Ustad Amjad Ali Khan | Rain Ragas | Megh & Miyan ki Malhar | Sarod & Double Tabla | Music of India


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  • Published On: 2016-12-31 04:43:08
  • Video Published/Author: darbarfestival
  • Video Duration: 00:04:22
  • Source: Watch on YouTube

#darbarfestival | “If you don’t give a good treatment to a raga, then the raga can curse you, it can feel unhappy with you…” (Amjad Ali Khan)

Learn more about the music
Amjad Ali Khan’s illustrious career has lasted almost seven decades since his debut at the age of six. His Bangash lineage ancestors gave shape to the modern sarod, and he first learned it from his father Hafiz Ali Khan, going on to master both the slides of gayaki ang [singing style] and the rapid picking of tantrakari ang [instrumental style].

He made his US debut in 1963, and has since collaborated with choirs, jazz groups, and symphony orchestras alongside a constant schedule of classical performance. Over the years he has devoted himself to expanding the instrument’s physical capabilities: “From the time it was first invented the sarod has been modified…Even now, I am still redesigning and modifying, making the drum smaller or the bridge higher. I’m always looking for a different kind of resonance”.

Widely recognised as his instrument’s leading modern master, Amjad sees his music as an attempt to create peace as well as beauty. He credits his father with opening his eyes to the universality of spiritual practice, and went on to played at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. He now tours to worldwide acclaim with his sarod-playing sons Amaan and Ayaan.

The Malhar family of ragas are associated with rejuvenation, heroism, and growth, and are said to summon monsoon rains if sung correctly. Legend has it that Emperor Akbar once asked Miyan Tansen to sing Deepak, the light-bringing raga, which caused all the lamps near him to ignite and burn so brightly that Tansen’s body began to be scorched. Later, it was his daughter, Saraswati, who sang Miyan Ki Mallhar and doused the fire.

Miyan Ki Malhar is said to be Tansen’s own variant of the basic Malhar structure. Both use Kafi as their base scale (SRgmPDnS), but Tansen’s version takes a shudh [natural] Ni in ascent before reverting to a komal [flat] Ni for the descent – some say that the melodic contrast between the two Ni swaras helps clouds to descend. Pa and Sa form a strong core as the vadi and samvadi [king and queen notes]. Some associate the raga with the kadam tree, used for perfume and ornamental craftwork.

Recorded at Darbar on Sep 18 2016, at London’s Southbank Centre
-Amjad Ali Khan (sarod)
-Kumar Bose (tabla)
-Anindo Chatterjee (tabla)

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