Searching for a way to understand the songs of Rabindranath Tagore that reflects their centrality in his creative work and goes deep, as it were, into his creative nervous system underlies this essay. Both the lyrics and the music of Tagore's songs [Rabindra-sangit] were composed by him and thus are intimately bound together. For appreciating the distinctive qualities of the songs a four-fold classification - based on characteristics of the four parts of a typical song in the Rabindra-sangit corpus - is proposed and sketched. There are also suggestions (and an appeal for higher performance standards) as to why, if he were alive today, Tagore might feel that his songs are being misinterpreted and misunderstood - but need not be in future.


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pp. 1095-1109
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