Rare picks of 2009

Before entering into the new year it would be a great idea to listen to a few songs sung by some non conventional singers. All the artists featured here are great achievers of their chosen art form. Ustad Bundu Khan, was probably the most outstanding Sarangi player during the first half of the 20th century. After migrating to Pakistan during the partition in 1947, he continued to play the Sarangi till his death in 1955. His son, Umrao Bundu Khan has continued his musical tradition. Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar are considered to be the best Sitar players of all-time. Who was better between the two is a matter of undying debate. Pandit Birju Maharaj is the undisputed emperor of Kathak dance.

Umrao Khan – Gaud Sarang – Sundar Naar Karat Singar :  Download

Birju Maharaj – Pahadi – Chhoro Chhoro Bihari :  Download

Vilayat Khan – Bhairavi Bandish :  Download

Ravi Shankar & Others – Hey Nath :  Download

I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and musical 2010 !!



  1. January 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Wishing you a very happy New year too!!!
    I wish you had mentioned also about Nikhil Baneerjee…

  2. Anonymous said,

    January 5, 2010 at 4:11 am

    The first song is by Umrao Khan, Bundu Khan’s son.

  3. indianraga said,

    January 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Sorry for the goof up. Thanks for pointing out the error. The post stays corrected now. Thanks ‘Anonymous’.

  4. Raman said,

    January 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Great artist like ustad vilayat khan , god knows, why was aways tempted to sing along playing sitar and spoiling his own play.

  5. indianraga said,

    January 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Well, people loved to hear him sing.

  6. AJIT SATHE said,

    January 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I agree with Raman, the singing should have been left to the ones who spent their lifetimes in “Riyaaz” , honing their singing skills and one should remenber that the singers letft it to the accompanists be it harmonium, flute,tabla or sitar for that matter to present their skills along with the singer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. January 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    The irresistable inclination of vilayat khan towards singing is due to the fact that his father inayat khan passed away when vilayat was a small child only so most of his training took place at the hands of his mother who could not play sitar but could pass on her husband’s musical heritage vocally to her son.That is why vilayat khan’s style of sitar playing has very little of the ‘tantkari’ element in it. It later came to be known as the ‘gayaki’ style.The major difference between ‘tantkari’ and ‘gayaki’ styles is the stroke of the ‘mizrab’. In tantkari the stroke is more robust and masculine, ‘double’ like ‘dra- dra’ rather than ‘da-da’ in the gayaki style.
    In fact from this point of view, even ravi shankar has not adhered properly to the ‘tantkari’ (literally meaning the way of the ‘tant’, the string instrument.
    Real tantkari style can be heard in old recordings of maestroes like Imdad khan, Hamid khan and Surendra Nath Bli (my late father).
    Tantkari is a much more difficult style.And therefore has almost become extinct. The whole idea behind the invention of sitar by Amir Khusro, was to provide a new medium of such musical expression as was not feasible through singing.the resonance of struck metallic sound had the potential of such character and frquencies of soun which wre out of reach especially at very low and high frquencies for the human vocal cords. The resonance of struck metal strings generated a third dimension of ‘sympathetic sounds’ ‘taraben’. Singing is based on human breath. And so instruments like the flute and shehnai are more akin to the expression of musicl thought originating in the form of singing.The sound of the string instrument which has metal strings to be struck with metal ‘mizrab’ is meant for creating different gener of music Like what one can hear nowadays to a certain extent in ‘metallic’ bands of guitarists in the west . It is inherently more robust One could say that tantkari is closer to the ‘tandav’ aspect of indian dance, whereas singing and its allied instruments like shehnai are closer to the ‘lasya’ aspect of Indian dance.

  8. indianraga said,

    January 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Pleasure having you here, sir.

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