Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
In continuation with our series on artists and their mastery, Think Link Multimedia brings you a short clip of India’s gem – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and a little about his journey as an artist.
Whether talent makes the artist or is it by attaining technical perfection is an unresolved debate. In reality, it is the perseverance of uncountable hours over endless number of years and dedication to the art that makes an artist what he is. Their art becomes effortless as they have honed it through strict discipline and single-minded focus.
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is the sixth generation of musicians carrying forth the glorious tradition handed over to him by his father, Hafiz Ali Khan, court musician of Gwalior. The birth of the sarod can be attributed to his family as his ancestors made the instrument as we see today. Technically, the sarod descended from the rhabab, a musical instrument of Afghanistan. It is by far more difficult to play as compared to other string instruments, because it does not have frets.
His father, who was also his guru, was a strict teacher. He grew up with the immense responsibility of being chosen as the heir to his father’s musical legacy – a role which he has lived every moment of his life to uphold with utmost dedication. Apart from music, discipline and perfection, he learnt the value of respect for elders, for tradition, for mankind.
As a father and guru to his two sons he has been gentle in his approach and took utmost care to never impose his limitless talent or his expectations on them. But he gave them an environment that would nurture their interest in music. In his words, he considers his sons Amaan and Ayaan as very fine musicians and continues to teach them the value of being good human beings first. His wife Subhalakshmi Khan was a Bharatnatyam dancer who gave up her dancing career and joined him selflessly in bringing up their sons and nurturing the family with her artistic gift.
A strong believer in tradition and purity, his life is an inspiration of single minded devotion. His demeanor is marked by humility. He has composed many Ragas himself, and yet demurely explains that he has only discovered them. He has popularized Indian Classical music through his creative experimentations and innovations. His music speaks to everyone, the musical and the non-musical. Instrumental music is free of language barriers and hence can be called a true medium for bringing mankind together. Majestically and yet humbly playing his instrument since he was six years of age, the maestro has spread the message of peace, love and humanity all over the world.
Let us watch a glimpse of his vibrancy as an artist in the two clips below:
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