Patiala gharana

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The Patiala gharana is one of the gharanas of vocal Hindustani classical music. It was founded by Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Ali Baksh Khan(known as Alia-fattu)[1] and was initially sponsored by the Maharaja of Patiala, Punjab and was known for ghazal, thumri, and khyal styles of singing.


This gharana tends to favor pentatonic ragas for their ornamentation and execution of intricate taans.[1] Ektaal and Teentaal are the most common taals chosen by members of this gharana. Besides khyal, the singing of thumri of Punjab Ang 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]

The special feature of Patiala Gharana is its rendering of taans. These are very rhythmic, vakra (complicated) and Firat Taanas, and are not bound by the rhythmic cycle. Taans with clear aakar are presented not through the throat but through the chest.

While singing khayal the khatka and murki are utilized, and the presentation of the khayal is embellished with bol-banav, bol-taan, sargam, meend and keeping to the laya and rhythmic cycle.[3]

Because of unique taans, gamak, gayaki of tarana style and sapat taans, this gharana can be easily differentiated from others.

Prominent exponents[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1], Patiala Gharana's history on, Retrieved 11 Feb 2016
  2. ^ Bagchee, Sandeep (1998). Nād: Understanding Rāga Music. BPI (India) PVT Ltd. p. 182. ISBN 81-86982-07-8. 
  3. ^, Patiala Gharana 'Profile' on Indian Raga website, published 12 June 2010, Retrieved 11 Feb 2016
  4. ^, Article on Patiala Gharana in Dawn newspaper, 'Classical music has healing effect on listeners', published 3 May 2008, Retrieved 11 Feb 2016