Gharana tradition : Patiala

The Patiala gharana is one of the most prominent gharanas of vocal Hindustani classical music. This school of music has had a number of famous musicians, many of whom came to be patronised by the royal family of Patiala after the disintegration of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century. In the latter half of the 20th century, the Patiala style of Khayal vocalism has been represented by two streams of the gharana. One stream, gave the music world the Amanat Ali Khan (1932-1974) and Fateh Ali Khan duo. The other stream, originating from Kasur, a small village in Punjab province of Pakistan, produced Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1903-1968) and his brother Barkat Ali Khan (1907-1963). It is now widely known as the Kasur-Patiala gharana.

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan is the last of the thoroughbred Patiala vocalists, a direct descendent of the founders of Patiala gharana. The Patiala gharana tends to favour pentatonic Ragas for their ornamentation and execution of intricate taans. In addition Khayal, Thumri and even Ghazal singing is much emphasized. This gharana has been criticized by purists, who say it overuses frills and ornaments without considering the basic nature and mood of the Raga. Despite the criticism Patiala gharana is amongst the most prominent and popular gharanas and has a huge following, both of musicians and listeners.

Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan – Bageshri – Goonth Lao Ri Malaniya :  Download

Farida Khanum – Bageshri Thumri – Ae Ri Main Kaise Ghar :  Download

Ustad Sarahang – Bhairavi – Piya Ke Milan Ki Aas (Hindi-Pashto) :  Download

Zahida Parveen – Durga – Beeti Jaye Humri Umariya :  Download

Famous musicians of Patiala gharana include Kaloo Khan, Gauhar Jan, Ashiq Ali Khan, Mukhtar Begum, Lakshmi Shankar, Hamid Ali Khan, Asad Amanat Ali Khan and many more. The list is very long.

Kasur-Patiala gharana in the next ‘Gharana tradition’ post.

.. more songs of other Gharanas »



Ripped from the tube

After the partition of India, the princely states of both India and Pakistan, which until then were the main patrons of classical music, became almost defunct. The former Nawabs and Maharajas of these small and large kingdoms were more worried about their own fate, rather than look after the cause of classical musicians. Fortunately, the state controlled Radio and TV stations of both countries soon took over and became the only mediums where the ancient music tradition continued. Those were really hard times for classical musicians. Many classical vocalists in Pakistan turned into part-time Ghazal singers and some found singing Punjabi folk songs to be more fruitful. Noted Pakistani vocalist Roshanara Begum was so disgusted that she stopped singing altogether.

All India Radio (AIR) and Radio Pakistan must be given due credit for the pains both took in preserving the musical heritage of the subcontinent. Of course later on, Doordarshan, India’s sole TV station until the early 1990s and PTV, Pakistan’s own national TV, took the baton. Both lacked advanced technology and took refuge in transmitting recordings, sometimes live programmes, of classical music during the leisurely afternoon hours, much to the delight of classical music lovers.

Presented here are a few audio recordings of classical music, relayed on PTV about 10-11 years ago. I had assembled a rudimentary recording device, which I had used to record these songs straight from the TV to the hard disk of my computer. In the first post of this series, I find it appropriate to feature two of the greatest vocalists of Pakistan, the famous brothers, Amanat Ali Khan and Fateh Ali Khan of the Patiala Gharana. These are unpublished songs, perhaps not available anywhere, except maybe in the PTV archives.

Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan – In Mehfil – Kab Aaoge :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Raga Jaunpuri :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Laage Re Nain Tumse :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Raga Darbari – Nain So Nain :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Piya Nahi Aaye :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Ghazal – Dil Mein Kisi Ki Yaad Chhupaye :  Download

Fateh Ali Khan – Ghazal – Shaam Dhal Na Jaye Kahin :  Download

.. more songs, ripped from the tube, very soon.


Songs of the famous Duos

This blog completes two years. What started off as a tentative foray into the world of Hindustani Classical Music, and just a topic to start a blog, has become an addiction now. It is scientifically proven that Indian Classical music has healing powers on the human brain and mind. Experiments have been performed to identify different Ragas and the ailment, the cure of which they can be associated with. It has been learnt that a 20-30 minute rendition of Raga Darbari can make you sleep soundly, if you listen to it with full concentration. Now, this surely is a nice way to get a good night’s sleep. At least better than popping those bitter pills each night, an escape for many, from the hustle bustle of daily life. What could be better than having Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Rashid Khan and the likes of them, singing lullabies to you, and tucking you into bed.

Celebrating two years of indianraga, presented here are four songs from four famous singer duos, each from the pair incomplete without the other. Any individual name in a single duo is difficult to utter without mentioning the name of his partner. Understandably, all are brothers.

Amanat Ali & Fateh Ali Khan – Raga Megh :  (Download)

Moinuddin & Aminuddin Dagar – Raga Pilu Thumri :  (Download)

Nazakat & Salamat Ali Khan – Raga Bihag Thumri :  (Download)

Rajan & Sajan Mishra – Raga Jaijaiwanti :  (Download)