Sangeet Sartaj Vol 2 - Bismillah Khan (Ustad) (2006)

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Shehnai Players
Mumtaz Hussain, Nanne Hussain, Nayyar Hussain
Tabla Player
Nazim Hussain

About this album

The unrivalled shehnai player Bismillah Khan is a living legend of Indian classical music. With his artistic virtuosity, Bismillah Khan brought out the instrument of Shehnai from the confines of wedding music to elevate its status as an instrument of concert.

Bismillah Khan was born on 21 March 1916 in a family whose ancestors were court musicians of the princely state of Dumrao in Bihar. His uncle Ali Bux, a well-known Shehnai player at the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, gave him training. An extremely promising shishya (student) of the shehnai, the young Bismillah mastered a variety of forms of classical music such as thumri, chaiti and kajri. Later, after an in depth study of khayal gayaki, he incorporated it in his instrument.

Bismillah Khan always performs along with two accompanists, one of them being the main complimentary support. For many years, Bismillah was accompanied with the duggi as percussion. later, he switched over to Tabla as an accompaniment. During a performance, Bismillah puts his audiences in a trance. When Bismillah plays, his shehnai sings. While he is perfect in ragadaari, Bismillah is equally superb in the rendering of thumri, kajri and chaiti. Bismillah's devotional tunes played on the Shehnai are hugely popular.

Bismillah Khan has brought rare vibrancy and resplendence to Indian classical music. He has further enriched the heritage of Indian music.

Raga Hamir Bahar

As the name suggests, this raga is a combination of Hamir and Bahar. The former originates from the Kalyan thaat or scale and the latter from the Kafi thaat. The combination of Hamir, essentially devotional, and Bahr with its romantic nuances evokes a sense of shringar or romance and the playfulness so associated with this season.

Raga Hanskinkini

This early evening romantic raga belongs to the Kafi thaat. This old and so famous raga omits the second note rishab in the ascent and the sixth note dhaivat in the descent. In this raga normally the shuddh (sharp) gandhar is used in the ascent and komal (flat) gandhar is used in the descent. The use of both the gandhars brings special beauty to the raga. In this album the artiste has played a beautiful madhyalaya composition based on teentala.


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