The Nirtan Songs
Composed for voice and piano by Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Maheboob Khan
to the Poems of Hazrat Inayat Khan
1. Waves of Favour (alankara)
2. Heart (alankara)
3. Truth (alankara)
4. The Holy Sacrament (gamaka)
5. You are my Life (gamaka)
6. Why O my Feeling Heart (gamaka)
7. What is Needed is to Be (gamaka)
8. Before You Judge (gamaka)
9. The Sun Will Shine (tala)
10. The Lover’s Heart (tala)
Maheboob Khan’s greatest abiding contribution to his elder brother Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Indian Sufism in the West are his compositions for voice and piano accompaniment. Most valued have been his personally created compositions to a number of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s English poems. These songs, with their English texts and occasional raga tonality, were created out of a thoroughly Indian musical intuition and schooling.
The compositions are on texts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s three booklets of aphorisms and poems, named “Gayan,” “Vadan,” and “Nirtan,” referring to vocal, instrumental and dramatic music respectively, glossed as “notes from the unstruck music,” “the divine symphony,” and “the dance of the Soul.” The latter, published posthumously, contains some of the most poignant and intensely elevating of all Hazrat Inayat Khan’s poetic evocations. All verses in the Nirtan lending themselves to musical composition, have thus been given an added dimension of beauty and contemplative attunement. Hence all of the Nirtan songs here are being presented jointly for the first time.