From ‘Lata Mangeshkar …….in her own voice: Conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir’
Few singers can sing in four octaves as Didi can. In Hindustani music, the octaves are kharaj (low), the middle, upper and uppermost, a range of twenty-eight notes. Didi can sing the entire range of twenty-eight notes. the only other singer I know of who had this same gift was Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. His voice sounded good even at high pitch. In the Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai song, ‘Aa ab laut chalen,’ Didi touches the seventh note in the fourth octave – the highest a human voice can reach. In the song, you hear her holding the note and not sounding shrill.
- Hridaynath Mangeshkar on Lata Mangeshkar
Her singing range is across a full octave from C3 to C5 and she can reach as low as G in the alto range. She can sing half notes too, and through time, has increased the range of her voice and sings from one octave to one and a half octaves effortlessly. Have you heard ‘Bekas pe karam ki jiye’ from Mughal-e-Azam? In the naat, she reaches F natural and sings an even higher pitch
……….Rafi Sahib and Lataji sang many duets together and music lovers, unfamiliar with their names, have never said when listening to their songs: ‘Mohammed Rafi is a Muslim and Lata Mangeshkar is a Hindu’………In sacred temples in Ayodhya, Mathura or Benaras, people can hear the bhajan ‘Mann tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj’ [I long for the sight of Lord Krishna]
and at the shrine of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz or Deva Shareef, a voice echoed ‘Bekas pe karam ki jiye, sarkar-e-madina’ [Show grace to the weak, O Master of Madina]. Those holy men, those sufis, did not know a Brahmin girl called Lata Mangeshkar was singing that naat
- Naushad on Lata Mangeshkar
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