September 17, 2019

Pran Nath

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PRAN NATH

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PANDIT PRAN NATH

Pran Nath

Pandit Pran Nath (Devanagari:पंडित प्राणनाथ) (3 November 1918 – 13 June 1996) was a Hindustani classical singer and teacher of the Kirana gharana (school), with a successful American career.

Pran Nath was born into a wealthy family in Lahore in present-day Pakistan. While avid devotees of music (inviting musicians into the house to perform nightly), the family did not approve of his desire to become a musician, so he left home at the age of 13 and took up residence with his guru[where?] the legendary (but reclusive) singer Abdul Wahid Khan of the Kirana gharana, cousin of the more widely-known Abdul Karim Khan, and stayed with him for more nearly two decades. Both guru and disciple were much attracted to mysticism: Abdul Wahid Khan, a Muslim, to Sufism, and Nath, a Hindu, to a Shaivite sect in Dehra Dun. It is said that Nath lived in a cave near the Tapkeswhar temple to Shiva for five years, serving his guru intermittantly. He eventually married and reentered the world at the request (guru dakshana) of his guru, in order to ensure the preservation of the Kirana style. In 1937, he became a staff artist with All India Radio. However, Nath stuck to a very austere singing style – heavy emphasis on alap, and very slow tempi – which suited his voice well, but was not very popular to the modern Indian taste. Nath supported himself as a music teacher, and worked at the University of Delhi from 1960 to 1970.

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