a rare collection of  alaaps from Agra gharana

About the site

It is almost futile to try to earn recognition for the music of an unknown musician almost thirty years after his death , particularly when the recordings are  not of professional quality. But this man and his music were so special that it was an honour to make this almost foolish attempt.

Contrary to the common notion of being the introductory part of a song, aimed at delineating a raga, Moni Babu  treated alaap as an independent identity. He believed that, being free of the bindings of bandish (lyrics) and  taal (rhythm), alaap afforded the artiste an enormous scope for self-expression. Naturally, he was equally adept at  Dhrupad and Khayal, particularly vilambit khayal, but alaap was closest to his heart, his forte.

His style of alaap is rare , to say the  least. At  once, majestic, emotive, melodious and masterly, it 
 has an ethereal  appeal  one does not normally associate with  alaaps  heard today. In the words of one listener,
“ this is  great music -- soulful, melodious, royal."

One of the reasons  he never gave a public performance  was that  he believed that his style did not suit public taste in general. Perhaps this was true. But the kind of response these songs generated among the listeners, convinced us that there was a large section of public who  would  value this  style  and approach to music.

Through this site , we have made an attempt  to bring  some of his songs  to public . It would be a tribute to the departed  soul if  this effort  can help  to bring back memories of an almost forgotten art and  rekindle  interest  in  the great Agra Gharana.

To achieve this end, the publishers have decided to share these songs completely free of cost by allowing Free Listening / Free Download . We request you to kindly read the text in the relevant pages for complete information.


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