Ghazals one of the most popular and common subgenres n the Indo-Caribbean local-classical repertoire, accounting or a large portion of a typical song session’s stems, and one being well represented on commercial recordings.Indo-Caribbean Ghazal resembles its sub continental counterpart, especially as flourishing in the early twentieth century. At the same time, its differences are illustrative of the distinctive formative processes what have shaped local-classical music as a whole.
Like Thumri, the light-classical Ghazal acquired a special popularity in urban Awadhi (especially Lucknow) inthemid-1800s, particularly as performed by courtesans, regional Nautanki troupes, and others. As such, although Ghazal (both as poetry and song) has been primarily an urban cultivated form rather than a rural folk one, it is safe to assume that quite a few indentured immigrants were not only familiar with it but were able to sing it in some fashion.
Ghazal’s popularity in the Caribbean was greatly reinforced in the 1930s and ‘40s by the importation of commercial India, most of which especially, popular were the Ghazals of K.L. Saigal, K.C. Dey, and other Indian vocalists who sang in a somewhat simplified light-classical style. Some tan- singers still perform the Ghazals of these crooners. Even more common has been the practice of setting book-derived Ghazal texts to Saigal and K.C. Dey melodies, which have thus acquired the character of stock tunes.
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