Influence and legacy 

Rabindra Sangeet has had a very strong influence on Bengali culture.[2] These songs are regarded as cultural treasures of Bengal in both Bangladesh and West Bengal (India).

The Rabindrasangeet, which deal with varied themes are immensely popular and form a foundation for the Bengali ethos that is comparable to, perhaps even greater than, that which Shakespeare has on the English-speaking world. It is said that his songs are the outcome of 500 years of literary & cultural churning that the Bengali community has gone through.

In his book Caste and Outcaste, Dhan Gopal Mukerji has said that these songs transcend the mundane to the aesthetic and express all ranges and categories of human emotion. The poet had given a voice to all—big or small, rich or poor. The poorest boatman on the Ganges as well as the rich landlord find expression for their emotional trials and tribulations in Tagore’s songs.

Rabindrasangeet has evolved into a distinctive school of music. Practitioners of this genre are known to be fiercely protective of tradionalist practice. Novel interpretations and variations have drawn severe censure in both West Bengal and Bangladesh. And like Beethoven‘s symphonies or Vilayat Khan‘s sitar, Rabindrasangeet demands an educated, intelligent & cultured audience to appreciate the lyrical beauty of his compositions.

He was among the first to recognize that cinema should have its own language. In 1929 he wrote, “The beauty and grandeur of this form in motion has to be developed in such a way that it becomes self-sufficient without the use of words.” The inherent beauty & depth of Tagore’s songs have persuaded a number of filmmakers to use Tagore’s songs in their films including Satyajit RayRitwik GhatakMrinal Sen, Nitin Bose, Tapan Sinha and Kumar Shahani.His songs were also used in British, European & Australian movies just to capture the mood of a cinematic situation & to reveal a delicate interplay of relationships.

Ritwik Ghatak said of Tagore, “That man has culled all my feelings from long before my birth…I read him and find that…I have nothing new to say.” In his Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-capped Star) and Subarnarekha, Ghatak uses Rabindrasangeet to express the poignancy of post-Partition Bengal.

Two of the songs written by Tagore are the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. These are:

To Read more about Rabindra Sangeet

Wikipedia link (click here)