The Marathi language has a rich tradition of literature and music. One of the richest veins of Marathi music flows in the form of “Natya Sangeet” which quite literally translates to “Drama Music”. These are songs that were sung by characters during Theatre plays.
These songs were based on classical or semi-classical Indian music and were sung often without the aid of modern-day aids such as microphones and speakers. As a result, the singers often needed power vocal chords in addition to formal training in Indian classical music.
The tradition of such songs continues to be very popular in the Marathi speaking population around the world. Below are a select few examples that have all been sung by Asha Bhosale, a legend in Indian film music, in honour of her father Master Deenanath Mangeshkar – a stalwart of the Natya Sangeet tradition:
Chandrika Hi Janoo (from Sangeet Manapaman)
Vilopala Madhumilanat Ya (from Bramhakumari)
Yuvati Mana Darun (from Sangeet Manapaman)
This list is endless. In the recent days, the Natya Sangeet tradition appears to have been given a fresh breath of life by a new generation of artists.
I sincerely hope future generations are able to enjoy these gems as much as I have!