Gharana tradition : Rampur Sahaswan

Rampur-Sahaswan is a gharana of Hindustani classical music centred in the Uttar Pradesh towns of Rampur and Sahaswan. The history of this gharana begins with Inayat Hussain Khan (1849-1919). He was the son of Mehboob Khan, a khayal singer and Veena player of the Rampur court. Mehboob Khan is said to have performed khayals in a simple style with an emphasis on tappa style taans, which can be taken to be an indication of his affiliation to the Gwalior khayal gharana. He was also a beenkar and veena player. Inayat Hussain Khan had a cousin, Haider Khan, whose grandson was Nissar Hussain Khan (1906-1993). Inayat Hussain Khan is said to have shown unusual singing talent in his childhood and so his father took him to the chief court musician of the Rampur court for further training.

So as Inayat Hussain Khan, the founder of the gharana, hailed from Sahaswan and was trained and lived in Rampur, the gharana came to be called Rampur-Sahaswan. Inayat Hussain trained his son Sabir Hussain and his son-in-law Mushtaq Hussain Khan (1874-1964). It is through the styles of his sons-in-law that contemporary experts have formed their idea of the Rampur-Sahaswan style and it is through his sons-in-law that the gharana stays aloft today. Like the sons-in-law, Inayat Hussain’s three daughters, naturally played a big role in keeping the gharana alive. The youngest daughter Sabri Begum gave birth to leading senior contemporary exponent Ghulam Mustafa Khan and daughter Shakhri Begum. Shakhri Begum gave birth to Rashid Khan, the famous vocalist.

Mushtaq Hussain Khan – Meera Bai Ki Malhar :  Download

Nissar Hussain Khan – Puriya Dhanashree :  Download

Ghulam Mustafa Khan – Pilu – Ghir Ke Aayi Badaria :  Download

Rashid Khan – Alahiya Bilawal – Sumiran Kar Man :  Download

The renowned singers of this gharana include Mushtaq Hussain Khan, Nissar Hussain Khan, Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Ghulam Sadiq Khan, Rashid Khan, Ghulam Abbas Khan, Begum Shanno Khurana and Sulochana Brahaspati.

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Gharana tradition : Patiala Kasur

Kasur (also spelt Qasur), a small town near Lahore, Pakistan, is in a region which was famous for the ‘melody in its air and soil’. A large number of Sufi saints spread their message of love in the area. Their lives were imbued with music and they often presided over baithaks of rich classical fare. The great poet Bulleh Shah was from these parts and gave to the world his priceless sufiana kalam. The region saw the advent and growth of a great cultural era in which the dhrupad and khayal styles flourished along with the beautiful kafi, tappa and the rich folk music of the region.

It was from this ambience that Ustad Ali Baksh Khan and Ustad Kale Khan, with their abundant talent, brought to Patiala the fragrance, beauty and elegance of their own well established gharana of Kasur. From this fusion, emerged a powerful and melodious gayaki which was emphasized, clear and with meaningful bols, sparkling tans, intricate layakari and gamak. Genres of thumri and ghazal have a special place in this gharana. At the turn of the 20th century, Ali Baksh Khan was blessed with a son who was later to become the legendary Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Other sons followed – Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan and Ustad Aman Ali Khan. All these brothers, greatly inspired by the beauty of their inherited style, made their own invaluable Patiala-Kasur gayaki.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Thumri – Ab Tohe Jane Nahi Dun :  Download

Ajoy Chakrabarty – Thumri – Kaisee Bajayee Re Shyam :  Download

Jagdish Prasad – Thumri – Chanchal Naar Dodhari Kataria :  Download

Parween Sultana – Khayal – Det Badhai Sain Ko :  Download

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1901-1968) was a giant in the world of music who brought the Patiala-Kasur gayaki to the international stage. His singing was chiseled by years of devoted riyaz and infused with his phenomenal creativity in an endless striving towards perfection. His was a full throated, highly cultivated and melodious voice in which he rendered intricate layakari with ease and dignified finesse. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s contribution to the khayal thumri form was phenomenal and full of creativity. He also created the magnificent Surmandal, an instrument that has today become popular with most leading vocalists of the country.

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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.

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Gharana tradition : Kirana

The name of this school of music derives from Kirana or Kairana, a village in Haryana state of central India. It is the birthplace of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872-1937), who was one of the most important musicians of this Gharana and of Hindustani music in general in the twentieth century, and considered by some to be the real founder of the Kirana Gharana. A frequent visitor to the Court of Mysore, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan was influenced by Carnatic music.

Much to the credit of Abdul Karim Khan, today most Hindustani musicians from Karnataka and Maharashtra are exponents of Kirana Gharana and it has imbibed many of the features of the Carnatic tradition. Common traits of Kirana Gharana include systematic elaboration of a Raga, improvisation in the vilambit laya, and slow spacious alaps employing meendkari. The style is renowned for its melody and sweetness. The lineage of this Gharana includes Beenkars and Sarangi players. Influence of Sarangi is clearly noticeable in the style of many exponents.

Abdul Karim Khan – Jhinjhoti – Piya Bin Nahin Awat Chain :  Download

Bhimsen Joshi – Bhairavi Thumri – Jamuna Ke Teer :  Download

Firoz Dastur – Zila Kafi – Gopala Mori Karuna :  Download

Roshanara Begum – Jaunpuri – Rang Gori :  Download

Besides the above mentioned artists, famous names of Kirana Gharana include Hirabai Barodekar, Sawai Gandharva, Gangubai Hangal, Basavraj Rajguru, Channulal Mishra, Prabha Atre and many more. As with other Gharanas, the list is long.

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Gharana tradition : Jaipur

The Jaipur Gharana (also known as the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana) is a Khayal based Gharana, founded by Ustad Alladiya Khan (1855-1946) in the late 19th century. An offshoot of the Agra Gharana, the Jaipur Gharana acquired its name and status as a Gharana in the early half of the 20th century as a result of the growing popularity of stalwarts of this Gharana like Kesarbai Kerkar, Mogubai Kurdikar, Mallikarjun Mansur and Kishori Amonkar.

The Gharana is unique in that it was the first Gharana to be founded in Khayal Gayaki, whereas other major Gharanas were initially founded as Dhrupad-Dhamar Gayakis and eventually evolved into the Khayal Gayaki. The founder of this Gharana, Ustad Alladiya Khan initially developed the unique Gayaki of this Gharana following the partial loss of his voice which prompted him to develop an adjusted singing style to accommodate this handicap. As a result of his exploration, he raised the level of musical and vocal artistry to such heights that he was acclaimed as the ‘High Priest of Khayal Gayaki’.

Mallikarjun Mansur – Deshkar – Hu To Tore Karan Jagi :  Download

Kishori Amonkar – Bhairavi – Koyaliya Na Bolo Dar :  Download

Ulhas Kashalkar – Lalit Pancham – Udat Boondan :  Download

Shruti Sadolikar – Bhairavi – Bajuband Khul Khul Jai :  Download

Renowned names of Jaipur Gharana include Jitendra Abhisheki, Padmavati Shaligram, Manik Bhide, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Manjiri Asanare and many more, besides the artists mentioned at the beginning of this post. As is usual with most Gharanas, the list is long.

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