Mithila Folk Songs
Around the seventies of the last century, Lalit Narayan Misra, the then Railway Minister of India and a true son of Mithila, created history by discovering, patronizing and promoting one facet of the hidden cultural heritage of Mithila. He brought to the notice of the world, the exclusive style of traditional Mithila paintings, which came to be recognized as Madhubani school of Paintings. Today this school of Art is well recognized all around the world.
Mithila has a very rich cultural Heritage. Most of it is still lying unnoticed. My present work is related to one among the many unexplored regions within the vast cultural heritage of Mithila.
Since the time of the great Maithil poet Vidyapati, this region was enriched with excellent poetry which was sung by the elite as well as the common people, round the year and especially on various auspicious occasions. Naturally, good music accompanied good poetry. Lilting tunes were created. Like Indian classical Ragas, exclusive tunes were kept aside for every season or occasion.
These songs were passed from mouth to mouth, like the Vedas, from mother to daughter, down the generations. The tunes have quivered but have not been altered much. However, they create an illusion, of being bereft of any systematic beat or Taal.
Taking initial encouragement from my late mother, who was a fine singer of these age-old tunes, I took to learning more and more of Maithili geet. Soon this developed into a full fledged research into maithili folk and Maanglik Music. Extensive training in Indian classical vocal music, which I had taken earlier, came to be very useful, as I discovered, much to my delight that these vintage songs had been created in specific beats or Taal. Most of these beats or Taal were, and still are, being used in intricate renderings of classical music. It only goes to prove the level of sophistication that had been achieved by the maithils, in their day to day music, centuries ago.It is my effort to make a detailed research of these melodies and to present them to the world, in their original form, organized with their respective taal. This mission accompanied, one will come face to face with our rich musical legacies.