September 23, 2019

Amir Khan

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AMIR KHAN

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USTAD AMIR KHAN

Amir Khan

Ustad Amir Khan (Hindi: अमीर ख़ान, Urdu: امیر اقبال خان, pronounced [əmiːr xɑːn]; August 15, 1912 – February 13, 1974) was a well-known Indian classical vocalist. He is considered one of the most influential figures in Hindustani classical music, and the founder of the Indore Gharana. Amir Khan was born in a family of musicians in Indore, India. His father, Shahmir Khan, a sarangi player of the Bhendibazaar gharana, served at the court of the Holkars of Indore. His grandfather, Change Khan, was a singer in the court of Bahadurshah Zafar. Amir Ali’s mother died when he was nine years old. He had a younger brother, Bashir, who became a sarangi player at the Indore station of All India Radio.

He was initially trained in the sarangi by his father. However, seeing his interest in vocal music, his father gradually devoted more time to vocal training, focusing on the Merukhand technique. Amir Ali was exposed at an early age to many different styles, since just about every musician who visited Indore would come to their house, and there would be mehfils at their place on a regular basis. Also, he learnt the basics of tabla playing from one of his maternal uncles, who was a tabla player. Following his father’s advice, in 1936 he joined the services of Maharaj Chakradhar Singh of Raigadh Sansthan in Madhya Pradesh, but he stayed only about a year. Amir Ali’s father died in 1937. Amir Khan moved to Bombay in 1934, and there he gave a few concerts and cut about half a dozen 78-rpm records. Later, he lived for some time in Delhi and Calcutta, but after the partition of India he moved back to Bombay.

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