Patiala gharana

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The Patiala gharana is one of the most prominent gharanas of vocal Hindustani classical music. It was initially sponsored by the Maharaja of Patiala, Punjab, which was famous for ghazal, thumri, and khyal.

The Patiala Gharana was founded by Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Ali Baksh Khan.[1]

This school of music has had a number of famous musicians, many of whom came to be patronised by the royal family of Patiala after the disintegration of the Mughal Empire at Delhi in the 18th century.

The Patiala gharana tends to favor pentatonic ragas for their ornamentation and execution of intricate taans. Ektaal and Teentaal are the most common taals chosen by members of this gharana. Besides khyal, thumri singing is emphasized.

This gharana has been criticized by purists, who say it overuses ornaments and graces without considering the basic nature and mood of the raga and neglects principles of khyal architecture, as exemplified by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's quick ascent through the octave in his rendering of Darbari.[2]

Gayaki Styles of Patiala Gharana has been popular for its flavor, aesthetic and delicate style. The musicians of this Gharana pursue the tradition with complete dedication and execute in harmony with the discipline and tradition of their Gharana. This style is known for its crisp, artistic and short bandishes.

The special feature of Patiala Gharana is its rendering of taanas. These are very rhythmic, vakra (complicated) and Firat Taanas. The taanas sung by the artists are very imaginative and creative and are not bounded by the rhythmic cycle. Because of this aspect there is a great scope for creativity in swar, tala, bol-banav, sargam, taiyyari, bhav, incredible performance and originality in the renderings.

This style is very melodious and sweet. While singing khayal the khatka and murki is utilized in a very artistic and unique manner. The presentation of the khayal is embellished with bol-banav, bol-tana, sargam, meend and keeping to the laya and rhythmic circle. The purity of the raga is strictly maintained throughout the khayal performance.

As Patiala Gharana belongs to Punjab, after the khayal, the performance is concluded with Thumri of Punjab Ang. The taanas of clear Aakar are presented not through the throat but through chest. Because of unique taanas, gamak, gayaki of tarana style and sapat taanas this gharana can be easily differentiated from others.

Leading exponents[edit]


  1. ^ "Patiala Gharana". 
  2. ^ Bagchee, Sandeep (1998). Nād: Understanding Rāga Music. BPI (India) PVT Ltd. p. 182. ISBN 81-86982-07-8. 
  3. ^ a b Lalithaa Krishnan (2009-08-20). "Clear and sparkling". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  4. ^ The Hindu (2013-12-06). "Unique musical flavours-Dec6-Ras Barse". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-01-14.