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Gangubai Hangal

Hangal with young daughter Krishna in the 1930s
Background information
Born 5 March 1913(1913-03-05)
Dharwad, Karnataka, India[1][2]
Died 21 July 2009 (aged 96)
Hubli, Karnataka, India[2]
Genres Hindustani classical music
Occupations singer
Years active 1931-2006[3]

Gangubai Hangal (Kannada: ಗಂಗೂಬಾಯಿ ಹಾನಗಲ್) (5 March 1913 – 21 July 2009) was an Indian singer of the khyal genre of Hindustani classical music, who was known for her deep and powerful voice.[2] Hangal belonged to the Kirana gharana.[4]


Early life

Gangubai Hangal was born in Dharwad to Chikkurao Nadiger, an agriculturist[1] and Ambabai, a vocalist of Carnatic music.[5] Hangal received only elementary education[3] and her family shifted to Hubli in 1928.[1] She began to train formally aged 13 at the music school of Krishna Acharya, studying Hindustani classical music instead of Carnatic music.[6] She also learned from Dattopant Desai before studying under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru.[2][7] Hangal could only study sporadically under Gandharva when he returned to his home, but she received an intensive training of three years after he relocated permanently to Hubli.[6]

Musical career

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Hangal's family was considered as of low social status and for women of her generation singing was not considered appropriate employment; Hangal struggled against this prejudice and made a career.[2] She performed all over India and for All India Radio stations until 1945.[6] Hangal had initially performed light classical genres, including bhajan and thumri, but concentrated on khyal.[6] Hangal served as honorary music professor of the Karnatak University.[3] Hangal gave her last concert in March 2006 to mark her 75th career year.[3] She had overcome bone marrow cancer in 2003, and died of cardiac arrest at the age of 96, on 21 July 2009, in Hubli, where she resided.[3] She had her eyes donated to increase awareness for organ donation.[3]

Personal life

Hangal married at age 16 to Gururao Kaulgi, a Brahmin lawyer.[8] They had two sons, Narayan Rao and Babu Rao,[9] and one daughter, Krishna, who died from cancer in 2004, aged 75.[10]

Awards and honors

Gangubai Hangal received a number of awards, which include:

The Karnataka state government declared two days of mourning for Hangal.[14] A state funeral was announced for 22 July in Hubli by the district commissioner of the Dharwad district.[3]

Further reading

  • Nanna Badukina Haadu (The Song of My Life), as told to Mr. N.K.Kulkarni, translated into English by G. N. Hangal, published by Sayitya Prakashan, Hubli.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Pawar, Yogesh (April 21, 1999). "Classic revisited". Indian Express.  
  2. ^ a b c d e "Veteran Indian singer Gangubai Hangal dies". Associated Press (Google News). 2009-07-21. Archived from the original on 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Gangubai’s concert of life ends". The Hindu. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  4. ^ Viswanathan, Lakshmi (2005-03-27). "Grand legend". The Hindu. Retrieved 2009-05-16.  
  5. ^ a b Ganesh, Deepa (February 25–March 10, 2006). "A life in three octaves". Frontline.  
  6. ^ a b c d Wade, Bonnie C. (2001). "Hangal, Gangubai". in Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove dictionary of music and musicians. 17 (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan Publishers. p. 820. ISBN 0333608003.  
  7. ^ Ramnarayan, Gowri (November 29, 1998). "Where north meets south". The Hindu. Retrieved 2009-07-18.  
  8. ^ "Gangubai's journey to become doyen of Hindustani music". Press Trust of India. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  9. ^ >"Hindustani music exponent Gangubai Hangal passes away". The Times of India. July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  10. ^ "Krishna Hangal dead". The Hindu. 2004-09-03. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  11. ^ a b "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Retrieved 2009-05-16.  
  12. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees — Music — Vocal". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  13. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Fellows". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  
  14. ^ "Two-day state mourning as mark of respect to Gangubai". Press Trust of India. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21.  

External links


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