Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

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Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
Also known as Sabrang
Born April 2, 1902
Kasur, Punjab, British India
Died April 23, 1968
Hyderabad, India
Genres Hindustani classical music

Classical and Light Classical Vocalist of India. Strong Pillar of Hindustani Classical music and great top notch representative of Kasur Patiala Gharana.
Years active 1923–1967
Labels HMV, Times Music

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (Devanagari:बड़े ग़ुलाम अली ख़ान, Shahmukhi/Urdu: بڑے غلام علی خان) (c. 2 April 1902 – 23 April 1968) was a Hindustani classical vocalist, from the Kasur Patiala Gharana.[1]

Early life and background

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born in Kasur a small town near Lahore the Punjab province in British India after partition, Kasur became a part of Pakistan. His father Ustad Ali Baksh Khan was a famous singer in a West Punjabi family of musical heritage and was the top Notch Representative of Kasur Pataiala Gharana.

At the age of five, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib started learning vocal music from his paternal uncle Ustad Kale Khan sahib of Kasur Patiala Gharana who was also a very famous Indian Classical and light classical vocalist of Kasur Pataiala Gharana after his death he had his music training under his father Ustad Ali Baksh Khan sahib of Kasur Pataiala Gharana.

Singing career[edit]

Though Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahib started his career by singing a few compositions of his late Father Ustad Ali Baksh Khan sahib and his Uncle Ustad Kallay Khan sahib of Kasur Patiala Gharana.He became popular as a vocalist after his debut concert in Kolkata Ustad Bade Ghualm Ali Khan sahib Khan amalgamated the best of four traditions his own Patiala-Kasur style, the Behram Khani elements of Dhrupad, the gyrations of Jaipur, and the behlavas (embellishments) of Gwalior. His voice had a wide range, spanning three octaves, effortless rendition, sweetness, flexibility and ease of movement in all tempo. His raga expositions were brief contrary to convention and while he agreed that the beauty of classical music lay in leisurely improvisation, he believed that the audience would not appreciate long alaps and he had to sing for the masses and change the music to what the audience wanted.

After the partition of India in 1947, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahib went to his home in Pakistan, but returned to India later to reside permanently. He did not approve of the partition, stating "If in every home one child was taught Hindustani classical music this country would never have been partitioned." In 1957, with the help of Bombay chief minister Morarji Desai, he acquired Indian citizenship and moved to a bungalow at Malabar Hill Mumbai. He lived at various times in Lahore,Bombay, Calcutta, and Hyderabad Sindh and Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad Deccan .

For a long time, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali stayed away from singing in films despite requests and persuasions from well known producers and music directors.However he was coaxed and convinced by K Asif to sing two songs based on ragas Sohni and Rageshree for the 1960 film Mughal-e-Azam with the music directed by Naushad. He demanded an extremely high price, reportedly to the tune of Rupee Rs 25,000 per song, when the rate for popular and star playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi was below Rs. 500 per song.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Khan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan in 1962.He also received Ataab -e- Mosque Doctor of Literature Sur Devta Sangeet Samraat shahensha -e Mosque and many more.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan died at Basheerbagh Palace Hyderabad Deccan on 23 April 1968, after a prolonged illness which left him partially paralyzed in his last years. He continued to sing and perform in public with the support of his son Ustad Munawar Ali Khan until his death.

The legacy[edit]

Today the Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Yaadgar Sabha founded by his disciple Malti Gilani, as well as grandsons Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan Ustad Jawaad Ali Khan Ustad Raza Ali Khan and Naqqi Ali Khan keeping his music and memory alive through performing all over India as well different countries like Pakistan Usa Midle east Uk Canada America Russia Germany etc.Mrs Malti aims to promote Hindustani classical music and organizes many concerts to this end. Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan Ustad Jawaad Ali Khan founded a Non Profit Organization under the name of their Grandfather Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Music Foundation of India its primary aim however is to provide medical aid to ailing musicians and to work for the betterment of Indian Classical and light classical vocal and instrumental music. The yaadgar Sabha also organizes a Sabrang Utsav every year in the memory of the maestro. Under his pen name, Sabrang, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahib made lots of khyaal bandishes in different raags under the pen name Subrang and made many thumeries which are very famous like Ayye na Balam Yaad Piya ki aaye Prem agan jiya Saiyan bolo Katay na birha ki raat and many more. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had many Shagird like Madam Noor Jehan Mohd Rafi Ghulam Ali Farida Khanum Lata Mangeshkar Meera Banerji Parshoon Banergi many music Directors like master Abdulla master Inayat from Pakistan Film Industry and many more from Bollywood Film Industry.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was married to Mrs Allha Jiwai,and had two sons elder son was Karamat Ali Khan and the the younger son was Ustad Munawar Ali Khan .Karamat Ali Khan had seven sons name Late Baqir Ali Asif Ali Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan Ustad Jawaad Ali Khan Live in New Delhi India who are the famous Indian Classical and light Classical Vocalist of India Sajjad Ali Mehdi Ali and Singer Naqqi Ali Khan. Ustad Munawar Ali Khan have two sons Ustad Raza Ali Khan Shakar Ali Ustad Munawar Khan who died 1989.

Many years after the death of his first wife Allah Jiwai, he married an issueless widow, Allah Rakhi, who survived him and died on 11 August 1996.

The main street at Basheerbagh is named Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Marg in his honour.


  • Mehfil – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Times Music
  • Golden Milestones – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
  • Classical Vocal – Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
  • Sab Rang


  1. ^ "A different experience". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 12 November 2007. 

External links[edit]