Ghantasala - A singer with multiple shades

By - December 04, 2013 - 01:23 PM IST

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An aspect which cannot be expressed even with pages of writing can be said in a song, poem or a sloka. That is why a song- which is a blend of raga, talam and bhavam is a boon to Cinema. It is needless to emphasize the importance of a song in Indian Cinema. Just like how a tune and tempo is crucial for a song, the diction and meaning behind each word of the song is also very important. Unfortunately, the current trend in songs for Telugu films is leading to more noise thereby leading to a backseat for meaning and diction. Though these issues were told many times by experts, Iqlikmovies is telling this again because- Today is the birth anniversary of eternal singer Ghantasala.

During the days when Ghantasala completed his music training in Vijayanagaram and searching for singing chances in Madras, the influence of stage plays music was enormous on Telugu Cinema. It was Marathi stage play music influence- to say in particular. Our composers used to imitate Hindustani Music which was so popular those days. After the advent of Chittoor Nagaiah in the land of Telugu Cinema, the beauty of Telugu light music was slowly introduced. But owing to the influence those days, he couldn’t help but to include traditional style of singing.

When this was going on, Ghantasala sang for the first time in Telugu Cinema along with Bhanumathi for the film Swarga Seema. Ghantsala always used to question himself for things like- How should a Telugu Film Song sound? What can we do for making it more melodious? How should we present the beauty of what the poet wrote for a song? How clear the diction should be while singing? How should one deliver a song so that the orchestration doesn’t dominate the lead singing? He even used to observe how Nagaiah,  Balatantrapu Rajanikantharao, S.Rajeshwara Rao on how they perform a song and their composing style. During this early years when he got chance to work as an assistant to C.R.Subburaman, Ghantasala developed his uniqueness. It later became popular as the Ghantasala Path and is still being heard beautifully.

The complete credit of standardizing the worth of Telugu Song goes to Ghantasala! He became a trademark for Song, Poem and Sloka. His singing did not confine to only Sympathy, Love, Devotion, Sadness, Aggression, and Dejection but also to all sort of Comedy songs. He created a new wave for coming generations. Nobody can excel in the devotional songs department as much as he did. Bhagavadgita sung by him during his last days itself is a great example of this. After his sad demise, Ghantasala’s Bhagavadgita was released in 1974 which became a standard for the Epic.

Ghantsala was adept in understanding the character and rendering his voice appropriately by elevating the situation. It is very easy to act for a song sung by Ghantsala because half the performance is already done by the playback singer! All the actors needed to do was acting the remaining half! The same point was told by ANR many times. The acting legend always says,” Half the credit for my acting goes to Ghantsala alone!”. He even shows the subtle difference in singing for the contemporaries of that era like Sr.NTR and ANR in ease. Though it is nearly 40 years the great singing legend left this World, his songs are intact even now. Yes…as long was Telugu Film Songs exist, Ghantsala’s name will be remembered.

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