A Living Portrait of India
Instrtumental Hindustani Music
|Sitar & Sarod gharanas|
Also known as the Etawah gharana after Sahebdad Khan, the father of Ustad Imdad Khan. Sahebdad Khan was trained and influenced by Haddu and Hassu Khan of the Gwalior gharana, and thus dhrupad and khayal vocal genres can be glimpsed in the playing style and in the choice of ragas. The presence of alap (prelude) and the jhala technique (repeating the pitches to create a powerful rhythm) are an example of this.
Ustad Imdad Khan and Ustad Inayat Khan (one of his sons) made this gharana famous and the latter's son, Ustad Vilayat Hussein Khan, left his impression on the gharana's style. He perfected his father's handling of midh and murki. Also, he further modified the instrument, and preferred the baj string over the others which were played for rhythm or for filling gaps. Noticeable, too, in Ustad Vilayat Khan's style was the chikari strings that were played in a capacity comparable to the tanpura in vocal genres.
Thealap is in three parts: (a) a free-floating alap, (b) the jod (in madhya-laya) alap, (c) the ati jod (tempo is increased to three or four beats in a second) & ulta jhala (in drut laya). In the Ustad's playing, the 'ra" note is not played on the baj string during alap. The gat is a kind of instrumental bandish with a definite composition in a fixed tăl. The gat section has a key phrase, tihai, that is repeated thrice and serves to highlight the sam (emphatic beat). It is more than just the raga that decides the melody but also the playing pattern of the strokes.
Lighter ragas like Kafi, Bhairavi, and Khamaj are usual to the gat.
Other artistes who have brought acclaim to the gharana are Ustad Imrat Khan (Vilayat Khan's brother),Shujat Khan (Vilayat Khan's son), Nishad Khan and Irshad Khan (Imrat Khan's sons), Rais Khan, Pandit Arvind Parekh, Budhaditya Mukherjee, and Shahid Parvez.
This gharana has not been in existence for the stipulated three generations and the founder did not hail from a musician family. However, in view of the stalwarts Ustad Allauddin Khan (the founder), Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (Allauddin Khan's son) and Pandit Ravi Shankar (Alluddin Khan's son-in-law), few would not recognize it as such.
Ustad Allauddin Khan played the sarod, incorporating features of both dhrupad and khayal. He displayed a propensity for the folk tunes of Bengal, particularly those based on raga Bhatiyar.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan prefers a leisurely alap and a very selective use of ornamentation while playing the sarod. In this, he evokes his father's presentation. The Ustad may commence a gat with a sam rather than the traditional seventh or twelfth beats. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan has a distinctly instrumental style as against the vocal treatment in Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's (of the Ghulam Ali gharana) treatment.
Pandit Ravi Shankar has tuned his sitar so that the range is far wider than that of other sitar players but at a lower pitch. The resonance of his sitar-playing is reminiscent of the notes of the veena. There is a further difference in the sound quality of notes in the Pandit's playing because all the strings are played almost equally (as opposed to the stress on the baj string by the Imdadkhani gharana). This trait brings Pandit Ravi Shankar's sitar-playing close to sarod playing (where all four melody strings are played). Ornamentation such as gamak, sparsh, zamzama is frequent leading to a staccato effect. The ati-kharaj string was invented by him.
Famous artistes of this gharana include Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit Uma Shankar, Kartick Kumar Jamaluddin Bharatiya, Shamim Ahmed, Ashish Khan (Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's son), Pradeeo Barot.
Also known as the Bangesh gharana, this gharana has delineated into two branches, both descended from Ghulam Bandegi Khan Bangash, the Afghan rabab player. His son, Ghulam Ali, was the father of Nanhe Khan and Murad Ali. Nanhe Khan's son, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan was the creator of the ekhara tăn and the father of sarod maestor Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan also introduced the feature of ending with a tihai (a thrice-repeated phrase) rather than with a sam for the commencement of the gat mukhda. Amjad Ali went further, incorporating strong vocal elements that while already present, were not as developed. The use of the fast ekhara tăn was introduced by him.
Murad Ali's adopted son Abdullah Khan was the father of another sarod maestro Mohammed Amir Khan. This branch has maintained the traditions of sarod playing, with vocal and sitar-playing elements noticeably in second-place. The gats are those from the repertoire of rabab playing, although these may well have been based on the gats of the Masitkhani gats for the sitar.
Complex bols are a distinctive feature of sarod playing as are the diri-diri tăns. The alap section consists of the alap, the jod and the jhala, the last sometimes replaced by the Iadant (a technique in which the first two strings are played, the second of which is tuned to Sa). The ladant is peculiar to the sarod. The gat section is usually in madhya laya, but occasionally the first part may be in vilambit laya thereby allowing for the ath-guni-toda (eight strokes per beat) to be played. Free-floating behlavas succeed the gat, and are succeeded by bols. While the tempo may increase through the performance, it is the medium tempo (madhya laya) that is taken to specific points approaching drut laya. This last is a relatively new feature and does not exist in the traditional repertoire.
Renowned artistes of this gharana: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Mohammed Amir Khan.