Friday, 23 November 2012

More Rudra Veena Masters: Shrikant Pathak and R. V. Hegde

Bindu Madhav Pathak

Here we present two Rudra Veena masters from Dharwar in South India: Shrikant Pathak and R.V. Hegde.  Both are students of Pandit Bindu Madhav Pathak (1935-2004), an exponent of Rudraveena and Sitar.
Dr Bindu Madhav Pathak was the son of a great Rudra Veena player Pt. Dattopant Pathak and hails from Hubli. He obtained his early training from his father (pupil of Late Ustad Murad Khan Beenkar of Jawara) and later from Ustad Rajab Ali Khan of Dewas. Both Ustad Murad and Rajab Ali Khan were students of the great Rudra Veena player Ustad Bande Ali Khan.
BMP blossomed into an accomplished artist at a very young age of 17. He was a top 'A' grade artist of AIR. He performed in several National Music Programmes of AIR and Doordarshan. Some of his students are his son Shrikant Pathak, Ramchandra V Hegde and Jyoti Hegde. He was Head of Dept. of Music in Karnataka University, Dharwad.
Pt Pathak was heavily influenced by the vocal music of Kirana Gharana (that of Abdul Wahid Khan). He insisted his gharana to be Kirana, and not formally associated with any Dhrupad gharanas. He said he played Khayal style (Kirana type) of music on Been. 
Mr. Pathak, who retired as the Head of the Department of Music of Karnatak University, was popularly known as "Been" Pathak for his expertise in playing the Been. Apart from performing for Akashwani and Doordarshan, he was a recipient of several awards and titles including the Karnataka Kala Tilak Award, Aryabhata Award, and "Vidyaparipoorna" title. He also served as adviser to the Union Ministry of Education and Culture .
Mr. Pathak wrote many books and articles on music, including Bharatiya Sangeeta Charitre.

Bande Ali Khan

He belonged to the Khyal Ang Rudra Veena tradition. Khyal Ang on veena began mainly with Bande Ali Khan (credited: 1826-1890). An innovative and iconoclastic musician, Bande Ali Khan was particularly fond of khyal singing, which he adapted to the bin, the instrument having until then been solely used to interpret the dhrupad style.

Murad Khan (on the right) and his disciple Krishnarao Kholapure

His student Murad Khan was the one who propagated this unorthodox innovation through the state of Maharashtra. Hindraj Divekar, Bindumadhav Pathak, Jyothi Hegde, and a number of other beenkars belong to this tradition and play khyal and dhrupad ang.

Another point to note is these people including Bindu Madhavji played a been manufactured in Miraj (Maharashtra), whereas others like Bahauddin Dagar play ones from Kolkatta (from what I know).

Information collected from a Dhrupad enthousiast from Hubli, Dharwar, from the book "Rudra Veena: An Ancient String Musical Instrument" by Pandit Hindraj Divekar (see here) and from the excellent website:
See also here.
The fotos above are from the website

As we were not able to find any recordings by Bindu Madhav Pathak, we present here two musicians belonging to his tradition: his son Shrikant Pathak and his student R.V. Hegde. The music is from All India Radio. We found the recordings a while ago in the internet. Unfortunately we don't remember the names of the original uploaders.

Shrikant Pathak (Rudra Veena) - Raga Madhumad Sarang (27:55)

R.V. Hegde (Rudra Veena) - Raga Ahir Bhairav (24:00)

Shrikant Pathak took Been playing professionally. He has an MA in music and holds a Ph.D. He teaches Sitar at Pandit Panchakshari Gawai music college run by Veereshwar Punyashram, Gadag.

Ramachandra V. Hegde was born in 1953 at Halladkai in Sirsi Taluk, Karnataka in a family with a rich musical background. His grandfather was a well known musician in that area and as a child he grew up in a house steeped in music. He began learning Hindustani Vocal and is an accomplished singer but was fascinated by the Sitar. His love for the Sitar made him give up singing and soon he began his training under Pt. (Dr.) Bindu Madhav Pathak, a well known Sitar and Rudraveena player of the Bande Ali Khan Gharana. Under Pt (Dr.) Bindu Madhav Pathak’s guidance he soon learnt the intricacies of the Sitar. He was also lucky enough to get a guru who was an accomplished player of the Rudraveena.
The Rudraveena is not an easy instrument to master and there are only a handful of artists who play the Rudraveena. Under Pt (Dr.) Bindu Madhav Pathak’s guidance, Ramachandra Hegde was able to master both these classical Indian Stringed Instruments.
Apart from playing the Sitar and the Rudraveena, Ramachandra Hegde believes in keeping the music of the Rudraveena alive for generations to come. He teaches music and trains young pupils from all over the country. Many of his students have gone on to become All India Radio Artists themselves.

If anybody has more information or more recordings by these artists or other artists from this tradition, please share.

Addition of 19th of january 2018:
Just found on YouTube an extremely difficult to get CD by R.V. Hegde, posted by the label in CD quality:

Recently in India a CD by Jyoti Hegde was published:

Jyoti Hegde (Rudra Veena) & ? (Pakhawaj) – Rare Instruments - Rudra Veena: Raga Miyan Malhar: Alap, Jod & Jhala, Dhrupad Bandish in Chautala, Raga Megh Malhar: Alap & Jhala, Dhrupad Bandish in Jhaptal, ASA MUSIC, ASA-MGD-G039

Unfortunately the label put a picture of the Saraswati Veena instead of the Rudra Veena on the cover.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Older Masters of Rudra Veena (Been) - Part III - Ustad Abid Hussain Khan (1907-1978)

Born in 1907 Abid Hussain Khan was an accomplished vocalist and also a Beenkar (a Rudra-Veena player). He traced his musical heritage from Shri Mishri Singh Rajput of Jaipur who once accompanied Miyan Tansen on Rudra Veena before emperor Akbar. As a child, Abid Hussain Khan had been initiated in music by his father Late Ustad Jamaluddin Khan of Bidar state during the twenties and thirties of last century.
Here  we present four Ragas on two CDs. Only one Raga - Raga Darbari Kanada - is played on Rudra Veena. The others are vocal: the two Ragas on the first CD are sung in Dhrupad style and the second Raga on CD 2 is in Khyal style. The recordings are probably from All India Radio.

We are very grateful to KF, the original compiler of these recordings, who created these two CDs for his own collection and shared them generously.

Here is another Rudra Veena program by Abid Hussain Khan from AIR, with Bhimpalasi and Desh, uploaded by Povster:

Ustad Abid Hussain Khan: The Maestro Par Excellence
By Roop Narayan Dixit
(Roop Narayan Dixit is a retired professor of English who became a Ganda-baddh disciple of Ustad Abid Hussain Khan in 1963)
Late Ustad Abid Hussain Khan of Indore hailed from Baroda and the court of the erstwhile state of the Nawab of Jinjira but had settled down at Indore during forties and fifties of the last century.
Born in 1907 this grandson of Raza Ali Beenkar was an accomplished vocalist and also a Beenkar (a Rudra-Veena player). He traced his musical heritage from Shri Mishri Singh Rajput of Jaipur who once accompanied Miyan Tansen on Rudra Veena before emperor Akbar. As a child, Abid Hussain Khan had been initiated in music by his father Late Ustad Jamaluddin Khan of Bidar state during the twenties and thirties of last century.
In prime of his youth, he became the court-musician of the Nawab of Jinjira, a Muslim state in the coastal area of Maharashtra where he lived in a cottage facing the rolling waves of the Arabian Sea. Perhaps the resonance of his voice, and his own style of Alap and taking Taans reflecting the elegance and grace of an ocean, was due to this.
A versatile genius, Ustad Abid Hussain Khan could sing Dhrupad and Dhamar, Khayal, Tarana, Tappa with competence. His singing enamoured the audience while reaching rare heights. The manner of Alap came to be recognized as Bidar ang with its distinctive development by gliding from Mandra Saptak to pause at Shadja and gradually ascending toward Madhya Saptak where he stayed considerably. The swara-s he applied were graced with nuances (Kana) and Meend. After a relaxed immersion in the lower and middle octaves, Khan Saheb touched the Tar Saptak, yet plunging back to Mandra and Madhya at times. The Alap in Dhrupad and Dhamar was given ample time to establish notes and relationships. The Alap done in a pleasing and interesting manner, it never tired the patience of the audience. His pronunciations established his Dhrupad lineage from Khandarbani explaining his use of Nom Tom for alap.
When he sang a Khayal or Tarana his Alap was brief, yet he continued to be dynamic and graceful in compositions; in Bol-s and Bol-taan-s, he applied Gamak with force of thunder and lightning. In his Tan-s he was equally graceful, elegant and forceful.
Not only the style but his very persona underwent a change when he sang a Thumri, a Dadara or Hori. Invariably each performance was totally subjective and its intense intimacy touched the hearts of each member of the audience.
Khan Saheb preferred common and well-known Raga-s in his concerts. Mostly, the Raga-s were Bilawal, Malhar, Todi, Malkauns, Megh, Darbari, Kaphi and Chhayanat. His compositions were mostly in Teen-tal, Tilwada, Jhoomara and Ada Chautal. He also gave a few memorable concerts singing less common Raga-s like Barwa, Khat, Durga, Shankara and Jhinjhoti.
Shri Vimal (Bimal) Mukherji (Sitar-player), chief among his illustrious disciples is the foremost representative of the Gharana. His prominent representative for vocal style is Bhavyanand Bhatt of Indore who has retained the charm and uniqueness of His Ustad’s Khandarbani style. His accompanists were Late Ustad Alladiya Khan in Sarangi, Pt. Ambadas Agle Pant on Pakhawaj and Ustad Dhulji Khan on Tabla. Among the living generation, Ustad Moinuddin Khan had accompanied him on Sarangi and Ustad Yusuf Khan on Tabla.

About Jamaluddin Khan
Jamaluddin Khan was the son of Reza Ali Beenkar of Jaipur. The family traces its root to the Seni Gharana. Descendents of Tansen selected Rudra Veena for members of the family; to other disciples they taught Surbahar and Sitar. Jamaluddin had mastered the art and became a court musician at Baroda. His performance at Music Conference held in Baroda in 1916 was excellent and remained in memory of listeners. He trained his son Abid Hussain in Been as well as vocal music.

For more information on the Rudra Veena, its masters and its history see:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Older Masters of Rudra Veena (Been) - Part II - Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan (1893 -1964)

Sadiq Ali Khan (1893-1964), a renowned Veena player, was born in Jaipur. He studied at home mainly under his grandfather Ustad Rajab Ali Khan. He was a court musician of several states including Jhalawar, Alwar and Rampur. He was expert in Alapa and liked depth in music. Unlike many other musicians he disliked percussion competitions. He had nine children by his first wife, but unfortunately, all of them except a daughter, Khurshid Jahan, died young. Asad Ali Khan was the son by his second wife. He was a bosom friend of Vilayat Husain Khan (Agra) and Ayodhya Prasad, the well-known Pakhawaj player of Uttar Pradesh. He died in Rampur on July 17, 1964.
From: Musicians of India by Amal Das Sharma, published by Naya Prokash (1993)

We are very grateful to KF, the original compiler of these recordings, who created these two CDs for his own collection and shared them generously. Recordings on CD 2 courtesy of VN.

Ustad Rajab Ali Khan & His Descendants
In the last centuries the court of Jaipur was the musical center of Rajastans. The generous patronage of Maharaja Ram Singh II assembled in his ruling times (1835 - 1880) numerous instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers in Jaipur. Among them was the Binkar Ustad Rajab Ali Khan, who was teaching also the Maharaja himself on the Bin.
Since Ustad Rajab Ali Khan did not have a son, he passed on his art to his nephew Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan, who became later court musician in Alwar. Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan performed as one of the first Indian musicians in Europe - 1886 in London. Around the beginning of the 20th century he and Ustad Jamaluddin Khan where two of the most famous Veena players of the country. His golden painted Veena can still be found today in the Alwar Palace Museum.
Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan (1883 - 1964), one of the five sons of Ustad Musharaf Ali Khan, took over the position of his father in Alwar after his death. Later he shifted to Rampur, another famous musical center. Here he lived until the end of his life as court musician of Nawab Raza Ali Khan.
At the court environment of Rampur also his 1937 born son Ustad Asad Ali Khan was growing up. At the age of ten he began his lesson on sitar. Four years later his father started to teach him on the Rudra Veena. It followed another thirteen years of intensive schooling and practice (riyaz) in which he also accompanied his fathers concerts.
Ustad Asad Ali Khan is today the last famous musician who combines the mastery of the traditional Been techniques with profound knowledge of the raga. His family tradition makes him also to be one of the last representatives of the Khandarbani, one of the main styles of the Dhrupad.
This mainly on the Been played style is known for the precise control of the microtonal fineness and the simultaneous ornament rich development of the melody. With worldwide concerts and classes to Indian and Foreign students he works for the continuation of the Rudra Veena tradition. His nephew Zaki Haider lives and learns with him since his childhood. Beside that Ustad Asad Ali Khan teaches also some other disciples on the Rudra Veena.

For more information on the Rudra Veena, its masters and its history see:

Older Masters of Rudra Veena (Been) - Part I - Ustad Dabir Khan (1907-1972)

In the West the Rudra Veena is mainly known through two great masters of the instrument: Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (1929-1990) and Ustad Asad Ali Khan (1937-2011) (see here). 
We are starting now a series of three posts of great masters of the Rudra Veena who lived a generation earlier. As far as I know, never any recordings of these masters have been published. The recordings we present here are mostly from broadcasts by All India Radio.
For more information on the Rudra Veena, its masters and its history see:

We start with Ustad Mohammed Dabir Khan, the grandson and pupil of Wazir Khan of Rampur (the teacher of Ustad Allauddin Khan) who traces his lineage back to Tansen. He was proficient in instrumental Rudra Been as well as in vocal Dhrupad music. He was the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1969. He passed away in 1972.

We are very grateful to KF, the original compiler of these recordings, who created these two CDs for his own collection and shared them generously.

Here you can find more recordings by Ustad Dabir Khan:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Khan Sahib Imrat Khan - LP EASD 1309 (1967)

Imrat Hussain Khan - Surbahar & Sitar
Nizamuddin Khan - Tabla

Side 1:
1. Raga Bageshree - Surbahar (13:57)
2. Raga Rageshree - Sitar (6:28)

Side 2:
Raga Gawoti - Sitar (20:11)