Rashid Khan (musician)

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Ustad Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan 3.jpg
Khan Performing at Rajarani Music Festival, Bhubaneswar(Jan 2017)
Background information
Origin Badayun, UP, India
Genres Hindustani classical music
Occupation(s) Classical Vocalist
Years active 1977–present

Ustad Rashid Khan (Hindi: राशिद ख़ान,Bengali: রাশিদ খান, Urdu: راشد خان‎) (born 1 July 1966) is an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani music tradition. He belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, and is the great-grandson of gharana founder Inayat Hussain Khan. He is married to Soma Khan.

In a story told in several versions, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi once remarked that Rashid Khan was the "assurance for the future of Indian vocal music".[1][2] He was awarded the Padma Shri, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006.

Ustad Rashid Khan performing at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal

Early life[edit]

Born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh. He received his initial training from his maternal grand-uncle, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan (1909–1993). He is also the nephew of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

As a child he had little interest in music. His uncle Ghulam Mustafa Khan was among the first to note his musical talents, and for some time trained him in Mumbai.[3]However, he received his main training from Nissar Hussain Khan, initially at his house in Badayun. A strict disciplinarian, Nissar Hussain Khan would insist on voice training (Swar Sadhana) from four in the morning, and make Rashid practice one note of the scale for hours on end.[4][5] A whole day would be spent on practising just a single note. Although Rashid detested these lessons as a child, but the disciplined training shows in his easy mastery of taan (arpeggios) and layakaari today. It was not until he was 18 that Rashid began to truly enjoy his musical training.[4]


Rashid Khan gave his first concert at age eleven, and the following year, 1978, he performed at an ITC concert in Delhi. In April 1980, when Nissar Hussain Khan moved to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), Calcutta, Rashid Khan also joined the academy at the age of 14.[1] By 1994, he was acknowledged as a musician (a formal process) at the academy.

Musical style[edit]

The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. Rashid Khan includes the slow elaboration in his vilambit khayals in the manner of his maternal grand-uncle and also developed exceptional expertise in the use of sargams and sargam taankari (play on the scale). He is influenced with the style of Amir Khan and Bhimsen Joshi.

He is also a master of the tarana like his guru but sings them in his own manner, preferring the khayal style rather than the instrumental stroke-based style for which Nissar Hussain was famous. There is no imitation of instrumental tone.

His renderings stand out for the emotional overtones in his melodic elaboration. He says: "The emotional content may be in the alaap, sometimes while singing the bandish, or while giving expression to the meaning of the lyrics."[4] This brings a touch of modernity to his style, as compared to the older maestros, who tended to place greater emphasis on impressive technique and skilful execution of difficult passages.

Rashid Khan has also experimented with fusing pure Hindustani music with lighter musical genres, e.g. in the Sufi fusion recording Naina Piya Se (songs of Amir Khusro), or in experimental concerts with western instrumentalist Louis Banks.[4] He has also performed jugalbandis, along with sitarist Shahid Parvez and others.

Film Discography[edit][edit]

Year Song Film Music Director Notes
2017 Sakhi ri Vodka Diaries Sandesh Shandilya
2013 Jheeni Re Jheeni Issaq Sachin - Jigar
2012 Aiyo Piyaji Chakravyuh Shantanu Moitra
2011 Poore se zara sa Mausam Pritam Chakraborty
2010 Allah hi rahem My Name is Khan Shankar Ehsaan Loy
2007 Aaoge Jab tum Saajna Jab We Met Sandesh Shandilya

Non-Film Discography[edit]

  • Classical Wonders of India (2015)
  • Poore Se Zara Sa Kam Hai – Mausam
  • The Song of Shiva
  • Morning Mantra
  • Yatra – A Journey of Rabindrasangeet & Hindustani Classical Bandish, with Nachiketa Chakraborty
  • Naina Piya Se
  • Raga Bageshri / Desh (1991)
  • Rashid Khan Live In Concert (1993)
  • Raga Yaman / Raga Kirwani (1994)
  • Khyal (1996)
  • Live in Concert: Moreton Centre (2000)
  • The Genius of Rashid Khan (2000)
  • The Song of Shiva (2000)
  • In London (2000)
  • Voice of India (2002)
  • Morning Mantra (2003)
  • Yearning (2006)
  • Reflection (2006)
  • Hey Bhagwan (2006)
  • Shyam Kalyan - Ustad Rashid Khan (1996)
  • Kabir (2009)
  • Classical Selection - Raga - Megh and Hansadhwani (2002)
  • Nirgun (2010)
  • Rashid Again (2013)
  • Selection - Kaushi Kanada - Charukeshi - Barwan (1996)



  1. ^ a b "Padmashree Rashid Khan". ITC SRA. Retrieved 9 May 2007. The SRA site gives the Bhimsen Joshi accolade as: "One of the most notable torchbearers of the Hindustani classical tradition in the twenty first century"
  2. ^ Music Label fusion3.com
  3. ^ "Rashid Khan Biography: Background". Retrieved 9 May 2007. This page is official Rashid Khan website l ustadrashidkhan.com
  4. ^ a b c d G. Jayakumar (22 September 2006). "An offering to the Almighty". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "Artist of the month: Rashid Khan". ITC Sangeet Research Academy. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.