Google honours Gauhar Jaan – India's 1st recording artist – with a Doodle

Gauhar Jaan was among the first Indian performers to record music on 78 rpm records

Google honours Gauhar Jaan – India's 1st recording artist – with a Doodle
Pic Courtesy: Google

New Delhi: The global search engine giant Google on Tuesday honoured Gauhar Jaan – possibly India's first recording artist – on her 145th birth anniversary.

The occasion was marked by the search engine giant through a doodle.

Gauhar Jaan was among the first Indian performers to record music on 78 rpm records.

Born in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, the real name of this legendary musician and dancer was Angelina Yeoward. Her father was an Armenian and her mother Victoria Hemmings was an Indian by birth. 

In the later stage of their lives, Gauhar Jaan and her mother moved to the erstwhile Calcutta and established themselves in Nawab Wajid Ali Shah's courts.

However, before that, the mother-daughter duo lived in Benaras (now Varanasi) for a short while where they embraced Islam.

Subsequently, Victoria changed her name to Malka Jaan and Angelina`s name was changed to Gauhar Jaan.

Malka became a noted singer and Kathak dancer in Benaras.

Gauhar began her formal training as a Hindustani classical musician and soon became accomplished in 'Kirtan' and 'Rabindra Sangeet', among other musical forms.

Gauhar made her first performance in the royal court of Darbhanga in 1887 and was later appointed as a court musician. By 1896, she started performing in Calcutta and developed a huge following. 

The legendary dancer recorded more than 600 records between 1902 to 1920 across diverse languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Arabic, Persian, Pushto, French, and English.

Gauhar Jaan died on January 17, 1930, in Mysore (now Mysuru).

(With IANS inputs)

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