Ghazal - Translations and Performance of Classical Ghazal

Translations and Performance of Classical Ghazal

Enormous collections of ghazal have been created by hundreds of well-known poets over the past thousand years in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, as well as in the Central Asian Turkic languages. Ghazal poems are performed in Uzbek-Tajik Shashmakom, Turkish Makam, Persian Dastgah and Uyghur Muqam. There are many published translations from Persian and Turkish by Annemarie Schimmel, Arthur John Arberry, and many others.

Ghazal "Gayaki", the art of singing or performing the ghazal in Indian classical tradition, is very old. Singers like Ustad Barkat Ali and many other singers in the past used to practice it, but due to the lack of historical records, many names are anonymous. It was with Begum Akhtar, and later on Ustad Mehdi Hassan, that classical rendering of ghazals became popular amongst the masses. The categorization of ghazal singing as a form of "light classical" music is a misconception. Classical ghazals are difficult to render because of the varying moods of the "shers" or couplets in the ghazal. Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Begum Akhtar, Mehdi Hassan, Jagjit Singh, Farida Khanum and Ustad Ghulam Ali are popular classical ghazal singers.

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