ranjeet pathak
ranjeet pathak with santoor

ABOUT RANJEET

Ranjeet Pathak is an eminent Santoor (musical instrument) artist of India.

Ranjeet started his training in Santoor at the tender age of six under the guidance of his father Shri Deochandra Pathak, himself a well renowned Tabla Player. Ranjeet is the grandson of late Ramchandra Pathak (An eminent Ishraj Player) & late Padmashri Pandit Shiyaram Tiwari (An eminent classical vocal).

Ranjeet was awarded a scholarship for learning music from SANGEET NATAK ACADEMY. He has also been awarded Sangeet Prabhakar in vocal from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. .

Ranjeet has had the privilege of learning under the guidance of Santoor Maestro Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya (in the tradition of guru-disciple system). Maestro Bhattacharya is the sole Santoor instrumental artist of Maihar Gharana established by late Baba Allauddin in late 19th century, and later let by Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Ranjeet is an established prominent artist of India. He has been a feature as a regular classical musician on All India Radio, Zee TV, and Sahara TV. He is a graded artist from All India Radio, Mumbai. Ranjeet is uniquely gifted in Indian Vocal Classical Music where he learned Classical Vocal from a great Thumri Maestro Pandit. Kameshwar Pathak (Ranjeet’s paternal grand father). He has performed simultaneously on the Santoor and singing classical ragas.

Ranjeet has recieved numerous awards, one of which is the highly reputable “SUR MANI” award he received in 2004 from Sur Singar Samshad and “SANGEET RATAN” from Los Angeles, USA. Playing the Santoor is no small feature in itself. Ranjeet has performed extensively in India, Spain, Holland and USA. In Europe, he is well known for his contributions to the fusion of western and eastern music.

Ranjeet has developed musical scores that have fascinated, tantalized and gained respect from audiences young and old. He is considered a genius in some circles. Ranjeet is intimately involved with the Nupur Dance Academy (NDA), USA.


ABOUT SANTOOR:

In the Rig Veda (Sacred Hindu text) there is mentioned of the Pinaki veena which also happens to be the instrument of Lord Shiva presumably, the itinerant musicians and gypsies carried this instrument in their wanderings across the continents of Asia and Europe, giving rise to variety of instruments that are similar in nature.

In musical encyclopedias the Santoor is found under the category of hammered dulcimer. Popularly by the similar name Santoor in Iran, Iraq and Turkey, it is a 72 stringed instrument. In China, it is the Yang-Qin with 45 strings, and the German version Hackbrett has 135 strings. The Santoori in Greece, The Kenetle in Finland and the Cimbalon or Zymbaion of Hungary and Romania are similar instruments. The Cimbalom lookslike a piano, but instead of a keyboard, large strikers are used on the strings.The Santoor as used by Ranjeet Pathak is played with a pair of curved mallets made of walnut wood and the resultant melodies are similar to themusic of the harp, harpsichord or piano. The sound chamber is also made of walnut wood and the bridges are made of local wood and painted dark like ebony. The strings are made of steel.

For an instrument to be accepted as classical it has to be able to emulate the human voice, the ultimate classical instrument. This required the effect of meend (glissando), which is the ability to pass, unbroken, from one note to another, as opposed to staccato. Two techniques could be used to create this effect on a stringed instrument. One is by pulling the string, as in the sitar, and the other is by gliding the fingers as in the sarangi or sarod.

Ranjeet Pathak sustains the resonance of the notes and maintains their continuity by gliding his kalam, or strikers along the strings very delicately, creating very little vibration. This gliding techniques allows him to play alap, the slow improvised invocation of a raga.

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