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.

.. more songs of other Gharanas »


Rashid Khan : Five Gems

Rashid Khan had truly arrived on the classical music scene when Pandit Bhimsen Joshi heard him at a concert in early 1988. “There is now at least one person in sight who is an assurance for the future of Indian vocal music”, said Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, voicing the concern of connoisseurs of Hindustani vocal music about whether its tradition of excellence would continue.

Rashid Khan, blessed with a deep rich and powerful voice is often hailed as the greatest vocalist alive. His uncanny ability to capture the essence of a raga is unmatched. His taans are so virtuous that one must hear them to believe them.

Bhairavi – Aaj Radha Brij Ko Chali :  (Download)

Chandradhwani – Aali Re :  (Download)

Ahir Bhairav – Albela Sajan Aayo Re :  (Download)

Desh – Karam Kar Deeje & Tarana :  (Download)

Multani – Peer Nijamuddin & Nainan Mein :  (Download)

…more of Rashid Khan »

QUIZ ANSWERS : Here are the correct answers to the two Quiz Songs posted in my previous posts :

Quiz Song 1 : Sapera Been Bajaiyo Re
Male Singer : Ashok Kumar
Female Singer : Geeta Dutt
Film : Padmini (1948)

Quiz Song 2 : Bhiksha De De Maiyaa Jogi Khada Hai Dwar
Male Singer : Surendra
Female Singer : Amirbai Karnataki
Film : Bharthari (1945)

Comments are welcome.


Rashid Khan : Four Ragas

Rashid Khan : the silken voice

Being an ardent fan of Rashid Khan, maestro of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, I can’t resist putting more songs of him on this blog. He is one of the best among the contemporary vocalists and his effortless singing and silk like voice just keeps me spellbound.

Gorakh Kalyan – Tum Bin – Kab Ghar Aayo :  (Download)

Kiravani – Brij Ke Nandlala Tore Bina Mohe Chain :  (Download)

Malkauns – Tu Hai Malik Mero – Yaad Aavat Mohe :  (Download)

Maru Bihag – Piya Nahin Ghar – Tarpat Raina Dina :  (Download)

Raga Deshkar – Unako Hi Tore Karan :  (Download)

Ahir Bhairav – Rasiya Mhara – Albela Sajan Aayo :  (Download)

Enjoy !!

Ghulam Mustafa Khan : Sur Dhwani

Endowed with an exceptionally melodious and sensitively adaptable voice, Ghulam Mustafa Khan‘s music gives witness to the rigorous traditional training that he received from his distinguished gurus. He hails from a family steeped in North Indian Classical vocal music culture, his forefathers being some of the most prized court musicians honoured and celebrated by the Kings and Maharajas in a musical lineage that goes back to more than 150 years.

Ghulam Mustafa Khan has brought these traditions into the present with great effect, and added his own personal traits. Born over seven decades ago, on March 3, 1931, in the Badayun city of Uttar Pradesh, Ghulam Mustafa Khan was initiated into music by his father, Ustad Waris Hussain Khan. Later he was groomed under Ustad Fida Hussain Khan, and then later his son Nissar Hussain Khan.

Ghulam Mustafa Khan belongs to an illustrious school of music known as ‘Sahaswan Rampur Gharana‘. This Gharana has produced an abundance of khayal singers since the time of its founder Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan (1849-1919).

Khayal, in Urdu meaning imagination, is the most popular genre of North Indian classical vocal music, designed to give the singer optimum scope for improvisation. Originating in the courts of the Moghul emperors as a less rigid alternative to the Dhrupad style, it has evolved into a remarkably flexible form that allows an artist’s individuality considerable rein. Even within the past five decades the form has undergone many changes, and the tradition of innovation continues through pioneers like Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Khayal has several schools following different style traditions. Most of these Gharanas have been built around certain families or specific locations like Gwalior and Rampur. Gharanas traditionally followed the Guru-Shishya system of instruction in which direct, one-on-one teaching and personal supervision meant a clearer and therefore deeper understanding, of both the traditions of that Gharana, of the raga, and of the role of a particular style in exploring and presenting that raga. As Inayat Hussain, the founder of the gharana, hailed from Sahaswan and was trained and lived in Rampur, this gharana came to be called Rampur Sahaswan.

It’s always been a struggle for khayal singers to establish themselves on the world music scene, because of the barrier of language. In fact, the lyrical content of the khayal while certainly enhancing the beauty of the presentation is regarded as secondary to the ability of the performer to improvise within the framework of the specific raga. The emphasis on lyrical content varies from artist to artist, many of the texts of khayal are written in an ancient form of Hindi known as Brij Bhasha. Khayal has also had a profound influence on instrumental music. Many instrumentalists point out that Indian music IS vocal music, and that the instrument should sing in the style of khayal.

Ghulam Mustafa Khan’s contribution goes beyond his own performance. He has trained and moulded some of India’s finest film singers including Manna Dey, Sonu Nigam and Hariharan. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1991 by the Indian Government in recognition of his service to Indian music heritage.

Here I am presenting four songs from his album Sur Dhwani :

Raga Durga – Vilambit Ektal :  (Download)

Raga Durga – Khyal In Drut Teental – Jai Durge :  (Download)

Raga Jaijaivanti – Khyal in Teental :  (Download)

Ganesh Stuti :  (Download)

Enjoy !!

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