Amjad Ali Khan: the revered classical player whose ancestors canonized the sarod
Amjad Ali Khan LP cover
Music Period: Indian Classical
Piece of Music: Raga Bahar
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is among the most honored Indian virtuosos whose musical skill was nurtured in the tradition of his family. His family in particular is known for their significant contribution to the development of the sarod, one of Hindustan's leading classical instruments. It is generally accepted that the Khan family played a key role in the invention of the sarod by adapting the Afghan rabab in the mid-18th century.
Having been taught the basics of playing the sarod by his father, Amjad Ali Khan began showing a remarkable interest in tabla drums at the consternation of his father who would often hide this rhythmic instrument lest the boy get distracted from his primary training.
Born in Gwalior in 1945, Amjad Ali Khan represents the sixth generation of a family whose musical tradition follows the classical canons established by Miyan Tansen, one of the most significant gurus of Indian music.
Listen to Raga Bahar performed by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan:
Bahar is considered to be one of the crucial ragas for the spring period. In spring, the performance is appropriate at any time of day. During other seasons, the raga is best played around midnight. The raga is based on Kafi thaat—the Hindustani music scale equivalent to the Dorian minor in Western theory.