Early life and career
Ustad Bundu Khan was born in Delhi in a family of musicians. He received his early training in sarangi from his father Ali Jan Khan starting at 8 years of age, and later from his uncle Mamman Khan, a veteran Sarangi and Sursagar Player who belonged to the Patiala gharana (House of Patiala) of classical musicians. Bundu Khan played the sarangi from All India Radio, Delhi Station, when it first started broadcasting in 1935. He served the princely court of Indore for 27 years as a court-musician. He studied Sanskrit in order to have access to the classical music of ancient India. He introduced what is known as Meendh Soot Ki Sargam in which the musician, in the midst of recurring melody, shifts from one note to another. He had mastered more than 500 Ragas. "He had great mastery over Raga system, Taan-palta, various traditional compositions – especially Ragas such as Malkauns, Malhar, Bhairav."
"Bundu Khan's sarangi was smaller in size than the usual one, with some metal strings instead of gut strings and so it sounded much different."
Bundu Khan was also a musical theorist or a musicologist. His book on music, Jauhar-i-Mausiqi in Urdu, known as Sangeet Vivek Darpan in Hindi, was published simultaneously in Urdu and Hindi in June 1934.
Death and legacy
He migrated to Pakistan and lived in Karachi until his death on 13 January 1955. "After migrating to Pakistan after the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Ustad Bundu Khan continued to play the sarangi from all the radio stations of Pakistan till his death in 1955. Both his sons gained prominence and became immediately known to the music circles of Pakistan." His sons Umrao Bundu Khan and Bulund Iqbal Khan have continued his musical tradition. "His complete mastery over his delicate and difficult instrument not only placed him on the top rung of the subcontinent's sarangi players but also made him one of the most proficient Hindustani instrumentalists of the 20th century."
Awards and recognition
- Profile of Bundu Khan on SwarGanga Music Foundation website, Retrieved 20 August 2018
- 'Tribute to a Maestro' - Profile of sarangi player Bundu Khan, ITC Sangeet Research Academy website, Retrieved 20 August 2018
- Noted sarangi player of Pakistan–Bundu Khan on the-south-asian.com website, Published April 2001, Retrieved 20 August 2018