Agra gharana

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Agra Gharana is a tradition of Hindustani classical vocal music descended from the Nauhar Bani. So far, Nauhar Bani has been traced back to around 1300 AD, during the reign of Emperor Allauddin Khilji of Delhi.

The first known musician of this tradition is Nayak Gopal. The style prevalent then in the Gharana was “Dhrupad-Dhamar”. Ustad Ghagghe Khudabuksh (1790-1880 AD) introduced the “Khayal” style of Gwalior Gharana into Agra gharana which Khudabaksh learnt from Natthan Paribaksh of Gwalior. Furthermore the Khayal style of Atrauli gharana was added in the late 19th century.

Distinguishing characteristics[edit]

The gayaki of the Agra Gharana is a blend of khayal gayaki and Dhrupad - Dhamar. In training, both the khayal and dhrupad components run hand in hand and are not taught in an isolated fashion. This is obvious from the svaroccara (The method of singing notes) of the Agra Gharana which demands that the projection of voice be more forceful and voluminous than encountered in khayal gayaki.The svarocarra of the gharana is also reminiscent of Dhrupad in which swaras are uttered open and bare (without grace notes).

Most khayal performances by artists of Agra gharana commence with the nom - tom alaap, a tradition unique to the Agra gharana. Different facets of a raga are displayed with the help of bandish or cija while the raga is liberated using vistaar. The use of bandish or cija for performing a raga is ubiquitous in all Hindustani classical music gharanas but cheez or bandish occupy a special position in the teaching methodology of the Agra Gharana.

The gharana adopts a kind of voice production which relies on a flatter version of the vowel sound "a"`, which makes its music agreeable to rhythmic variations and is best suited for a deep masculine voice. Emphasis is laid on bold, full-throated and robust voice production, and singing in the lower register (mandra) is favoured. Keeping in tune with its dhrupadic origins, the singers use broad and powerful ornamentations (gamaks), extensive glides (meends), and resonant articulations of notes. As with the Gwalior gharana, the Agra singers accentuate the importance of the bandish and its methodical exposition. Singers following Faiyaz Khan`s style resort to the dhrupadic nom tom alaap before singing the bandish. The singers of this gharana are also great masters over laya-kari or the rhythmic component. In fact, laya-kari is the lasting foundation on which the singers build the edifice of the bandish. In the hands of the best exponents, the dialogue between the singer and the tabla player often turns into a dramatic event. Their tihais are eagerly awaited, as are their nifty ways of arriving at the same, by building up anticipation within the listener.

This is the only Gharana that has still continued to sing Dhrupad-Dhamar along with Nom-Tom Alap, Khayal, Thumri, Tappa, Tarana, Hori, Dadra, Ghazal, Kaul, Rasiya etc.

Some prominent exponents[edit]

  • Ut. Mohsin Khan Niazi (Grand son/disciple of "Ut. Khadim Hussain Khan" / son of Sitar maestro " Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan")
  • Pt. Dilip Chandra Vedi
  • Ut. Ghagghe Khudhabaksh
  • Ut. Mehboob Khan "Daras Piya"
  • Ut. Kale Khan "Saras Piya"
  • Ut. Ghulam Abbas Khan-"Sabrang"
  • Ut. Natthan Khan
  • Ut. Tassaduq Hussain Khan "Vinodpiya"
  • Ut. Faiyaz Khan (1880–1950) "Prempiya"
  • Ut. Atta Hussain Khan "Ratan Piya"
  • Ut. Vilayat Hussain Khan "Pran Piya"
  • Ut. Khadim Hussain Khan "Sajan Piya"
  • Ut. Latafat Hussain Khan "Prem Das"
  • Ut. Sharafat Hussain Khan "Prem Rang"
  • Ut. Anwar Hussain Khan
  • Ud Basheer Ahmed Khan
  • Ud. Akeel Ahmed Khan "Mohan Piya
  • Ud Shabeer Ahmed Khan
  • Ud Naseem Ahmed Khan
  • Ud Waseem Ahmed Khan
  • Ud Shafi Ahmed Khan
  • Ut. Azmat Hussain Khan "Dil Rang"
  • Pt. Madhusudan Joshi of Baroda (seniormost disciple of Ut. Atta Hussain Khan)
  • Pt. Shrikrishna Babanrao Haldankar "Raspiya" (b. 1927) [1]
  • Pt. Arun Kashalkar "Rasdas"
  • Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan "Darpan"
  • Zohrabai (1868–1913)
  • Ut.Yashpaul "Sagun Piya"
  • Pt. Ramarao Naik
  • Pt. Harish Chander Bali
  • Pt. Jagannathbua Purohit-Gunidas
  • Mardav Sangeetgya Prof. Satya Dev Sharma Jalandhar Wale Disciple of Pt.Harish Chander Bali
  • Smt.Lalith J. Rao
  • Ut. Asad Ali Khan - migrated to Pakistan
  • Pt. Vijay Kichlu
  • Pt. Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar
  • Pt. S. C. R.Bhatt
  • Pt. K. G. Ginde
  • Pt. M R Gautam
  • Pt. Chidanand Nagarkar-"Chit Aanand"
  • Pt. Dinkar Kaikini "Din Rang"
  • Smt. Sumati Mutatkar
  • Smt Shrimatibai Narvekar
  • Smt. Manik Verma
  • Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki
  • Moni Babu (Manindralal Sengupta) [2]
  • Ut. Ghulam Hasnain Khan alias "Rajamiyan"
  • Pt. Dhruv Tara joshi"Prem Rang" and "Rasikpiya"
  • Pt. Ratnakant Ramnathkar "Premrang"
  • Smt.Vrinda Mundkur
  • Subhra Guha
  • Shri Rajesh Kelkar is a Agra scholar
  • Ut. Mohsin Ahmed Khan
  • Pt. Tushar Dutta
  • Pt. Sudhindra Bhowmick
  • Pt. Sunil Bose
  • Late Pta.Anjanibai Lolekar..a Disciple of utd. Anwar hussain khan
  • Pt.Devashish Ganguly"Sangeetesh",Bharat Samskriti Kendra,Agra(09368697574)(Disciple of Ustad Shabbir Ahemad Khan)


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