Jnan Prakash Ghosh

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Jnan Prakash Ghosh
Birth nameJnan Prakash Ghosh
Born8 May 1909
OriginKolkata, India
Died1997 (aged 87–88) (aged 88)
GenresHindustani Classical Music
Occupation(s)Tabla player, musicologist
InstrumentsVocals, Tabla, Harmonium

Jnan Prakash Ghosh (8 May 1909 – 18 February 1997) often known as 'Guru' Jnan Prakash Ghosh was an Indian harmonium and tabla player from Farukhabad gharana of Hindustani classical music and musicologist.

Early life and background[edit]

Born in a Hindu family with musical background in Kolkata. He was the grandson of Dwarkanath Ghose (1847–1928), who founded Dwarkin in 1875 and invented the "Dwarkin harmonium", popular in West Bengal, India.[1] He graduated from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta[2] He was keen in sports (he played soccer, hockey, polo and billiards). He also practised painting, but had to discontinue these due to an eye injury in a soccer match.

Then he turned to music. He was trained in vocals by Girija Shankar, Mohammed Sagir Khan and Mohammed Dabir Khan. He took tabla lessons from Ustad Masit Khan of the Farukhabad gharana and became his senior disciple[3] and later from Ustad Feroze Khan of the Punjab gharana.


He worked for 15 years in All India Radio as a producer of music. He wrote pieces in classical music, light music, modern, orchestral, choral, and percussion styles.

He was the founder of Sourav Academy of Music and closely associated with the 'Sangeet Research Academy'. He scored music for many Bengali films, Jadubhatta, Andhare Alo and Rajlakshmi o Srikanta (1958)[4] are worth mentioning. He has composed and directed music to a number of popular gramophone records sung by various artistes.[5] A percussion entitled The Drums of India[6][7] and a jugalbandi with Pandit V.G. Jog on the harmonium and violin respectively have earned him wide popularity.[citation needed] One of his compositions was called Chaturang – involving tabla, pakhawaj, kathak and tarana. He would instruct disciples staying with him to practice late into the evenings and it is said that he would correct any errors that reached his ears.

He also provided music for the Academy Award nominated animated short Bead Game, directed by Ishu Patel for the National Film Board of Canada.[8] His residence at 25 Dixon Lane in Bowbazar, Kolkata, was frequented by musicians, be it local or those visiting the city, and thus was the venue of several recitals, most notably a Raga Chhayanat performed by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in 1954.[9]

Amongst his notable students are tabla players Kanai Dutta, Shyamal Bose, Shankar Ghosh,[10] Abhijit Banerjee, Anindo Chatterjee, and Nikhil Ghosh,[11] Rajkumar Misra,[12] singers Prasun Banerjee, Ajoy Chakrabarty, Suman Ghosh and Arun Bhaduri[13] and instrumentalist Paul Grant.[14] His birth centenary was celebrated on 7 May 2012, in Kolkata, with screening of documentary of him and performances by noted singers.[15]


  • 1968 – Drums of India, Vol. 1 – Gramophone
  • 1979 – Drums of India, Vol. 2 Gramophone
  • 1993 – Raga on Keyboard – EMI
  • 2004 – Dhun – Saregama
  • 2004 – Raag Charukeshi – Saregama
  • 2004 – Raag Haripriya – Saregama
  • 2004 – Raag Jhinjhoti – Saregama
  • 2004 – Raag Mishra Kalengra – Saregama
  • 2004 – Raag Shyam Kalyan

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1974, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama.[16] This was followed by the Padma Bhushan in 1984, given by the Government of India[17]


  1. ^ "Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh". angelfire.com. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  2. ^ Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, page 589
  3. ^ Kumāraprasāda Mukhopādhyāẏa (1 January 2006). The Lost World of Hindustani Music. Penguin Books India. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-14-306199-1. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. ^ Jnan Prakash Ghosh on IMDb
  5. ^ Saregama : Music[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Saregama Music". Saregama Music.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Drums of India Vol 2". Boomkat. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Bead Game". Collection page. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  9. ^ Arunabha Deb (9 July 2011). "Striking familiar notes". Tehelka. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. ^ Banerjee, Meena (2016-01-28). "The 'uncrowned king' deserved better". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  11. ^ "Founder". Sangit Mahabharati. 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Shivendra. "Pandit Raj Kumar Mishra".
  13. ^ "Memory in melody". The Hindu. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Classical music export". The Times of India. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Kolkata to remember Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh". The Times of India. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  16. ^ "SNA: List of Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Puraskarwinners (Akademi Fellows)". Official website. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2009.

External links[edit]