Just having a guru doesn't necessarily mean you get many lessons, and the traditional guru-disciple relationship which Sachdev enjoyed has mostly broken down. Sachdev generally plays bada kheyal and chota kheyal, vocal style pieces in the rhythm cycles vilambit ecktal and drut tintal. The style of development he usually uses is barhat alap, though he often plays alap-jor-jhala as well. He also does many pieces in slow rupak tal, sometimes using the barhat alap style. His music closely resembles the performances of the noted vocalist Lakshmi Shankar, Ravi Shankar's sister-in-law and student, who also presents the rags of the Maihar gharana in the forms of vocal traditions.
One of the most important influences on Sachdev's music, apart from his teachers, is the music of Bhimsen Joshi. The most important thing I ever learned from Sachdev was an appreciation of Hindustani vocal music. Sachdev is the advocate of the very, very narrow flute, now out-of-favor in India. His flute would easily fit inside of Hari Prasad's flute. From this narrow seven-hole flute, he produces a tone which is unmatched by any other flutist.
His tone is focussed and resonant, and is remarkably consistent in each octave. The tone in the lowest notes matches the sonority of the antara in a way which is not possible on a wide flute. The claim that good tone comes from a wide flute is refuted by Sachdev's playing, as he gets the best tone of any flutist performing today with by far the narrowest flute. The embouchure which Sachdev uses is not as large as Hari Prasad's.
The smaller hole helps to focus the tone, and facilitates the production of the high notes. The seventh hole is placed on the flute in a slightly different position than the ones in the Panna Lal style, due to the different hand positions used by the two musicians. There is a certain principle, which might be enunciated as - "The technique and the instrument for it are one." Sachdev has a technique which allows him to play nicely in the full three-octave range of the flute, like Panna Lal Ghosh, and has the flute which facilitates this technique. Hari Prasad's technique centers around the lowest notes of the flute, and he has the flute which favors these low notes. Both Sachdev and Hari Prasad play with the pads of their fingers, and not with the finger tips. This generally allows for a longer stretch, and makes playing the longer flutes somewhat easier.
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