, Finland; George A. Miller Visiting Professor, UIUC, USA; Artist in Residence at University of Chicago, Distinguished India Focussed Visitor at University of Alberta, Canada, etc. 
Member of CommitteesServed as Expert Member of many committees including the Music Audition Board, All India Radio; Executive Councils, Academic Councils and other committees in several universities including the University of Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, Visva Bharati to name a few. 
Current statusRetired Professor of Instrumental Music [Ustd. Allauddin Khan Chair], Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India.
Legacy to follow Trained some renowned musicians and globe trotters including Pandit Kushal Das, Rajrupa Chowdhury, Troilee Dutta, Kalyanjit Das, etc. 

Bio-sketch of Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay 

Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay is an exceptional combination of an outstanding Sitar virtuoso, eminent Guru and a thoughtful academician. This internationally reputed musician is especially known for his exemplary spontaneity in musical expressions. His music is always lively, fresh and new. 

Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay received extensive training in sitar playing in Senia- Shahjehanpur, Imdadkhani, and Rampur-Senia gharanas. A beautiful synthesis of the practices and knowledge of these three very famous schools of music can be experienced through his sitar renderings. Professor Sanjoy had his major training in sitar playing from Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra and Pandit Bimalendu Mukherjee. He started learning music with his father Pt. Peejush Prasanna Bandopadhyay. He also learnt with Pandit Manas Chakraborty, Dr. M.R. Gautam. He had special opportunities of having blessings through intensive musical interactions with Professor Dhruva Tara Joshi, Pandit Ajay Sinha Roy, Pandit Gajanan Rao Joshi and Pandit Shankar Ghosh. 

Professor Sanjoy’s music gets widely featured in national and international TV and radio channels in India and other countries. He has been awarded prestigious ‘Top- Grade’ by the Director General, All India Radio. He has 12 audio CDs to his credit. These were published by different reputed music companies in India and the USA. He served as ‘Artist in Residence’ at the University of Chicago and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA. 

He participated at the Plenary Session of UNESCO Conference and other important global and bilateral events. He was invited by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as the George A. Miller Visiting Professor. The University of Alberta invited him as Distinguished India Focus Visitor

Before his recent appointment as Professor in Music at the Sikkim University, Pandit Bandopadhyay was the Ustad Alauddin Khan Professor of Instrumental Music at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Also, he was the Director of the S.M. Tagore Centre of Documentation & Research of Languishing & Obsolescent Musical Instruments, a research center in the same university and the Coordinator of the UGC SAP-DRS Research Project of the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University. 

Panditjee is proud that some of his disciples have proved to be exceptionally brilliant and established themselves as foremost musicians of Hindustani Music. This includes, Pandit Kushal Das, Rajrupa Chowdhury, Troilee Dutta, etc. 

Foreign visit itineraries since 2005

2016 Bangladesh

Sunday 27 November: 2:00 a.m. | Concert at Dhaka Army Stadium, Bengal Foundation Music Festival

2014 USA

08 t o 15 February – Visit to the University of Michigan 

Friday, February 7th  : 9:05 pm Flight Departs Kolkata
Saturday, Feb 8th : 1:50 pm Flight arrives to Detroit
Ground Transportation from airport to hotel
Sunday, February 9th : Rest! Recover from jet-leg.
Monday, February 10th : 2 – 3:30 pm Tentative: Guest: Music and Culture class with Dr. Meilu Ho
Tuesday, February 11th 
11:30 – 1 pm Guest: Himalayas: An Aesthetic Exploration class with Dr. Nachiket Chanchani
2:30 – 4 pm Guest: Ocean of Stories: Telling Tales in the Indian Subcontinent class with Dr. Nachiket Chanchani
Wednesday, February 12th : 10:10 – 11 am Guest: Introduction to World Music class with Dr. Meilu Ho
Thursday, February 13th : (11:05 am Samir Chatterjee’s flight arrives to Detroit airport.) 
5:00 pm Arrive to UMMA and prepare for performance
7:30 – 9:30 pm UMMA Performance
Friday, February 14th 
12-2:00 pm: Meet and talk with grad students over lunch
4:45 pm: Meet at 506 Burton Memorial Tower to set up for Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series
5 – 6:30 pm Lecture: “Improvisation on the Sitar: Traditional Knowledge and Free Expression”
Saturday, February 15th 
TBD Ground Transportation from Hotel to airport
12:30 p.m. Flight Departs from Detroit/Metro to Seattle
6:05 p.m. Arriving Seattle [Chicago O’hare – Seattle – AMERICAN 6973]

Feb 15th – Feb 18th At the University of Washington, Bothell 
Feb 18, 2014
10-10:30am – Faculty conversation with Prof Bandopadhyay (facilitated by Prof Rajib Doogar)
Noon –1:30pm  lunch with undergraduate research students
2:30 – 3:00pm – Faculty conversation with Prof Bandopadhyay (facilitated by Prof Pierre Mourad)
3:30-4:00pm – Faculty conversation with Prof Bandopadhyay (facilitated by Prof Jason Pace)
5pm – intimate recital on campus with Ravi Albright
6:30pm – dinner and airport drop off
9:52 p.m. – UNITED 1142 UNITED LV: SEATTLE 952P NONSTOP
AR: NEWARK LIBERTY 600A
19 February 2014
Departure for Kolkata from New York at 4:45 p.m.

2013 USA & Canada

  1. 13 August: Arrival Chicago O’Hare and to Champaign.
  2. 14 August: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign [official work]
  3. 15 August: To New Jersey
  4. 17 August 2013  : The Maverick at Woodstock [with Steve Gorn (flute) and Pt. Samir Chatterjee (tabla)]
  5. 18 August : Bethel Woods Center For The Arts [Opening item for a musical tribute to Richie Havens at 3pm] [with Steve Gorn (flute) and Pt. Samir Chatterjee (tabla)]
  6. 19 – 21 August: Workshop at Chhandayan, New York  – Cancelled
  7. 23 August: Music Presentation and Concert at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs [with Nabin Shreshtha on the tabla]
  8. 24 August -07 September: To Calgary. [details TBA]
  9. 8-12 September: Seattle with Dr. Rajib Doogar [some intimate music and meeting with friends]
  10. 14 September : Calgary Ragamala Concert [with Pt. Samar Saha on the tabla]
  11. 15 September-19 September: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign [lecture and meetings].
  12. 19 September: Departure from Chicago O’Hare for Kolkata

2010    Engagements and open dates

24 October Reaching Edmonton
26 October Concert cum Workshop at the University of Alberta [Host: Prof. Regula Qureshi].
27~29 October University of Saskatchewan to participate at the Engaging India: A Multidisciplinary Symposium and play a
30~31 October Simon Fraser University, Vancouver for concert.

2009 USA: 1 5 TO 30 MAY 2009

 15 ~ 30 May ‘Musician in Residence’ at the University of Chicago

2008

EUROPE: 19 TO 22 NOVEMBER 2008

19 November Reaching Amsterdam and inauguration of the International Conference ‘Indian & the World: Intercultural
Performing Arts’
20 ~ 22 September The conference.

USA: SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2008

24 September Reaching Chicago
26 September Concert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Tabla: Anindo Chatterjee]
28 September Concert at Mithas, MIT, Boston [Tabla: Anindo Chatterjee]
30 September Two seminars at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
01 October Workshop at the The College of New Jersey, NJ
02 October Concert Workshop at the The College of New Jersey, NJ [Tabla: Abhjit Banerjee]
03 October Master class at the The College of New Jersey, NJ
04 October to 08 October
Artist in Residence at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

SOUTH AFRICA – JULY-AUGUST 2008

26 July Reaching Johannesburg
27 July to 01 August University of South Africa [UNISA], Pretoria [concert and research activities]
02 to 06 August University of Cape Town [Master class and research activities]
07 to 11 August Rhodes University, Grahamstown [concert and research activities]
13 August Departure from Johannesburg

MAURITIUS– JUNE- JULY 2008

01 June to 12 July Visit to Mahatma Gandhi Institute [MGI] as Resource Person for Teachers’ Orientation, curricula review and general capacity building.

2007 USA: OCTOBER 2007

11 to 15 October Los Angeles [workshop]
16 October Travel to Colorado
17 October Lecture at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
18 October Concert at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
19 October Travel to Chicago

20 October Open

21 October Travel to Manhattan, Kansas
22 October Concert at the Kansas State University
23 October Travel to Urbana Champaign, IL
24 October Concert at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

25-26 October Open

27 October Concert at Spandan, Moline/Chicago, IL

28 to 30 Open

31 October Departure from ORD, Chicago for Berlin, Germany

Europe

04 Nov Concert at SMB National Museum, Berlin
05~09 Nov Research in SMB Museum
10 Nov Concert in Berlin
11 Nov Departure for India

USA: OCTOBER 2005

03 October Arr. Chicago ORD and then to Urbana-Champaign
05 October Meeting with Faculty Members of UIUC and SPICMACAY/BSA Core Group
06 October Concert 7:30 p.m. [2100 MBA]
07 October IPS/Engg/SOM Computer Music Groups Meeting and Other meetings
10 October Group interactions/classes
11 October India Studies Lecture [noon]
12 October Talk in the evening [venue TBA]
13 October Group interactions/classes
15 October Concert at the University of Chicago
17 October Workshop at the University of Chicago
19 October Presentation at The College of New Jersey, NJ
21 October Concert in Rochester, NY
24 October Recording for India Archive Music, Inc., Manhattan, New York
26 October Concert at Drury University, Missouri at 7 pm
29 October Workshop and Concert at Moline, IL
30 October Workshop at Moline, IL
31 October Departure from ORD, Chicago for India

FRANCE: JANUARY 2005

26 January 2005 Arrival: CDG, Paris in the morning
27 January Concert at La Rochelle] ————— SOLD OUT
28 January Concert at the Musee Guimet, Paris : 20:30 hrs. ————— SOLD OUT
29 January Concert at MJC in Toulouse
30 January Workshop and concert in Gamas [Ariege]
31 January Concert near Marseille
01 February Concert in Marseille ————————- SOLD OUT
03 February 2005 Departure from CDG, Paris in morning
12 September, 2004 Arrival in Berlin
13~14 September Visit SMB Museum, Berlin
15 September Concert at Berlin Museum
16~21 September XIIIth International Conference of German Musicological Society at Weimar, Germany [presentation on the 20th
September]
22 September Concert in Berlin before Newsgroup
24 September Arrival in Vancouver, Canada
25 September Concert in Vancouver
27 September Visit to Simon Fraser University
28 September Reaching Edmonton as Distinguished India-Focus Visitor to the University of Alberta
28 September Workshop at the University of Alberta
03 October Concert at the University of Alberta [UoA organized the concert in collaboration with Ragamala Society,
Edmonton]
05 October Workshop at the University of Alberta
07 October Arrival in the USA [Moline, Chicago]
08 October Two workshops at Augustana College
09 October Workshop at River Music for the Jazz Musicians of the locality.
10 October Concert at Concert at Wallenberg Hall, Moline
11 October Concert at the University of Illinois [SPICMACAY]
12 October Workshop at the St. Ambrose Uniersity
13 October Workshop at a college in Moline
14 October Concert before a selected gathering, Moline
16 October Concert in New York
17 October Concert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology [Mithas]
19 October Concert at the University of Oklahoma
20 October Workshop at the University of Oklahoma
22 October Concert at the University of Pennsylvania
24 October Recording in New York for the India Archive Music, Inc.
25 October Departure for India from JFK, New York
June 13 Presentation at the PELLERVO-INSTITUUTTI, Espoo [Finland] UNESCO Pre-Conference
June 16 Presentation at the Plenary Session of UNESCO Conference, Jÿvaskÿla, Helsinki [Finland]
June 18 Presentation at H320, UNESCO Conference, Jÿvaskÿla, Helsinki [Finland]
June 21 Concert in Paris, France
June 22 Concert Di Pinte, Brussels, Belgium
June 23 Workshop at the University of Köln, Germany
June 26 Concert in Toulouse, France
June 27 Concert in Toulouse, France
June 28 Concert at St etienne(near Lyon), France
June 29 Concert [Final item] at the 15th District Music Festival, Paris [France]
July 01 Concert in Marseilles, France
July 02 Concert in Paris

News Archive since 2014

It occurred that we inadvertently deleting the news that appears in this site at different times. So we decided to create this archive. Better late than never!

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Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay will perform in Kolkata on Decmber 16, 2018 in the silver jubilee celebration of the Dhrupad Academy, Delhi. Pt. Parimal Chakraborty will provide him tabla support. Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Salt Lake | Date: December 16, 2018 | Time: From 6 P.M.

November 27, 2018

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Panchajany Dey, a flute disciple of Panditjee, received 2nd position in the All India Radio Music Competetion – 2018.

October 26, 2018

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Invited by the All India Radio to perform at the Radio Sangeet Sammelan on 06 October, 2018 at Indore.

August 16, 2018

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A special happening and a very special recognition for Ayush Ghosh, a sitar disciple of Panditjee.

(a) National Radio CBC (Canada Broadcasting Corporation) interviewed Ayush. It was broadcast across Canada on 08 January 2018. Click to listen.

(b) Calgary Herald honored 20 Calgarians making a difference in the community or their mark on a grander stage. Ayush was honored among these remarkable individuals.

Here is the Top page of Calgary Herald of January 08 2018.

January 09 2018

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Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay has been offered a Professor’s position at the Sikkim University. He has joined the SU on 04 August 2017 as Professor of Music at the Department of Music under the School of Professional Studies.

August 7, 2017

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Here is a review  (with approximate translation in English] of the performance appeared in Bengali Magazine ‘kAli-O-kalom’. It appeared in its January 2017 issue. Please click to view page 70 of the magazine where Pt. Bandopadhyay’s review appeared. Please click to see

19 February 2017

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Professor (Pt.) Sanjoy Bandopadhyay will perform in Kolkata a concert in Kolkata on 08 December, 2017; a tribute concert for the legendary scholar-musician Kumar Birendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury. The CSSSC has invited him for the performance as a part of their exhibition of the BKRC Collection during 06-09 December, 2017 at the Jadunath Bhavan Museum and Resource Centre, [a unit of the Centre for Social Science Studies Calcutta], 10 Lake Terrace, Kolkata. Sri Dilip Mukherjee will give him Tabla support and Sri Nishaant Singh on the Pakhawaj.

Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay has been offered a Professor’s position by the Sikkim University. He has joined the SU on 04 August, 2017 as Professor in Music at the Department of Music under the School of Professional Studies.

August 7, 2017

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Here is a review  (with approximate translation in English] of the performance appeared in Bengali Magazine ‘kAli-O-kalom’. It apeared in its January 2017 issue. Please click to view page 70 of the magazine where Pt. Bandopadhyay’s review appeared. Please click see

19 February, 2017

Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay was felicitated by ‘Gour Malhar, Burdwan’ with the Pt. Dhruvatara Joshi Memorial Award on the evening of 28 January 2017.

February 04, 2017

Pandit Dhuravatara Joshi Memorial Award to Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay

Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay will get felicitated with Pandit Dhruvatara Joshi Award on 28 January 2017. A letter from the Secretary, Gaud Malhar dated 25/12/2016 to Prof.Sanjoy states:

” — This letter brings you our warmest congratulations and we, on behalf of Gour Malhar, feel really honoured to felicitate you the PanditDhuravatara Joshi Memorial Award for your extensive contribution in the field of music performance, music teaching and music education.—“

January 12, 2017

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sAhAnA on sitar at the mega Bengal Music Festival – 2016 in Dhaka

Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay is back to Kolkata after a dazzling concert at the Bengal Foundation’s Music Festival-2016.  As scheduled he started at 2 a.m. on  27 November 2016 early morning at Dhaka Army Stadium.  We hear that there were about 60,000 people present to attend that day’s music. Pt. Bandopadhyay chose Raga Sahana to start. He played alap-jod follwed by a vilambit gat in Jhaptala, drut gat in Trital and eneded with Sawal-Jawab and Jhala. Later he played Pilu Jangla. In this piece he played a composition frequently played by his grand-Guru Md. Ameer Khan and his Guru Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra. Pt. Parimal Chakraborty provided tabla support.

27 November, 2016

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Caesurae[Spring 2016, ISSN 2454-9495] published a review of Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay’s Music Album ‘Tribute to Mozart- Live in Vienna 1998’        

21 April, 2016

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Mee Records has showcased 3 albums and 7 singles of Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay. For music lovers staying in India may also order for physical CDS.

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iTunes, amazon.com and other music outlets have showcased Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay’s two latest music albums, ‘Rare Rags on the Sitar’from Mee Records   and the second reprint of Tribute to Mozart – Live in Vienna 1998‘ from Aitijjhya.  

(January 16, 2016)

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Prof. Bandopadhyay is now the top 3% of the researchers in Academia by last 30 days views! Academia has 27 million users!

30 December, 2015

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Invited as the ‘Guest of Honor’ at the International Conference of the Department of Musicology, Rabindra Bharati University titled ‘Music and Musicology in South Asia : recent Trends’ to be held on 5th-6th November 2015. [November 2015]

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Prasar Bharati [All India Radio] has inducted Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay as an expert member for their central Music Audition Board. [April, 2015]

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The Sikkim University has inducted Prof. Sanjoy as an Expert member for the School Board of Professional Studies. [Notification dated 30. 09.2014]

Invited as the ‘Guest of Honor’ at the International Conference of the Department of Musicology, Rabindra Bharati University titled ‘Music and Musicology in South Asia : recent Trends’ to be held on 5th-6th November 2015. [November 2015]

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Calgary Public Library has included one of Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay’s CDs ‘Joy and Peace’ in their catalog. Abhijit Banerjee and Parimal Chakraborty provided tabla support in separate pieces. [October, 2015]

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Prasar Bharati [All India Radio] has inducted Pt. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay as an expert member for their central Music Audition Board. [April, 2015]

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The Sikkim University has inducted Prof. Sanjoy as an Expert member for the School Board of Professional Studies. [Notification dated 30. 09.2014]

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The University of Chicago invited Professor Bandopadhyay to the second workshop of a project, “Audio Cultures of India” at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi on December 7-9, 2014.  [click for details]

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Center for World Performance Studies, University of Michigan [USA] just published its Fall-2014 New Letter.

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Professor Bandopadhyay is invited to participate in the 2014 ‘International Music Institution Leaders Forum’ and in the music festival to be held on the occasion of 50th anniversary of the establishment of the China Conservatory, Beijing during 20-22 September 2014.

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Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh nominated Prof. Bandopadhyay as a member of the Management Board of Bhatkhande Music Institute [Deemed University], Lucknow for a period of 3 years starting from 27 August 2014.