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Allauddin Khan

Allauddin Khan

Allauddin Khan


Allauddin Khan (Bangla: ওস্তাদ আলাউদ্দীন খান, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan) (1862–1972), was a Bengali Indian classical sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist and one of the greatest music teachers of the 20th Century, father of Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi and guru to Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, most importantly the legendary Wazir Khan. Read more on Last.fm
Allauddin Khan (Bangla: ওস্তাদ আলাউদ্দীন খান, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan) (1862–1972), was a Bengali Indian classical sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist and one of the greatest music teachers of the 20th Century, father of Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi and guru to Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, most importantly the legendary Wazir Khan. Allauddin Khan was born in Shibpur village in Brahmanbaria, in present-day Bangladesh, the son of Sabdar Hossain Khan, also known as Sadhu Khan. Alluddin's elder brother, Fakir Aftabuddin, first taught him some music in the home. At the age of ten, Allauddin ran away from home to join a jatra band, a traditional Bengali form of theater. This experience exposed him to the rich folk tradition of Bengal.

After some time, he went to Kolkata, and was accepted as a student by singer Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya, alias Nulo Gopal. Allauddin committed to a 12-year practice program; However, Nulo Gopal died of plague after the seventh year. Khan then became a disciple of Amritalal Dutt, a close relative of Swami Vivekananda and music director at Kolkata's Star Theatre, with the goal of becoming an instrumentalist. At this time, he also took lessons in European classical violin from a Mr Lobo, a bandmaster from Goa. Alauddin Khan got interested in sarod after a concert at Jagat Kishore Acharya's, zamindar of Muktagachha, where he listened to Ahmed Ali Khan, a student of Asghar Ali Khan (Amjad Ali Khan's grand-uncle).

Alauddin became his student, and studied the sarod under him for five years. His next step was to go to Rampur for lessons from Wazir Khan beenkar, court musician of the Nawab there, and one of the last direct descendants of the legendary Tansen. Through him, Alauddin was given access to the Senia gharana (Tansen school of music), arguably north India's most coveted body of musical knowledge. He later became the court musician of Brijnath Singh Maharaja of Maihar Estate in Central Province. During his time as a court musician, Allauddin Khan completely reshaped the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music. The Maihar gharana was established in the 19th Century, but Khan's contribution was so fundamental that he is often thought to be its creator.

This was a period of rapid change for Hindustani instrumental music, thanks not least to Allauddin Khan, who infused the beenbaj and dhrupad ang, previously known from the been, surbahar (bass sitar) and sur-sringar (bass sarod), into the playing of many classical instruments. For though he gave concerts on the sarod, Allauddin played many instruments, something that shaped his pedagogy. He put together an orchestra with Indian instruments, the Maihar String Band, and while his son, Ali Akbar Khan, was taught the sarod, his daughter Annapurna Devi learned the surbahar, students such as Ravi Shankar and Nikhil Banerjee played the sitar and Pannalal Ghosh the bansuri bamboo flute. Of course Ravi and Ali Akbar Khan were to be very famous and spread this gharana over the world – something that Allauddin himself had started when, in 1935–1936, he went on an international tour with Uday Shankar's dance troupe. Allauddin stayed at Maihar from 1918 to his death. In 1955, he established an institution for higher studies in music called Maihar College of Music.

He was given the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1952, and the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan – India's third and second highest civilian decorations – in 1958 and 1971, respectively. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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