The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore

by Arghya Dutta Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali […]

by Arghya Dutta

Kishore Kumar is considered to be a “versatile genius” with so many outstanding facets of his artistic personality. If overall as an artist, Kishore is versatile, only in singing domain he is a “versatile singer” in a true nature. Right from romantic to sad to soulful to motivating to semi-classical to qawwali to patriotic and to ghazals, Kishore had shown his tremendous variety in his god-given voice each and every time he had stood behind the microphone.

Here we discuss, yet another interesting genre of songs from Kishoreda – devotional songs – where he, as always, did tremendous perfection in singing, although he remained underrated always.


Kishoreda’s first true devotional song was “Leela Aparampar prabhuji teri leela aparampar” which he sang in the movie, Humsafar(1953). The song was composed by the maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan sahib. The song requires extensive voice modulation and Kishore sang the song with great feeling. The antara where he goes up with “ O neele ambar pe basaria, teri jay jaykaar…,” the feeling touches hearts.

Next came the classic “Haal tujhe apni duniya ka nazar to aata hoga” from Asha(1957). Composed by one of Kishore’s earliest admirers, C Ramchandra, the song is different, as now, Kishore is complaining to the Almighty for all the misdoingd on planet earth. His voice carries the grief and complaint and very “open throated”.. with “ Maalik tu bhi isko banaake ab pachhtata hoga…” truly depicts a person’s disappointment which he keeps in front of the god,,,

One of my most favourite devotional song from Kishore was in Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein(1964)- a song which he himself composed and sang alongwith Manna De. The song “O jag ke rakhwale humein tujh bin kaun sambhaale” is very soulful and touches heart immediately with the divine tune.. Manna starts the song with chorus and Kishore enters very late and immediately leaves a heavy impact with “Kiya sab kuchh tere hawaale, o jag ke rakhwale”.. Manna reportedly praised Kishore openly for the composition as well as the rendition… Shows again, the genius of that man- Kishore Kumar!

Kishore sang many devotional songs in the 70s, when he was on the top spot in playback singing. Chhoti Bahu(1971) saw Kishore rendering “Hey re kanhaiya, kisko kahega tu maiyya..” composed by his long time associates Kalyanji-Anandji.. The song depicts the dilemma of young Kanhaiyya, as he was born in Devki’s house but brought up in Yashda’s home and finding it difficult whom he should call “his actual mother”.. “Jisme tujhko janam diya ya jisne tujhko pala…”, very simple lyrics and simple tune and Kishore’s “open voice” makes this song very close to heart..

Ram ka naam badnaam na karo..” is perhaps the most popular devotional song of Kishore which he sang in Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) under Rahul Dev Burman. Youth getting astray are motivated by Kishore with the “tyaag” and “dharma” of Rama and Krishna here with a voice “pioneering” and “comforting”.. The feelings which he brings here also makes the song memorable and timeless. “Ram ko samjho, Krishna ko jaano, neend se jaago o mastano..”, Kishore calls the youth to follow the “true path”of Almighty to come out of darkness.

Mere Jeevan Sathi(1972) is mainly rememberd for the romantic songs of Kishore for Rajesh Khanna, but the song “Aao kanhai mere dham” is very special for those who love Bhajans.. The true passion and anxiety of a bhakt for not getting the darshan of Lord Krishna, is reflected in the anxious voice of Kishore “dekho ho gayi shaam”… Composed by Rahul Dev Burman- a truly sublime bhajan for Kishore..

Naya Din Nayi Raat(1974) saw this time Laxmikant Pyarelal turning to Kishore for a nice melodious and simple Krishna vandana in terms of “Krishna Krishna bolo Krishna…”, influenced by Bengali kirtan- with proficient usage of the instrument “khol”. The song was sung very melodiously by the two legends- Kishore and Lata and is even popular to this day!

In 1974, the newcomer music director Rajesh Roshan handed Kishoreda a very high pitch beautiful devotional number “Jai Bholenath Jai Ho Prabhu” in the movie “Kunwara Baap” where Kishore sang as many as 4 songs … Although, the song might not have left too much of an impact as a “devotional song” in the mind of the audience, it is very much a memorable and a very melodious song of Kishore and Lata..

But the best was yet to come!! Laxmi-Pyare turned again to Kishore with “Prem ka rog laga mujhe yeh”- a classic devotional song on a semi-classical note in Do Premee(1980)! All the three antaras were different from one another and the note changes were complex!! With lot of vigour in his voice, Kishore sang like a truly “magan” bhakta in “Yeh kaanton ke haar hai saare , murari..” This song is still a showcase of Kishore’s multi layered voice!!

The next considerable devotional song was “Bhole O Bhole” from Yarana(1981) composed by Rajesh Roshan, may not be called a “true devotional song” in a proper sense, but had the essence of a troubled mind addressing the God.

The last significant bhajan by Kishore was in Swami Dada(1982) for Rahul Dev Burman with “Ek roop kayin naam man mandir tera dham..”.. Again a simple tune sang with lot of emotions… But bhajans were scarce those days in Hindi Cinema, and this song remained the “swan song” for Kishore as far as devotional songs are concerned…

In 1986, recovering a heart attack, Kishore recorded his last Rabindrasangeet album (Bangla) with music arrangement of his another true admirer- Hemant Kumar.. The typical low note devotional Rabindrasangeet “ Klanti aamaar khama koro prabhu…” (Please forgive my tireness, O Lord..), according to me, is the best devotional song of Kishore …

A man of many moods, Kishore truly proved his versatility in all genres of singing.. Although, his devotional songs cannot fall in the same category of “Man tarapat hari darshan” or “Sukh ke sab saathi”, but the glimpse of his great talent cannot be overlooked in all the devotional songs he had sung!! A truly “divine” voice!

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468 Blog Comments to “The Divine Voice of Devotional Kishore”

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  1. Gamnya Bagra says:

    Both are the King of different kingdom have equal ability and strength. They are God of Music. They are still alive. High octave or low octave is not important, the magic of sound should make an impression on mind, heart and soul which remains for ever and ever. No one on earth can has the knowledge to justify their singing.

  2. SANJAY PATEL says:


  3. Mankeerat says:

    Great Post
    small objection two of the bhajans were made a higher pitch post recording
    by playing fast and rerecording
    1) ram ka naam badnaam
    2) aao kanhai mere dham

    I can send you the true versions or you can dl from my blog

  4. Sanjay says:

    you said
    Mere Jeevan Sathi(1972) is mainly rememberd for the romantic songs of Kishore for Rajesh Khanna, but the song “Aao kanhai mere dham” is very special for those who love Bhajans.. The true passion and anxiety of a bhakt for not getting the darshan of Lord Krishna, is reflected in the anxious voice of Kishore “dekho ho gayi shaam”… Composed by Rahul Dev Burman- a truly sublime bhajan for Kishore..

    This song is actually rendered, which means that it is recorded at a much slower speed, and then sped artificially to make the pitch higher. This may be because RD wanted to spew out high pitched Kishore Kumar songs to match Rafi. RD Burman HAS done this to quite a few Kishore Kumar Songs. Try adding about 10 seconds to this song using a utility like ‘MP3 speed’ and you will find Kishore Kumar’s High timber voice come forth.

  5. vijay says:

    md rafi is a ordinery singar but kishore is great singar

  6. mahesh says:


    is er een lijst met het aantal liederen die Kishore Kumar heeft gezongen.
    zou deze graag willen. ben bezig om al zijn liederen te digitaliseren.

    Alvast bedank.

  7. Vijay S says:

    hi, thanks for this article and the list of Kishore Da’s devotional songs. Some of these songs i had not heard earlier..i think because in last para u compared his devotional songs with Man tarpat and Sukh kay sab saathi, the discussion turned into Rafi vs Kishore whereas your objective was only to facilitate the list and Kishore Da’s contribution in devotional category. Probably u wanted to highlight his versatility which u have done..i think in 50s and 60s when Bhajans were composed more and they became popular, Kishore Da was singing limited only for himself and Dev Sahab. later Few music composers showed confidence in him ( some say only 1 Music director, RD Burman), so Music Composer showed confidence in him and he started frustrating fans of other singers… I think this elaborates his strength as singer..i m not getting into who is greater or who is the greatest singer.. before Aradhana it was Rafi sahab’s time that didn’t mean that Kishore Da was sitting idle and his song were not popular… he had his place as singer and he had a fan following..his songs of those days were popular and popular even today.. so in 70s Rafi sahab was singing some songs … Kishore Da was doing so many things and i wonder how he managed his time those days…Music Directors like OP expected singers to be disciplined and reach on time, once OP nayyar sahab got upset with Rafi sahab coz Rafi sahab reached late by 10 minutes for a recording and OPN didn’t use him for next 2 years, how OPN would had tolerated Kishore Da who was busy doing acting, producing movies…can not we conclude that favorite singers for Music Director were not only because of their singing talent but also because of certain other things…Rafi sahab was dedicated to his singing career and he did his best to do justice right from meeting music directors on time to recording whereas Kishore da wanted to become singer but was managing so many of his careers lines in one time…goes w/o saying.. Kishore Da’s contribution in numbers of devotional songs could be less or less popular but his talent and skills as playback singers were not less..thanks for the list once again…

  8. Gajendra Singh says:

    This is not a place to compare Kishore & Md Rafi. Nobody can deny about greatness of Md Rafi but we all should accept that both of them had good time when they were at their best time. Why Kishore didn’t get many songs during 50s & 60s and why Rafi got very less songs in 70s. If you want to compare Kishore and Md Rafi then you should listen their songs sung by them together or a song of ‘Pyaar Ka Mausam’ TUM BIN JAAUN KAHAAN KE DUNIYA MEIN AAKE’ and decide yourself. Our Music Directors were much more knowledgeable than all these individuals who have put their comments here. This is a reply to all those who want to use this place for comparing Md Rafi & Kishore. When Imraan Khan (Cricketer) was announced his retirement from Test Cricket The Kishore’s song ‘CHALTE CHALTE MERE YE GEET YAAD RAKHANA KABHI ALVIODA NA KAHANA’ was being played in the stadium. Why? Even Pakistan do not evaluate Kishore less but Indian Mislims……….

  9. pankaj lal says:

    there are a certain degree of fineness and sweetness and utaar chadaav and stability in the voice out of all this measurements i would like to rate ghantasala ji as number 1, mohd rafi sahab as number 2 and kishore kumar ji as number 3. even mahendra kapoor ji as number 3 and rest all great singers only old ones come in number 3 and now a days singers come in number 10 position especially sonu nigam .

  10. gokuldas kumar.m says:

    Dear Surajit Bose ji,
    With due respects given to your formal knowledge in classical music, I have to say this in regard to what you wrote about Rafi and how assessed him:
    “It remains a sad truth that although we remain as one nation, many of us still cannot rise above the parochial/ regional/linguistic bias, even while judging artists! Somewhere deep inside his soul, he detests acknowledging an outside artist at the expense of his own!! alas, even learned musician are not above this!! ”
    Let us forget whether we are a Malayalee, or Bengalee, or Tamilian or Telugu or a north Indian, when it comes to evaluating music.

  11. Samir Ahmed says:

    KK had a street singer’s voice and that’s an undeniable fact! Personally speaking, he always sounded like a drunk, impotent, out of tune singer to me. Indeed, there’s nothing special about his voice, in fact he spoiled so many songs it’s simply unbelievable. If only his fans would accept his limitations as he did… He knew Rafi was the best, why else would he be replaced in so many songs!!! Nafrat Ki Duniya being a prime example, but there are many others such as Zindagi Guzaar Ne Ko… If he had a great voice he wouldn’t need to be replaced but he couldn’t sing those songs just like he was unable to sing many he was given, but I don’t blame him, we all have to eat! I cannot fathom why an earth he would even try to sing Nafrat Ki Duniya Mein with his ineffectual and restricted vocal skills? I suppose we never know our limitations as human beings until we put every ounce of our effort into an endeavour… Coversely speaking, can anyone name even one song where Rafi had to be replaced as the song was beyond his vocal skills! A point to note would be how many legendary MDs would have KK as their no. 1 singer; apart from the Bengali clan (we all know how partial they can be) I doubt any serious musician would even consider KK to be in their top 10! You think of great musicians like Naushad, Shankar-Jaikishan, Roshan, Ghulam Mohammed, Ravi, O P Nayyar, Husnlal-Bhagatram, Madan Mohan, S D Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal amongst other stalwarts and one intrinsically knows which camp they would have their foot in and it’s definitely not the KK one. In fact most wouldn’t even class KK as a singer, which is demonstrated in their extremely limited use of KK during the 1950s and 1960s period when KK was around, but not utilised due to his many limitations and the challenging compositions MDs were formulating. I prefer to follow their lead in this as they saw first-hand the talent and limitations of each artiste in their studio and KK was assuredly limited in this regard or else he would have had many more songs in his repertoire during this phase. Indeed, HFM needed a dumbing down for KK to make an impact otherwise this man would’ve gone down as only a good comedian/actor in the annals of Hindi Films. With Araadhana KK (as well as the Bengali clan) got the dumbing down he craved but only for a year or two, as music lovers soon realised their universe had been seriously compromised…

  12. TONY SINGH says:

    THIS IS KISHORE’S BEST DIVOTIONAL SONG ,OK”Apnonko Kab Hai Shyam – Rajesh Khanna, Mere Jeevan Saathi -1972


    very very rare and unique information my sincere thanks……………..but there was one more devotional song sung by kishore daa…..i had heard at AAKASHWANI…..AND SEEN ON DOORDARSHAN also way back in early eighties and the message of the song is very very useful in today’s scenario specially AYODHYA issue, the song was..BADHTEN HEIN JAB JAB PAAP DHARTI PAR PAAP DHARTI PAR……………I don’t know the film’s name….the one antra…..MERE NAAM KI LEKE DUHAI JO LOGON KO LADATE HEIN..WO HEIN BANDE DHARAM KE ANDHE WO NA KABHI SUKH PAATE HEIN…..OR…

  14. Bhushan says:

    Hi srini

    I do not agree rafi’s voice was sweeter than ghantasala whose voice used to change depending upon the raga he rendered. He sounded sweet to the extent specified by music rules – rafi’s voice naturally came in a sweet way – he was not that adept in change in voice technique as was ghantasala. Just go to some melodious and sweet ragas such as sankarabharanam, bilahari, kalyani etc. – compare both rafi and ghantasala songs in these ragas – ghantasala’s voice is more sweeter than rafi in these ragas, because these ragas specify a higher degree of sweetness by their quality and ghantasala displayed that. Ragas which do not require sweetness, ghantasala cannot display that, by virtue of his musical skills. Rafi used the same sweetness for all his songs in all ragaas – though they require sweetness or not (which people liked) and thus in my opinion, rafi does not satisfy the pure music rules to the level which ghantasala satisfied. Excepting ghantasala, there is no playback singer in india who was an accomplished playback singer, accomplished music director and accomplished classical musician with a majestic divine voice and achieving dominating success in all fields simultaneously without any competition as long as he was alive. Similarly there is no classical musician (on the range of ghantasala) in india who was equally accomplished as a playback singer in films without any competition for 3 decades, excepting ghantasala. There closes the issue for any further arguments in this regard.

  15. Rafifan says:

    Hi srini

    Rafi was not formally trained – He was trained no less in the gharana of ustad bade gulam ali khan, I think your post is without sufficient knowledge of the background of the singers mentioned therein. Well, agreed that rafi was not that trained or perfect as compared to ghantasala. Next, kuhu kuhu, ghantasala’s voice appears more sweeter than rafi in the last para – “kanugava taniyaga” which is saj singar by rafi – just listen carefully in a good head phone. Not only sweeter, as you said ghantasala glides easily in the notes and entire song – so in this song, even as rafi fan, due credit I give to ghantasala – the rendition is such, even lata in hindi falls short before this man in the rendition.

    Rafi’s range is different – just hear yeh mera prem patra, or jo wada kiya woh, chaudvin ka chaand, yeh chaand sa roshan chehra etc. etc. – rafi is unmatchable in these type of songs, of course which rafi have rendered in hundreds.

  16. Srini says:

    It is a nice discussion, but I feel that it is going off topic a bit.
    There are a lot of classical singers who are technically right,
    however, the effect is missing. The feeling in the song the
    weight of ones voice, thats what movie songs are all about.
    Yes you need loads of natural gifted voice (ala kishore/spb/rafi)
    or classical training with good voice (like ghantasala).

    By the way Rafi is not “formally” trained in any form of classical music.
    Rafi and SPB learnt classical music after they became filmi singers.
    So I would say it is unfair to compare them in pure classical renditions
    with the likes of Ghantasala.

    Regarding Kishore, the moment you start listening to a song,
    it just hits a chord, there is something magical in his voice and the
    way he sings that just attracts you, could it be the way he intentionally
    breaks his voice without losing the melody to create emotion in his sad
    songs like “Dil aaj shayar hai”, “Mere mehboob qayamat higi”, “Meri
    bheegi bheegi si” or “Dil aisa kisine mera toda”. It is that spl ingredient
    that separates him from the rest.

    Technically he is not the best but when he sings its just magical.
    Same goes with SPB, yes ghantasala is order of magnitude better
    technically but SPB’s voice among the mentioned singers is second
    only to Kishore!!! Any good music director (be it SD or AR Rahman)
    will pick the best suited voice for a particular song. Them picking Kishore
    over Mukesh, Manna Dey who are classically trained or Md Rafi
    who I will agree has a sweeter voice (and more versatile) has to say something about the singer Kishore was and the effect his voice
    could convey :).. (To me its simply magical just cant put in words)

    Someone commented that ARR does not pick SPB for most of his songs
    which is right but listen to the songs he picked SPB to sing (sorry
    dont have hindi examples but in telugu off the top of my head its
    “Prema Prema” in Prema Desam compare it to the rest of the
    light hearted/headed songs).

    You just can not compare two individuals, they are different and
    every one has strengths and weaknesses. Ghantasala might sing
    “Hayi Hayiga” technically exceedingly well but I would have to agree
    that his voice is not as sweet as Rafi’s 🙂 so its okay if people prefer
    Rafi’s version. I grew up listening to all three singers but never
    compared one to another just have a set of my favourite songs
    of each singer and listen to them, sometimes in random order,
    thanks to the technology to have made that possible.


  17. Surajit Bose says:

    Retrovert @448,

    Thanks for a good post without any flames.

    Ok, now for my rejoinder.

    Meends – Kishore was no less a master at meends and harkats when so inclined. Just listen to some of his early songs when he was singing in the Talat and Saigal style. There are harkats galore in songs like “Aa mohabbat ki basti”, “Husn bhi hai udhaas”, or even “Dukhi man mere”. There are some great meends in later songs like “Main Shaayar badnaam”, “Diye jalte hain”, songs from “Amar Prem”, “Kinara” (“O majhi re”) etc.

    Taans – I’m sorry, Rafi WAS NOT a master of taans by any yardstick. The taans in “Madhuban mein radhika” (picturized on Mukhri) were not sung by Rafi. Gamakas are, strictly speaking, different from taans. Gamakas are similar to microtones and are usually a set of notes clustered around the primary frequency, though there are exceptions. They make up parts of taans, like a subset. Taans can comprise double, triple, or even quadruple note clusters of varying frequency. Sapaat taans, for eg., comprise note clusters with near vertical increase in frequency. There was a very good alaap that Rafi pulled off in that song, though, I think in the line of “Dholak cham cham”. But we don’t know if Kishore would or would not have been able to pull it off. My listening to Kishore’s renditions of Rabindra Sangeet, and a host of non-film songs suggest that he could’ve pulled it off. Though I am not so sure. Regarding gamakams, what about Kishore’s yodelling ? That’s a perfect cannon for gamakams as it includes vocal rolling and sliding of the notes. And Kishore can do it while going up or down in the frequency scale. It’s a different matter that it’s done without swaras.

    I don’t want to generalize you into a category, but it’s just that classical vocalists are prejudiced against anything that involves the falsetto register. But I, despite learning Hindustani classical, have no such issues. Classical music is mostly about voice control, and achieving that level of control that Kishore does in the falsetto is no simple feat. Add to that his ability to quickly slide into and out of the falsetto register with such awesome precision. These are all signs of a very gifted musician with commendable voice control.

    The few times Rafi tried to render competent taans, he came out distinctly uncomfortable. For eg., listen to the following duets: “Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya” and “Jhanan jhan”. Where as Lata was like a sliver of lightning in tracking all the taans and alaaps, Rafi was very laboured. Here is a link to the second song:

    Here is another song that brings out his discomfort.

    Kishore never ventured into this category, and wisely so.

    I’m sorry to say but Rafi’s renderings of strictly classical pieces were not convincing by any means.

    Further it’s a common myth (and your post seems to suggest that you have unwittingly gone the same path) to associate demanding calibre of songs with the number of swaras (as in actual use of the swaras) or notes it contains, and thereby conclude that it needs more skills and hence a singers superiority is proven. Complexity of a song should never be judged based on it’s fun content. When you accept this view, it becomes evident that Kishore’s comedy songs (and there are innumerable) are no less “complex” than the songs sung by Rafi.

    Range – I can accept that Rafi had a wider range if you count the sheer number of notes. However, you have to admit that Rafi’s lower octave range was very limited. In fact there are hardly any songs that he sang in the E1 scale. Kishore’s voice had no such limitations. Listen to Rafi’s “Yahan badla wafa ka” and you will see how he struggles to sing in the lower octave.

    It’s in the middle and upper octaves that his real talents emerge. Obviously, in the upper octave, he was king.

    Regarding the live version of “O duniya ke rakhwale”, he does go higher based on the notes, but scalewise he starts off lower by a whole step and so, on an absolute scale, he does NOT go higher than the original version. Further, the live version is no patch on the original version (esp. the “Around the world” version was a pale comparision) and he really struggles when he starts off with “Oooo … duniya”.

    Regarding expressions, I do not have too much to say because we are touching subjective issues here. For me, most of Rafi’s sad and philosophical songs rarely have any effect. And I think that is because he “works” on it, he “tries very hard” to put those effects. So, in effect, it doesn’t sound like coming from the heart. There are some songs that I do enjoy though – songs from “Guide”, “Seema” come to mind. When Kishore sings “Zindagi ka safar” or “Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi”, it comes straight from the heart. He doesn’t do anything to “try” and bring the effect. His intonation seals the deal. It’s like when you are sad, your voice has a certain intonation that immediately tells the other person that you are sad. You don’t “try” to sound sad.

    Kishore, to me, is extrinsically original, while both are intrinsically original. When I say intrinsic, I mean that the pauses, the inflections in the voice, the whispers etc. that they put in the song to do justice to the lyrics.

    By extrinsic, I mean the ability to create a song that was not even thought of by the composer. For example, the song “Aake seedhi lagi dil pe” was supposed to be a duet by Kishore and Lata. But due to some personal reasons, Lata was absent for the recording and then Kishore suggested, on the spot, that he will sing both versions. That is what I mean by extrinsic originality. His ability to include yodelling in songs also suggests that. It does not matter if his personality was a maverick or not.

    Coming to masses and classes, you are not entirely correct. Classical maestros like Bhimsen Joshi, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Kumar Gandharva etc. regard Kishore very highly. In fact, Rafi was originally my favourite singer much before I learnt classical music. It was after learning classical music that I became aware of his limitations and was not entirely impressed by his classical songs, and was simultaneously enthralled by Kishore’s unique approach to singing and his capabilities as a singer and musician. I love Rafi’s film songs, but not his classical renderings.

    In fact, except for Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle during their peak, I rarely listen to Hindi Film Music for classical songs.

  18. Rafifan says:


    Great post and great points. Rafi is unmatchable. kishore kumar’s songs are relatively easier to sing than most of rafi’s songs which are more tougher . That is enough to conclude on rafi’s greatness.

    I will be happy to listen to a song of rafi touching ma in the lower octave as you mentioned, could you kindly share one song of rafi where he touches ma. Because, I have heard one kishore kumar song where he touches the lower ma note in the lower octave. But I agree with you that rafi had rendered more high pitch notes than kishore, might be due to his classical strength over kishore. Needless to say rafi’s modulation skills are more superior to kishore, who generally has plain style of singing in most of his songs. I think kishore could touch the pa note in the higher octave, and I feel he had done that in ek chatur naar song with manna dey.

    I was told that rafi had touched dha note in o duniya ke rakhwale , in the higher octave, excepting zindabad zindabad song where I think he had gone to a even higher note, but I have heard from musicians that these songs just cover two octaves and accordingly land in limited notes as compared to a three octave rendition where in even higher notes are covered. One such example frequently discussed here was siva sankari of ghantasala and even a sanskrit rendition syamala dandakam by name, where in ghantasala easily sustains top sa in the higher octave and the compositions in three octave is considered as a superior one to establish the coverager of notes in a wider voice range. Needless to say the said songs are very tough songs even to attempt. However, coming to rafi and kishore, the former’s versatality which you have highlighted deserves appreciation and i am in agreement with your post.

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