Ustad Amjad Ali Khan provides recommendations on Indian classical music

Like 1000’s of his shagirds (disciples) throughout the globe, the much-awarded sarod guru Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is revisiting previous recordings of gifted vocalists presently of the lockdown. Here’s his playlist so that you can observe.


The Ustad says the earliest model of classical music got here to us within the type of Vedic chants. Permutations and mixtures of the dimensions of 12 musical notes take the ‘shape’ of ragas, which he says have an effect on our physique, thoughts, and soul. The Ustad says that whereas musicians in South India have the liberty to play or sing any raag, North India has particular morning or night raags. “These are all conventions; there is no logic. Raag Darbari is sung at night, while raag Jaunpuri is sung in the morning, but both have similar musical notes.” He means that we strive taking part in each, to see the impact it creates and in time, maybe North Indian musicians too will benefit from the freedom to carry out any raag at any time. He additionally suggests taking part in the identical raag by completely different musicians.


“My mind constantly lives in a world of sound and rhythm. From birds chirping to the sound of the rainfall – all this is music. There may be any number of scientific explanations about pitch and vibrations but it is difficult to explain how sound becomes music.” During the lockdown, “I do riyaz (apply) with my sons Amaan and Ayaan and educate my grandchildren Zohaan and Abeer the nuances of music.”

Classical music

The sarod maestro says that lockdown has given music lovers a chance to take heed to Indian classical music – pure sound that emanates from the veena, sarod, violin, sitar, tabla, mridangam, a symphony, and an orchestra. “The second kind of music is based on our text — the lyrical language of a story,” the language of which he feels creates boundaries. Listen to orchestral music, symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. There isn’t any logic or motive to take heed to any style of music together with Indian classical music.“ He suggests that this is the time for change: to break down the barriers of calling music from the South Carnatic and music from the North Hindustani. “The terminology…creates barriers. For future generation, we should call our music — Indian classical music of the South and Indian classical music of the North.”

Three-minute recordings

“I grew up listening to greats like my father Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan Saheb,” he says, including that they had been performed on shellac discs and ran for 3 minutes. “We listened in enchantment to recordings of musicians like the late Bade Ghulam Ali Khan or D. V. Paluskar then recorded 40-50 years before. These three minutes of recordings possess three and a half life times of pure bliss. That is because the art was greater than the recording technique,” he says. You might take out vinyl data of classical greats within the brightness of the morning. It provides you with the time to and lightweight to scrub them effectively. “From my childhood I have only been listening to vocal music.”

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with family
Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with household
Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Stalwarts to take heed to

The Ustad enjoys listening to Vidwan Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, MS Subbulakshmi, Maharajapuram Santhanam, Vasanthakumari, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan sahib. Ustad Fayyaz Khan saheb, Ustad Alladiya Khan Saheb, Pt. Omkarnath Thakur. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Pt. Kumar Gandharv, Pt. Krishnarao Shankar.

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