Tihai-s: The Rape Of Melody
Fortunately, the tihai which is authentic and melodic, and its compounded form, the chakradhar, are not totally dead yet. It is therefore possible, and useful, to document their musical meaning. This can help us to distinguish between musicians who have respect for discerning audiences, and those who do not. A melodic tihai takes shape when a melodic statement is rendered thrice in a row in such a manner as to convert the resulting pattern into a rhythmic statement. The melodic tihai is believed to have been inspired by the rhythmic tihai form in percussion. Percussion itself is believed, by some, to have developed it in response to the needs of accompaniment to Kathak dance.
Two of the vocalists— V.N. Bhatkhande and V.D. Paluskar— deserve to be highlighted separately, because their contributions were of a different character from those of the others owards the end of the nineteenth century, music in North India was dominated by a small number of professionals who enjoyed royal patronage in different native States and who, over time, had acquired a bad odour. Messianic in their endeavours, the two, who were contemporaries, set out to rescue music from these circumstances. They made their mark as crusaders rather than as singers. And their impact as crusaders was seminal.