History and Collection of Rabindra Sangeet In English

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Rabindra Sangeet

  • Rabindra Sangeet, also known as Tagore Songs, are the songs of the Indian subcontinent, written and composed by the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
  • Tagore was a prolific composer, with about 2,232 songs to his credit. The songs have distinctive features in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh.
  • It is characterized by its distinctive presentation while singing, contains a significant amount of ornamentation like meend, murki etc. and is full of expressions of romanticism.
  • The music is mostly based on Hindustani classical music, Carnatic music, western tunes and traditional folk music of Bengal and naturally strikes a perfect balance within them, a lovely economy of rhyme and melody.
  • Tagore created some six new talas, inspired by Carnatic talas, as he felt that the traditional talas existing at that time could not do justice and were getting in the way of the smooth narrative of the song.


  • The name Rabindra Sangeet was first given by noted Indian writer, economist and sociologist Dhurjati Prasad Mookerjee in Jayanti Utsav, which was published on December 27, 1931, to mark Tagore’s 70th birthday.
  • Rabindra Sangeet merges fluidly into Tagore’s literature, much of which—poems or parts of novels, stories, or plays—rhymes alike.
  • Influenced by the thumri style of Hindustani music, he ran the full gamut of human emotion, ranging from his earliest songs—Brahmo devotional hymns to semi-erotic compositions.
  • He emulated the tonal color of the classical ragas to varying degrees. Some songs faithfully imitated the melody and rhythm of the raga; Newly mixed elements of other various ragas.
  • Tagore influenced sitar players Vilayat Khan and sarodias Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Amjad Ali Khan.
  • In 1971, Amar Sonar Bangla became the national anthem of Bangladesh. Ironically, it was written in 1905 to oppose the partition of Bengal on communal lines: the separation of Muslim-majority East Bengal from Hindu-majority West Bengal was to avoid a regional bloodshed.
  • Tagore saw partition as a ploy to end the independence movement, and aimed to rekindle Bengali unity and eradicate communalism.
  • Jana Gana Mana was written in Shadhu-bhasha, a Sanskritised register of Bengali, and is the first of five verses of the Brahmo hymn composed by Tagore.
  • It was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1911 and was adopted as the national anthem by the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of India in 1950.


  • His songs are affectionately called Rabindra Sangeet, and cover themes including humanism, structuralism, introspection, psychology, romance, yearning, nostalgia, reflection, and modernity.
  • One of Tagore’s earliest compositions in music was primarily in a language that is similar to and yet distinct from Bengali – a language derived from Brajabuli, the language of Vaishnava hymns and from texts such as Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda Some influences from Sanskrit can be found, courtesy of Tagore’s extensive homeschooling, in the Puranas, Upanishads as well as poetic texts such as Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Abhijnanam Shakuntalam.
  • Tagore was one of the greatest storytellers of all time, and throughout his life, we find through all his works a stream of narration that reflects the upheavals in the psyche of those around him as well as the change of seasons. grows together.
  • Rabindranath Tagore was the curator of the melodic and compositional styles. During his travels all over the world, he came in contact with the musical narratives of South, West of India and these styles are reflected in some of his songs.
  • Rabindranath Tagore was the curator of the melodic and compositional styles. During his travels all over the world, he came in contact with the musical narratives of South, West of India and these styles are reflected in some of his songs.


  • The book that makes up the collection of all 2,233 songs written by Rabindranath is called Gitabitan (“Garden of Songs”) and is a significant part of the extant historical material relating to Bengali musical expression.
  • The six major parts of this book are Puja (worship), Prema (love), Prakriti (seasons), Swadesh (patriotism), Anushtika (occasion-specific), Bichitro (miscellaneous) and Nrityanatya (dance drama and lyrical drama).
  • Published in 64 volumes, the Swarabitan contains the text of 1,721 songs and their musical notations. The volumes were first published between 1936 and 1955.
  • Earlier collections, all chronologically arranged, include Rabi Chhaya (1885), Ganer Bahi or Valmiki Pratibha (1893), Gana (1908), and Dharmashongit (1909).

Historical Impact

  • Rabindra Sangeet has been an integral part of the culture of Bengal for more than a century. Hindu monk and Indian social reformer Swami Vivekananda became an admirer of Rabindra Sangeet in his youth. He composed music in the Rabindra Sangeet style, for example Gagner Thale in raga Jayjaywanti.
  • Many of Tagore’s songs form worship hymns and hymns in many churches in Kolkata and West Bengal. Some examples are Aguner Poroshmony, Klanti Amar Khoma Koro Probhu, Bipode More Rokkha Koro and Anondolok Mangollok.