Bipul Kumar Ray – Young Maestro of Santoor
Bipul is one of the finest santoor exponents of the country. Under the tutelage of Santoor maestro Pandit Bhajan Sopori, an outstanding exponent of “Sufiyana Gharana” of Kashmir, has mastered “Khayal and Tantrakari Ang” (style) equally well, with arduous training and hard work. Bipul’s recitals are very much influenced by his Guru and that is why he is very much particular about the purity of raga and its aesthetical approach. The recitals seek to combine melodious Alap and Tantrakari innovative improvisation with mesmerizing “Layakari”, superb sound control and dexterous finger work.
The entire rendition, be it serious or light is sparkled by intuition. The recitals not only appeal to the classical artists but to all level of listeners. If there is sheer lilting melody for the layman, then there is heady complexity for the connoisseur too.
Bipul has a Master and M. Phil degree in Classical vocal music and pursuing research (Ph.D) on Santoor from the University of Delhi. He has bagged several Awards and prizes.
Bipul Kumar Ray is one of the leading santoor exponents of the country. Having received training under the tutelage of Pandit Bhajan Sopori, Bipul has bagged several awards with his melodious performances. Along with conducting music workshop of Sahitya Kala Parishad, Govt. of Delhi as a Director and being an A grade artiste from All -India Radio, Bipul has also been empanelled with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
A brief Introduction to Santoor
In the beginning of the 20th century, Santoor entered the Indian classical arena of Music. There were about 50 different shapes and varieties of Veena during the ancient period. Especially, there is a reference of an instrument called ‘Baan’ in Rig-Veda. It was used in ‘Sama-gayan’. The literary meaning of word Baan is hundred stringed Veena which is also called ‘Shat-tantri Veena.’
There is a difference of opinion about the origin of Santoor among scholars. Some scholars believe that the Santoor arrived from Iran (Central Asia) to India but most agree that it is derived from the ancient Indian instruments. Santoor is popular instrument in Kashmir since ancient period especially in Sufiana Mausiqi. Sufiana Mausiqi is not folk music instead it is similar to Indian classical Ragas. The use of Santoor in Sufiana Mausiqi especially in Makam (vocal) is since time immemorial.
In traditional Sufiana santoor, there are 25 bridges. On the left side, steel strings are being used and on the right side brass strings are being used. There are 4 strings on each bridge which makes it 100 stringed instruments.There are similar instruments to Indian santoor in the world also. To name a few:
Salterio (Maxico), Santur (Iran), Khim (Laos), Hackbrett (Germany), Tympanon (France), Hammarharpa (Sweden), Hammered Dulcimer (USA)