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Suman Bhattacharya

Sitarist from Imdadkhani Gharana

Imdadkhani Gharana

The Imdadkhani Gharana is a North Indian school of sitar and surbahar music, stemming from the very ancient Gwalior gharana. It was created by Imdad Khan and is also known as the Etawah gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad lived. Many direct descendants of Imdad Khan continue the tradition today

The Khan family is one of the most renowned musical families from India. It traces its origins back through an unbroken line of celebrated musicians to the 16th Century where music has been passed down from father to son for almost 400 years. With its roots in Agra, the gharana was later moved to Etawah on the outskirts of Agra before finally branching out to Calcutta with Enayat Khan and Hyderabad, Indore and Mumbai with Wahid Khan.


The gharana's major achievements include the development of the Surbahar, major structural changes to both the sitar and surbahar and the creation and development of the instrumental style known as the gayaki ang (vocal style performed on sitar).

 

Ustad Imdad Khan (1848-1920) was a sitar and surbahar player.

Imdad Khan was born in Agra, as the fourth generation of what was to become the Imdadkhani Gharana (school), named after the village outside Agra where the family soon moved. He was taught by his father, Sahabdad Khan. Imdad Khan was also trained by the legendary beenkar Bande Ali Khan (disciple and son-in-law of Haddu Khan). He evolved a style based on the more popular khayal singing. 

Enayat Khan was one of India's most influential sitar and surbahar players in the first decades of the 20th Century. Enayat Khan was born in Uttar Pradesh into a family of musicians.His father was sitar great Imdad Khan, who taught him the sitar and surbahar (bass sitar) in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana (school), after a village outside Agra where Imdad once lived. He married Basiran Bibi, daughter of khyal singer Bande Hussain, and settled with his family in Calcutta, where, though he only lived to 43, he did much pioneering work on the sitar. 
 Ustad Vilayat Khan (August 28, 1928-March 13, 2004) was born in Gauripur, British India to Enayat Khan, a sitar maestro. His family of musicians trace their pedigree back to the court musicians of the Mughals. His father, recognised as a leading sitar and surbahar (bass sitar) player of his time, as had been the grandfather, Imdad Khan, before him. He was taught in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad Khan lived.
Ustad Vilayat Khan (August 28, 1928?March 13, 2004) was born in Gauripur, British India to Enayat Khan, a sitar maestro. His family of musicians trace their pedigree back to the court musicians of the Mughals. His father, recognised as a leading sitar and surbahar (bass sitar) player of his time, as had been the grandfather, Imdad Khan, before him. He was taught in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad Khan lived.
However, Enayat Khan died when Vilayat was only nine, so much of his education came from the rest of his family: his uncle, sitar and surbahar maestro Wahid Khan, his maternal grandfather, singer Bande Hassan Khan, and his mother, Bashiran Begum, who had studied the practice procedure of his forefathers. Vilayat's uncle Zinde Hassan looked after his riyaz (practice). As a boy, Vilayat wanted to be a singer; but his mother, herself from a family of vocalists, felt he had a strong responsibility to bear the family torch as a sitar maestro.
Ustad Vilayat Khan (August 28, 1928?March 13, 2004) was born in Gauripur, British India to Enayat Khan, a sitar maestro. His family of musicians trace their pedigree back to the court musicians of the Mughals. His father, recognised as a leading sitar and surbahar (bass sitar) player of his time, as had been the grandfather, Imdad Khan, before him. He was taught in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad Khan lived.
However, Enayat Khan died when Vilayat was only nine, so much of his education came from the rest of his family: his uncle, sitar and surbahar maestro Wahid Khan, his maternal grandfather, singer Bande Hassan Khan, and his mother, Bashiran Begum, who had studied the practice procedure of his forefathers. Vilayat's uncle Zinde Hassan looked after his riyaz (practice). As a boy, Vilayat wanted to be a singer; but his mother, herself from a family of vocalists, felt he had a strong responsibility to bear the family torch as a sitar maestro.

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