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Dutta, Himangshu Kumar


Dutta, Himangshu Kumar (1908-1944) composer, singer, was born in comilla, where he received his schooling, and passed the Entrance examination from Comilla Zila School in 1924. He received his BA degrees from Presidency College. His mother, also a noted singer, inspired in him a love of music and gave him his first music lessons. Inspired by both his mother and his father, who loved music, he learnt music in a friendly atmosphere. While still very young, he amazed the audience by singing a bhajan at a temple in Comilla. It is not known if he had any ustad or whether he received any formal education in music. Nevertheless, he became famous for his singing while still a student at Presidency College.

In the 1930's Himangshu Kumar played an important role in setting modern Bangla songs to music in the Tagorean tradition. He was well-versed in raga-based classical music. Nevertheless, his compositions were not constricted by his inclination towards classical music. His apt use of mid (occasional deviation from the scale) and vistar (amplification of the note) made his tunes more enthralling.

Himangshu Kumar composed the tunes of most of the songs of Subodh Purakayastha, his classmate. He also composed the tunes of many songs by Ajay Bhattacharya and Binay Mukhopadhyay. The Saraswat Samaj of Dhaka awarded him the title 'Surasagar' (Sea of Music) for his contribution to Bangla music. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]