Sahana Devi was a supreme authority on Tagore, specially Tagore’s devotional songs. She wrote in one of her articles that Tagore did not care for tabla or measured Western beat. She said that he wanted only a spontaneous flow.

Then, in a subsequent issue of the same magazine, another authority on Tagore’s music — Shantidev Ghosh — said that Tagore really enjoyed tabla and also Western beat. Whom to believe? Both of them studied under Tagore and now there are two different versions. Sahana Devi was older than Shantidev Ghosh by a few years, so perhaps her version is more reliable.

Tagore had ten or twelve students whom he personally invited to study directly under him. They were selected from the several hundred students who attended Santiniketan. Among these selected students, his nephew Dinendranath was the closest. As soon as a tune came to Tagore, he used to sing it for his nephew, and his nephew would give the proper notation. When his nephew died, Tagore said that his right hand had gone. Other students began taking notation for him, but the process became very slow. Tagore always used to say that the reason was that his nephew was more in his consciousness.