She helped elevate the profile of thumri and sang variety of other styles, including Khayal, dhrupad, folk music and tappa. A recipient of the Padmashree and the Padma Bhushan from the President of India, she had been honored by all the music academies of the states. The coveted title of ‘The Sangit Shiromani’ by the Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, was also bestowed upon her. In her musical career spanning over four decades, Girija Devi performed across the globe besides at all music conferences in India.
Teaching at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy from its inception in the early 90’s, Devi served as guru for many students, including Dalia Rahut, Jayita Pandey and Pt. Satyanarayan Misra, the son of her own guru, Pt. Sarju Prasad. Leaving the school after 12 years, she returned to Varanasi, where she became a visiting professor at Banaras Hindu University.
About the Ragas:
‘Thumri’ has become synonymous with Girija Devi
Yet in this album we have presented her long play classical recordings from 1971 and 1979. The album opens with two Khayals one each in the morning raga Desi Todi and the other in the evening raga Yaman. This is followed by two Khayals in the nigh raga Abhogi Kanada. In keeping with her forte, we have also incorporated a ‘Tappa’ in Raga Kafi. The album concludes with the ever-green ‘Babul Mora’ in Raga Bhairavi.
‘Khayal’ is a contemporary popular form of Hindustani Classical Vocal Music to present a complete picture of the melodic scale called the ‘Raga’. Its genesis is the austere form called ‘Dhrupad’. ‘Khayal’ is a Persian word, meaning ‘Thought’. The genius of the creator of the Raga in combination with the performer’s improvisation, makes a ‘Khayal’.
There are two distinct compositions of the Khayal, also known as ‘Bandish’ in a performance. The ‘Vilambit’ Khayal or Bandish is sung in a slow rhythmic cycle. This is followed by the ‘Madhya Laya’ or ‘Drut’ Khayal or Bandish sung in a medium to fast tempo.
Bandish is divided into two parts, namely the ‘Sthai’ which is sung in the lower and middle register of the melodic scale, and the ‘Antara’ which is sung inn the upper and middle register of the melodic outline.
About The Artiste:
Girija Devi is a doyen of the Banaras gharana. She was trained by Pt. Sarjuprasad Misra and Pt. Shrichand Mishra, first in Khayal and later in Thumri. Devi made her public debut at the age of 20 on All India Radio Allahabad.
1. Raga -Desi Todi 
Khayal Vilambit Ektaal
"Maika Chain Na Awe"
Khayal Drut Teentaal
"Goondh Goondh Lawo Malaniya"
2. Raga -Yaman 
"Jham Jham Ke Walani
3. Raga- Abhogi Kanada 
"Kal Na Pade"
Khayal Drut Teentaal
"Dhan Dhan Bhag"
4. Raga -Kafi -Tappa 
"Ve Parija Tanda Pare Bandhe Bandhe
5. Raga -Bhairavi 
"Babul Mora Naihar Chhuto Hi Jaya"
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