Understanding the complex lyrics of ghazals required education typically available only to the upper classes. The traditional classical rāgas in which the lyrics were rendered were also difficult to understand. The ghazal has undergone some simplification in terms of words and phrasings, which helps it to reach a larger audience around the world. Most of the ghazals are now sung in styles that are not limited to khayāl, thumri, rāga, tāla and other classical and light classical genres. However, these forms of the ghazal are looked down on by purists of the Indian Classical tradition. In Pakistan Noor Jehan, Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum, Ghulam Ali, Ahmed Rushdi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Mehdi Hassan are known for ghazal renditions. Singers like Jagjit Singh (who first used a guitar in ghazals), Ahmed and Mohammed Hussain, Hariharan, Mohammad Rafi, Pankaj Udhas and many others have been able to give a new shape to the ghazal by incorporating elements of Western music.
In India, in addition to Urdu/Hindi, ghazals have been very popular in the Gujarati language. For around a century, starting with Balashankar Kantharia, there have been many notable Gujarati ghazal writers like Barkat Virani 'Befaam', Aasim Randeri, Shunya Palanpuri, Amrut 'Ghayal', Khalil Dhantejvi and many more. Some of the notable ghazals of these prominent writers have been sung by Bollywood playback singer Manhar Udhas (the elder brother of noted Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas).
Renowned ghazal singer, and pioneer of Telugu ghazals, Dr Ghazal Srinivas popularized the ghazal in Telugu language. Srinivas also introduced ghazal singing in Kannada language, and ghazals in Kannada language were written by Markandapuram Srinivas.
First true-to-form Bangla (Bengali) ghazal are published in "gajaler aayanaay" by Bratish Dashgupta.
The Canadian classical ghazal singer Cassius Khan has the unusual talent of singing in the recitational style whilst accompanying himself on the tabla.
Read more about this topic: Ghazal
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