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Play now 60 mins

Courtesan songs and music of the Bauls

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 17 September 2005

In search of music performed for Krishna, Lucy Duran and the musician Viram Jasani find themselves in a brothel in Kolkata, India.

Squeezed into a sleazy little bed-sit, two courtesan sisters perform songs for the Hindu Deity, rarely recorded and normally reserved for their paying clients.

Plus the mad world of the Bauls – music by the tantric philosophers of rural Bengal.

Music and featured items

16 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Central Kolkata

    Lucy Duran and Viram Jasani in central Kolkata.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians

      Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians Dadra

      BBC recording on location

    • Image for Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians

      Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians Thumri

      BBC recording on location

  • The dying art of the classically trained courtesan.

    'The Singing House'.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians

      Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians Kajeri

      BBC recording on location

  • An allegory of love.

    The meaning of the lyrics the courtesans sing

  • Music Played

    • Image for Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians

      Kanchanji Misra and Madhuriji Singh with their musicians Chaiti

      BBC recording on location

  • The music of the 'Bauls'

    On the road to hear the music of the Bauls.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Baul musicians from rural Bengal

      Baul musicians from rural Bengal Kalpana Dasi (Krishna song)

      BBC recording on location

  • The culture of the Bauls.

    In their remote village community.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Baul musicians from rural Bengal

      Baul musicians from rural Bengal Traditional Baul song

      BBC recording on location

  • The musical instruments of the Bauls.

    Some unique to their tradition.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Baul musicians from rural Bengal

      Baul musicians from rural Bengal Tinkari Das

      BBC recording on location

  • A Pan shop

    A local delicacy.

  • Music Played

    • Image for Rani Dewi, Pramod Kumar Singh, Papulal Nal, Ravinder Kumar Misra

      Rani Dewi, Pramod Kumar Singh, Papulal Nal, Ravinder Kumar Misra Dadra song with dance (Gagare juna maro)

      BBC recording on location

  • Varanasi

    Music of Krishna and the Gopis.

Broadcasts

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