Salamat Ali Khan : master of layakari

Ustad Salamat Ali Khan (1934-2001), born in Shamchaurasi, a small village of district Hoshiarpur, Punjab, belonged to a family of traditional musicians representing the Shamchaurasi Gharana. Mastery over Layakari can probably be regarded as Salamat Ali Khan’s greatest contribution to classical music. He was highly acclaimed for the ease at which he would render intricate Sargams and Bol Tans. Salamat Ali Khan was initiated into classical music together with his elder brother Nazakat Ali Khan under the guidance of their father at the tender ages of 5 and 7 respectively. They were initially taught the basics of Dhrupad but later concentrated on learning Khayal due to its increasing popularity. It was only after two years of training that they made their debut at the prestigious Harballabh Mela in 1941.

Following their stirring debut, the youngsters gave numerous performances in Punjab and Sindh and began to attract the attention of the musical fraternity who predicted a bright future for the pair. During this period, the brothers began to give regular broadcasts from All India Radio, Lahore and two gramophone records of the young Salamat Ali Khan were published. In 1943, the duo received their first official state invitation from the Maharaja of Champanagar, a small princely state in Bihar. Their stay in Champanagar lasted a few months and was followed by performances at the Allahabad and Gwalior music conferences.

Legend has it that the song posted below was sung in praise of the Maharaja of Champanagar, who had just won some sort of a battle with a neighbouring state. The song is in Raga Basant Bahar and the lyrics go like this : “Des Des Ki Thi Jung, Dushman Sub Har Gaye”.

In 1943, just 9 years old, and raring to go – Basant Bahar :  Download

After the creation of Pakistan, the family settled in Multan and lived in relative obscurity for the next couple of years. During this period of anonymity, the brothers concentrated on rigorous practice and performed occasionally. By 1950, the brothers had achieved fame throughout the subcontinent. In June 1974, the career of the duo was rocked when they decided to split up due to personal differences. This ended one of the most successful vocal partnerships in the history of Indian classical music. Any hopes of a musical reunion were later dashed when Nazakat Ali Khan passed away in 1983. The maestro received another setback in 1978 when he suffered a paralytic stroke during a concert in London. However, he made a courageous recovery and continued with his rigorous schedule of performing.

Thumri Zila Kafi – Joban Beeto Jaye :  Download

Thumri Jogiya – Aan Milo Ek Bar :  Download

Thumri Pahadi – Tore Nainon Ne Jadu Kiya :  Download

Thumri Bhairavi – Chhor Ke Na Jaa Saiyan More :  Download

The final years of the maestro were marred with ill health connected to the paralytic stroke and thus affecting his ability to perform. During the 1990s, Salamat Ali Khan was diagnosed with diabetes and a heart ailment that further weakened him and resulted him to restrict the number of performances he could do. Further complications related to diabetes resulted in the loss of his vision and thus he retired from classical music in 1998. The end finally came on the 11th July 2001, the world of classical music losing a musical genius whose life was wholly dedicated to the cause of classical music. There will be many other musicians who will achieve fame and glory in years to come but very few will ever attain the stature and excellence of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.

indianraga

6 Comments

  1. F.S.KATPITIA said,

    March 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you for allowing music lovers to hear Ustad Salamat Ali Khan’s music thru your site.I was extremely impressed by the quality of the recordings.Yours sincerely Farrokh Katpitia.

  2. Prem Sharma said,

    April 21, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Waqt Lasani hai Marta hai na kabhi Mit-ta hai,

    Waqt ke Parion me komon ki Zabi hoti hai !

    Waqt ke Naam pe Kat jati hai Sadiyan, Lekin

    Waqt ki apni koi Umr nahi hoti hai !!

    Ustaad Salamat Ali Khan Saheb ne Hindustani Classical Mosique ko apne Riyaz apni Awaz apne Andaaj apni Pak Rooh se badi hi Nazakat or Sanjeedagi ke saath Ba-Adab gaya hai. Inki Tareef Lafzon me Bayan karna Aftab ko Chiraag dikhane jaisa hoga. Apne Sadiyon se chali aa rahi Hindustani Classical Mosique ko aane wali Hazron Sadiyon ke liye Gaya hai.

    Tah-E-Dil se Shukriya………

    Prem Sharma

    Bikaner,

    Hindustan

  3. RAMAN RAI said,

    October 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    MERI NAZAR MEI SALAMAT ALI NAZAKAT ALI SAHIB RAB KE HE ROOP HE .JINHONE TA UMER RAGG MAUSIQI KE KIDMAT KE AUR AMAR HO GAE, US BHI KUSHI KE BAAT YEH KE SAFQAT ALI SAHIB ME JO RANG BHARE HA VO BHE BEMISAL HAM DUA KARTE HA KE APP BHE APNE PITA KE TARAH IS BHAGTI KO UMR BHAR KAYAM KAKHI. MA LAFZON SE BTA NAHI SAKTA KE MA SAHIB SALAMAT ALI NAZAKAT ALI OR SAFQAT ALI KE SAHIB KO KITNE DIL SE CHAHTA HO. RAB NE CHAHA TO EK BAR DEDAR ,MULAKAT HO GAE GE. RAMAN RAI .LUDHIANA PUNJAB INDIA.

  4. Prem Sharma said,

    December 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    वक़्त लासानी है मरता है न कभी मिटता है |
    वक़्त के पैरों में कोमों की ज़बीं होती है ||
    वक़्त के नाम पे कट जाती है सदियाँ लेकिन,
    वक़्त की अपनी कोई उम्र नहीं होती है ||
    ===============================
    उस्ताद सलामत अली खान साहेब ने हिन्दुस्तानी क्लास्सिकी मोशीकी को अपने रियाज़,
    अपने अंदाज़ अपनी पाक रूह से बड़ी ही नजाकत और संजीदगी के साथ बा-अदब गया
    है | इनकी तारीफ लफ़्ज़ों में बयां करना आफताब को चिराग दिखाने जैसा है |
    आपने सदियों से चली आ रही हिन्दुस्तानी क्लास्सिकी मोशीकी की रवायत को आने वाली हजारों सदियों के लिए गाया है |

    तह-ऐ-दिल से शुक्रिया

    प्रेम शर्मा

  5. roshan singh said,

    May 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    a big fan of u mr salamat ali khan god give u a long blessing and mr shafqat ali khan is the best singer i think in the world may u live long and a very big blessing. thank u a lot. roshan singh from ludhiana punjab india bangkok ph.0845166085 919815098655.

  6. dr.p c kushwaha said,

    June 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    ustad salamat ali khan saheb ke bare me ye shayr ki line kafi kuchh kh deti hai,,,,,,,,,dil ko pukarta dilvr chala gya,,sahil pukarta samandar chala gya ,,,pr baat jo sach hai kahta koi nahi ,,,es duniya se maushqi ka sikander chala gaya{shamchaurasi gharana}


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