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Parzor Foundation


Mr. Tirlochan Singh

Executive Council

Dr. Shernaz Cama
Mrs. Piloo Jungalwalla
Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan
Prof. Armaity S. Desai
Mr. Dadi Pudumjee
Mrs. Ava Khullar

Parzor Patrons

Dr. Karan Singh
Mr. Fali Nariman
Mr. Minoo Shroff
Mr. Dinshaw Tamboly
Mr. B.G. Verghese
Mr. Wajahat Habibullah


PARZOR research within India and neighboring countries has confirmed the closely bound strands of our old civilization and culture. It has, however, been found that many aspects of this culture are in the danger of being lost to humanity forever. In that context, Dr. B.N. Goswamy the world renowned art historian, suggested that the PARZOR Foundation should examine some of the ancient musical forms which are in danger of being lost. One such art form was the Tappa.

Tappa one of the most exacting and dazzling but a dying form of Hindustani Classical Music was therefore taken up for preservation. This form of singing is traced to the 15 th Century A.D. Camel drivers came from regions farther west through Baluchistan and Waziristan to the Multan region (now in Pakistan). Later this form of music traveled to the rest of India and in its classical form became a part of Hindustani Classical music. Its earthy lyrics are sung in the Sairaiki and Multani dialect of Punjabi but still enunciating beautiful Sufi philosophy. Dr. Shanno Khurana, one of the very few living exponents of this art form agreed to be our principal resource person. She had imbibed this art from her Gurus. Parzor Foundation is extremely grateful to her and would like to publicly acknowledge the vast contribution from her and her musicians in our being able to present Sufi Raah in an Album of music of three Tappas. The Album Sufi Raah - by Dr. Shanno Khurana is a PARZOR Foundation contribution to the preservation and promotion of the heritage of humanity. May its listeners find peace and joy as Shanno hauntingly sings of "You I crave - my Lord, the object of my Devotion". CD contains 3 Tappas in Kafi Raga, Jangla Raga and Bhairavi Raga available against a donation of Rs. 299/- from Parzor Foundation, F-17, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi – 110016. Ph. 91-11-26513560, Fax. 91-11-41626248. Email. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Smt. Gursharan Kaur, wife of Hon'ble Prime Minister Dr. Monmohan Singh will release the first ever Music Album of Tappas sung by Shanno Khurana on January 9, 2006 at the Banquet Hall, Ashok Hotel, New Delhi. The release will be followed by a tete a tete with Shanno Khurana on her life's musical journey.

The function is being organized under the auspices of PARZOR Foundation for the Preservation of Vulnerable Human Heritage. ITDC – run Ashok Hotel is the co-host for the event.

Over the past few years, “the Foundation has been instrumental in helping preserve Vulnerable heritage of the country” says Lt.Gen.(Retd.) A.M. Sethna, President of the PARZOR Foundation. The Foundation is currently working on preserving one of the most exacting and dazzling art forms of Hindustani Classical Music called The Tappa.

Shanno Khurana is a noted exponent of the classical Tappa and has been on the Delhi music scene since late forties. She is the doyenne of the Rampur Saheswan Gharana and one of the few exponents of this classical art form. She has been given the honorific “Ottin Bulbule” or the Golden Nightingale of the East by UNESCO, a Padamshri, and in 2003 the President of India conferred the country's highest professional honour, the Fellowship of the Sangeet Natak Akademi on her. PARZOR Foundation has recorded three of her Tappas to preserve this valuable form of our intangible heritage.

Tappas of Shanno Khurana are not the same as the popular Punjabi fold songs bearing the same name. Shanno's Tappas are poetry set in the Multani and Saraiki dialects of Punjabi. They are Sufi in nature. The rasa is bhakti. The lyrics refer to the Lord as personal a lover and are about the longing for union with Him, the pain of separation from Him and seeking His protection.

The hallmark of the Tappa is to produce tans of highly complex note patterns and return to the sam, the point of stress and summation in a beat cycle. This requires great stamina and presence of mind.

An early sixteenth century reference mentions a Vaisya singing and dancing to the tappa at Agra. However, the form as it stands today is one that originated in the early eighteenth century, in the arid lands of Southern Punjab and Multan where traders and camel riders would traverse the ancient trade routes between Iran and Hindustan through the rough lands of Baluchistan and Waziristan singing these folk songs. These were later put into the classical form and patronized by the Nawabs of Awadh. From Lucknow, it spread to Punjab, Delhi, Rampur, Banaras, Allahabad and Gwalior.

Realising this great heritage was in danger of extinction, as already hundreds of Tappas have been lost without ever being recorded, PARZOR Foundation has stepped forward to preserve this art form from dying out.

Shanno Khurana will gladly autograph copies of her Album for those interested.