MovieChat Forums > Jalsaghar (1958) Discussion > Translation of the vocals in the music

Translation of the vocals in the music

Does anyone know where I can find a translation of the vocals in the various musical pieces? It would be nice to know what they are singing about, especially the piece performed during the song.


If you mean the piece sung during Roshan Kumari's dance, it consists (almost?) entirely of meaningless sound syllables. In the main line sung by the vocalist, these take the form of a tarana, a style of singing in which these syllables are used in lieu of actual words, presumably to highlight the rhythmic aspect of the melody. Also, especially in the parts recited at high speed by a female voice, the syllables serve to vocalize a rhythmic pattern played on the tabla (the percussion instrument) or tapped out by the dancer's feet. These are standard modes of performance and are not necessarily deviations for the purpose of the film. However, they do help make the scene less region-specific.


Some of the vocal music also uses the note names: as we have in Western Music Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do in India they use Sa Re Gha Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa.

When singing, the names of the notes themselves are often sung (naturally in pitch with the notes). It makes the voice (the basis of Indian music) even more of a musical instrument when it is purely singing notes in this way.

And to not slight he percussionists, every stroke played on the drum (tabla, pakhawaj or mridgangam) has its own name such as dha, tin, na, ka te etc. and a drummer can sing what they are going to play.

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