Rampur Sahaswan Gharana of Music

Heritage of Rampur-Sahswan Gharana :

Uttradhirkari A program presented by Raza Foundation to launch those who will take legacies of performing arts forward. This evening saw the recital of Dr. Sarita pathak Yajurvedi  representing the Rampur-Sahswan Gharana a student of Salochana Brihaspati.

My paternal family comes from Badaun, once a cultural capital where there flourished poetry, Sufism (Hazrat Nizamuddin was born here) a town which gave India three distinguied rulers – Balban, Illtutmish and Razia Sultan.

It is a place which is part of the cultural geography of the Afghan Pashtun rulers of Rampur which patronized a league of 19th-20thc Musical Genre – the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana. Among several aspects of culture the Nawabs of Rampur were patrons to poets such as Ghalib, and stalwarts of music such as Wazir Khan the teacher of Alauddin Khan, guru of Ravi Shanker and many, many others who represented the Senia musicians. The Rampur Court had close musical links with the court of Gwalior. This was the court which nurtured the likes of Bhaiya Ganpat Rao who brought harmonium in Indian Classical music, and it was this court  among others who spearheaded the All Indian Musical Conferences which were an important part of the Cultural Nationalist movement in the 20thc. The court gave patronage to the likes of  Paluskar, Musicologist Acharya Brihaspati.

One of the outstanding genres of the musical tradition is the fine rendition of tarana – A composition made of nonsensical syllables that  create an audio rhythmic map in space. Ustad Nissar Hussain from this school was one of the finest musicians of Tarana.

Other singers from this school are : Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, Ghulam Mustafa Khan (now in Pakistan), Rashid Khan, Ghulam Sadiq Khan, Shanno Khurana.

The legacy of the Rampur Nawabs in music was critically analysed in the body of work of the great musicologist Acharya Brihaspati whose legacy Saryu Karlekar and Salochana Brihaspti continues.

Kudos to the Raza Foundation which tirelessly works to conserve traditions such as these.

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