Rajabhaiyya Poonchhwale



I crave your permission to make a reference to the late Raja Bhaiyya Poonchhwale, a foremost exponent of vocal music of the Hindustani School. It is, however, with deep regret that I have to convey to you the sad news of the sudden death of Acharya Raja Bhaiyya at Gwalior on April 1, 1956. Born in 1882, the late Raja Bhaiyya started his music lessons in early childhood under the late Pt. Vaman Bua Deshpande and later under Khan Sahib Nisar Husain and Shri Shankar Rao Pandit of Gwalior. Acharya Raja Bhaiyya’s main forte was the khayal; his gayaki belonged to what is known as the “Gwalior Gharana Gayaki”. He was a scholar, teacher and artist, and devoted his entire life to music. Unlike most singers, his style was noted for its simplicity and grace. He always executed the most intricate tans in difficult rhythm, in madhyam laya, over which he had complete mastery. His gayaki had ease, depth, and sustaining appeal. He was the Principal of the Madhav Sangeet Vldyalaya, Gwalior, from 1941 to 1949. In his death, the country has lost an eminent teacher and an able exponent. For his pre-eminence in music and life-long service to its cause, I pray, Sir, that you may be pleased to award him, posthumously, a shawl, a gold shrinkhal, and a sanad in token of that recognition.