Gwalior’s Music Tradition

Glory Of Music
Abdul Fazal’s ‘AINE AKBARI’ contains detailed discussions that in the Darbar of akber out of 36 highest ranking singers 15 artists were of Gwalior parmpara of them one tansen SANGEET SAMRAT of behat nearby Gwalior hardly needs any introduction. similarly in reign of Aurangzeb. mugal Emperor Gwalior was undoubtedly centre of highest cultural centre because FAFIRULLAH KHAN GOVERNOR OF KASHMIR IN HIS Rag darpan a sangeet Granth has ascrided Gwalior as”SHIRAZ” of India.

In 15th century Raja Man singh of Tomar dynasty of Gwalior has been attributed giviing popularity to music in Gwalior. He invented Dhrupad style and established Vidyapeeth first of all in Gwalior and by establishing many creation of Dhrupads extended his great contribution to which has no parallel.

In another study in the first chapter of “FRISHTA- KA ITHAS” there is an interesting mention of development and progress of music. in this it is mentioned that Malchand. Whose poetry is famous in Malwa, brought music from south to Gwalior Here in it is mentioned that music was propagated by him in India.

Malchand remained in Gwalior for quite sometime and dynasty of Talingi in Gwalior music tradition is quite old and is for many centuries Tomar dynasty gave their helping hand in the develpment of music : this has historic background in. Tabat-e-Akbari written by khwaja Nazimudin Ahmed in wich there is mention of exchange of music books of Doongar Singh Tomar and Jain-ul Abedin of Kashmir.

Raja Man Singh was a great adjudge of art of music Rani Mrignaini was helpful to Raja Mansingh in his music recitals; Mrignaini has become ever lasting in music grafted in the name of Gujri, Bhahul Gujri, Maal Gujri and Mangal Gujri.

Raja Man Singh has credit for writing “MANKUTUHAL” a music book which was later translated by Fakirulla. Its pandulipi is available in Raja Library Rampur (U.P). This book contains the version of assemblance of Sangeet Samelan by Raja Man singh. This fact is corroborated by Abul Fajal. Bakhshu, Charju, Karan and Bhanu were the four artists of Mansingh. They had assembled such songs which were liked by all sections of society.

Especiality of Gwalior Gharana lies in its various Raagas viz, Dhrupud, Dhamar, Khyal, Tappa, Thumri, Dadra, Leda, Tarana, Triput and Tarang. Speciality of Man Singh’s music was that he accepted the popular music of Northern India grafted it into high class music.

Abdul Fajal in “Aine Akbara ” has written about poet Laurate Tansen that singer of his calibre was not there for thousands of years ago. Tansen was the first person, who in his Malhar had combined Komal Gandhar and Nishad; apart from this he was author of “MIAN KI TODI”.

K….tells us that after listening the music of Tansen, not only trees and hills started moving; even candls used to get lighted by his song is asserted by old musicians of Gwalior area. About him it is popularly famous ” VIDHANA YES JIYA JANE KE SESHAM DIYAI NA KAN, DHARA MERU SUB DOLI HAI TANSEN KI TAAN.”

Gwalior ranks very high in history of music of our country During 1486 to 1518 in the regime of Raja Man singh Tomar, efforts for development of Dhrupad Gayan… …..had started. Credit of birth of drupad …..goes to Gwalior in this universe. Raja Man Singh Tomar himself was a good musician. He did a lot for advancement and its publicity. No Govt. or musician could be free of this debt.

There were many famous singers in the Darbar of Man Singh Tomar. Of them Baiju, Bakhshu, Charnu Bhagwan, Ghodu and Ram Das. Man Singh wrote MANKOTUHUL of which in 1673 in reign of Jahangir. its version in the name of “SANGEET DARPAN” was done by fakirullah.

The language of Dhrupad is that of Madhya Pradesh and Bundelkhand. This is the language.. . of nearby Gwalior Famous writer Rahul Sanskrityayan writes that it is imperative to know that Gwalior has been seat of literature, music and art for centuries Popularly Known as Brijbhasha was previously of Gwalior During reign of Akbar his Darbari & main singer Tansen earned name and fame in the entire universe Gwalior gets the credit for the birth place of this renowned singer. His tomb in Gwalior at Hajira is a sacred spot for thousands of tourists and singers.

Poet laureate Tansen was source of inspiration to Emperor Akbar even during war time. Tansen has also written for invincible army of the emperor. Apart from being a singer, he was also a poet and writer.

As per Tansen – “Ae Ayo, Ayo Ke Balwant ke Shah, Ayo chatrapati Akbar Saptadeep aur Asht Disa Nar Narender, Dhar Dhar Dare Nisi din kar aik chavipave. Varan na pava langa nagar Jahan Jitat firat sunyat hai Jalaludin Mohd ko Laskar Sah Humayan ko Nandan. Chandan aik teg Jodha Akbar “Tansen” ko hihal kijal Deeje kotin jarjari nazar Kamara.

During his long 50 years reign Akbar fought many wars. He used to take along Tansen in many wars. Gujrat was the biggest victory of Emperor Akbar’s period.This war was fought in 1957. At this occasion Tansen had accompanied the Emperor and had paid homage at the Tomp of his teacher Bakshu. Tansen was quite courageous. Many a time he used to utter as equal to him before Emperor Akbar. In one of his stanzas he has written- ” if Akber is Narpatti then Tansen is Taanpati” Before Akbar once Tansen had sung many stanzas in praise of Raja Ram Chandar. As per famous book “AINE AKBARI” in the Darbar of Akbar of very famous 36 musicians 16 were from Gwalior alone. Tansen was the prime of them all.

Mian Tansen……….. Gwalior
Baba Ram Das -do-
Subhan Khan -do-
Shri Gyan Kha -do-
Main Chand -do-
Vichitra Khan
Student of Tansen -do-
Mohd Khan -do-
Veer Mandal Khan -do-
Baj Bahadur, MalwaRuler -do-
Shihab Khan Gwalior Veena Vadak
Daud Dhodi Singer
Sarod Khan Gwalior Singer
Chonch Khan -do-
Parveen Khan Gwalior veena vadak
Surdas s/o Baba Ram Das Singer
Rang Sen Agra Singer
Shekh Davan Vadya Vadak
Rehmat Ullah Singer
Meer Sayaed Ali Mashhad Tambura Vadak
Ustaad Usof Hirat Sultan -do-
Hafiz Hussain -do-
Mashad Barham Ali Hirasat Singer
Sultan Hashim Mashhad Tambura Vadak
Ustad Mohd.Amin Tambura Vadak
Hafiz Khwaja, Ali Mashhoor Singer
Mir Abdullah Vadak
Peer Khurasan -do-
Nephew of Dawam Singer
Mohad hussen Tambura Vadak

Out of them 15 singers were student of school of Sangeet (Music) of Raja Man Singh. Man Singh had established first school of Music at Gwalior fort. Two Centuries after Tansen, Name of Gwalior was made famous by musicians Ustad Bade Mohd. Khan, Ustad Haddu Hassu Khan (Khayal Gayak), Baba Dixit, Bhau Sahib Guruji, Parbat Singh, Krishan Rao and Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan by their recitals.

Ustaad Hafiz Ali Khan Sahib
Most famous Sarod Vadak, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Sahib was amongst one of the top artists of the country. He was born in Gwalior in 1888. He got his education of Sarod vadan from his father Shri Nanne Khan. He got education of Hori, Dhrupad Pt. Ganeshi Lal Maharaj, 11th pedigree of Swami Maharaj Haridas Thakur r/o Mathura and Chukka ju and education of Sursingar was accorded by Akbar’s Navaratan Mishri Singh Binkar’s and Ustad vazeer Khan, ustad of nawab Rampur.

Sarodvad was brought into being by his ancestors. RABAB is music instrument of Kabul, which people used to play at the time of war. Over this Rode (TAANT) strings were fixed. In persian this “RABAB” is known as “SAROD”. Present Sarod is modified form of RABAB. Ghulam Bandgar Khan of Kabul used to visit India for trade of Horses. Once he left the trade and became Rasaledar in the army of Rewa Maharaj. His son Ghulam Ali Khan was having one small Rabab. He used to play it very nicely. On being pleased Rewa Mahara gave education of Hori, Dhrupad etc. for 19 years to Gulam Ali Khan and made him perfect and said that I have made your Sarod as Been. Now you can roam throughout India.

Ghulam Ali Khan after living in Banda, Farkhabad and Lucknow for some time, he joined service of Darbar of Maharaja Daulat Rao Scindia for Rs. 500/-p. m. Ghulam Ali Khan had 4 Sons. Of them 1st Jamma Khan went to Kabul. Hussain Khan was sitar player of Gwalior Maharaja. Third son Surad Khan made important changes in Sarod. It is he who used steel sheet on Sarod. Fourth Son Nanne Khan was in service of Maharaj Gwalior. Nanne Khan used to practise Sarod for a very long time and in practice 3 tabla players men were changed but he used to carry on his practice. He did not sleep for twenty two years Balwant Rao Khani, Masoorkar doctor, Balwant Rao puranik, Ram Bhau r/o Pune were his disciples. Nanne Khan Sahib had 3 sons; his 3rd son Hafiz Ali Khan Sahib stretched music tradition to its highest glory. Being influenced by his ability late Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia placed him in the highest seat in his Darbar that tradition was also followed by Maharaja Jiwaji Rao as well in year 1950 after being relieved from there he was appointed in Madhav Sangeet Mahavidhyalay. Padam Bhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is the Youngest son of Hafiz Ali Khan Sahib who has glorified his name in the entire world. Ustad Hafiz ali khan sahib who has brought the name of Gwalior on the map of the World, on being influenced by his art he was honoured as AAFTAB-E-SAROD in the music conference of Bengal and Maharaja of Gwalior attributed him the title of “SANGEET RATANLANKAR”. After thr establishment of SANGEET NATAK ACADEMY in the very 1st year he was honoured by the highest award by Dr. Radha Krishnan, honourable president of India. He was also appointed as an Important member in Academy. In 1960 he was honoured with Padam Bhushan. In the decade of sixties Jhankar recital of Hafiz directions. He became very pupular with Shri Parbat Singh Mridangacharya. In the name of Hafiz Alio Khan Sahib a trust was formed 6 years before for the development of music and its training in Gwalior and Delhi at the instance of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Sahib. The head quarter has been based in Jiwaji Ganj, Lashkar. With the help of this trust the young artists /interested in music are being sufficiently benefitted. Many well known personalities are members of this trust.

Dr. Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit
Dr. Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit, representative of Gwalior gharana and ex-great DARBARI of Gwalior state was born in Gwalior in 1894. His father Shri Shankar Rao Pandit was student of Ustad Haddu Khan and Nathu Khan Sahib. He got education of music from his father and teacher and gained popularity in Young age. Because of his hard practice Pandit ji was enlisted as one of the important KHYAL SINGERS.

Government of India honoured him with Padam Bhushan, there by acknowledged importance of KHYAL GAYAKI and Gwalior Gharana. The music which was started by Ustad Hassu Hadu Khan Sahib was further continued by Padit Ji. Being a singer Pt. ji performed a big and important job by laying foundation of SANGEET GANDHARV MAHAVIDYALAYA in 1914 which is now at the top and a famous and flourishing music university and is producing good artists to the society; this is being run by his youngest son Pandit Laxman Rao ji. In 1947 Maharaja of Gwalior honoured him by appointing him in MADHAV MUSIC UNIVERSITY. He established the propriety of music of GWALIOR GHARANA by undertaking sangeet tours with in the country and abroad; which is his great gift.

Last year Government of M. P. in his honour performed a big ceremonial function which remained in force for 1st year in the entire country. Centenary year has also been celebrated in the honour of Pandit Ji. Of his son Prof. Narain Rao pandit and Pandit Laxman Rao Pandit are good musicians. Pandit ji has also written books on TABLA, JAL TARANG, SITAR, etc. Of his students Vishnupant Chaudhary, Ram Chander Rao, Madho Rao Joshi and Datatre Jogelkar are the main.

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is the youngest son of Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. He was born on 9th October, 1945 in his old Parental house situated in Jiwaji Ganj, Gwalior. Amjad Sahib enjoyed blessings and affections of his father and Teacher, Hafiz Ali Khan Sahib. At the age of 7-8 years he had started playing sarod. Much of his father’s music style can be heard in his Sarod Vadan.

Today Amjad Ali Khan fame has spread in the entire world. In 1992 he was awarded PADAM BHUSHAN by Hon’ble President of India. He had been playing sarod since the age of 10 years in presence of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India, and forced the audience laud his recital in 1956. Since then he had started travelling in the country and abroad and by his exhaustive music performances he has made Sarod popular in the entire world. Ancestors of Amjad Sahib had migrated from Afganistan to Gwalior state. Sarod came into being on their account at the age of 15 years. Amjad Sahib had become popular in the whole of the country. Prayag Sangeet Samiti honoured him with title of SAROD SAMRAT and Government of India in 1975 awarded him with PADAM SHRI. He is such a Sarod Vadak of India that BBC made a film on him 20 years back. In 1989 Film Division of Govt. of India also made an hour’s documentary film on Amjad Ali Khan Sahib and Rrelayed it on Television national Network. Amjad Ali Khan Sahib born in Gwalior is such an artist who has highlighted the name of city in the entire universe and even today he is active and at his instance Jiwaji university has initiated an Academy on ‘TANSEN’ revence. Every pedigree of the city owes respect to this great artist of music.

Dr. Ishwar Chandra Karkare
HINDUSTANI SANGEET Sultan i-mosiqui ,sangeet prabhakar,fankar i- jahan, kalamani Dr.Ishwarchandra karkare ji was very small when his father -the great pleader “shiromani adhivakta” “sahitya ratna” sri. RAMCHANDRA Moreshwar KARKARE left he world. at present dr.I.C.Karkare ji {MBBS,MD,MA}is working as a medical officer he represents the nath -parampara he got his training of hindustani classical music from rao renichintalwar of gwalior gharana bhagwat of gwalior gharana marathe of gwalior gharana and he got his training of spiritual music from yogiraj dr.m.harkare ji of nagpur Dr.I.C.Karkare is regarded as one of the most popular singer from gwalior at present.

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