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Gayan Samrat

Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan “DILRANG” was one of the top-most vocal artist of the millennium. The departure of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, from the scene of Indian Music…


Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan (born in Khurja 1863) was a vocalist of great performance and deep musical knowledge. He learnt music from his father Ustad Zahoor Khan sahab and two uncles Munshi Ghafoor Baksh ‘kamil’ and Ustad Ghulam Hyerr Khan sahab from an early age of thirteen to the age of ninety four. He became court musician of many states like Mursan, Purania, Baneli, Pachgachia. (dist. Saharsa), Bhavnagar, Champanagar (Darbar of Kumar Shamanand Singh ji) Bihar state. Kumar Maharaja Shamanand Singh also became the disciple of Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan sahab. Haji Altaf Hussain was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak academy award. His father Ustad Zahoor Khan sahab (Zahoor Baksh Khan) was a scholar and Pandit in Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu /Hindi. He was both Gayak and Nayak as well as a great poet. “The famous composition of Raga Tilak Kamod…….’Sakal Dukh Haran Sadanand Ghat Ghat Praghat Agat Eesh…’ is a composition of Ustad Zahurbakhsh Khan ‘Ramdas’ of famous Khurja Gharana. This compositions is very popular with vocalist allover india.

He has composed number of Asthaye and Antras under the pen name of Ramdas. He wrote Urdu poetry and verses under the pen name Mumkin Khurjvi. The Nwalkishor press Lucknow published the compilation of his poetry in his lifetime. Ramdasji has composed innumerable Khayals, Dhurpads, Tirwats, Chaturangs, Taranas, Tappas. Dadras and Thumris, which are still sung by many musicians all over India, specially Khurja Gharana Gayaks. Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan Sahab was a great performer and he sang in many prestigious conferences all over India, specially north and east India. He also visited Maharashtra several times in his lifetime .His disciples include a long list of successful vocalists including his nephew the famed Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan and his sons Ustad Wahid Hussain Khan, Ustad Mumtaz Hussain Khan and also Ustad Aslam khan his cousin brother’s son.

Ustad Zahoor Khan Sahab like his ancestors, Ustad Ghulam Hussain Khan Allahdas and Ustad Imam Khan Sahab ‘Imam Khan’ served and spread music all over India. He has composed number of Khayals and Dhurpads in variety of unknown ragas like Malvi. Malsari, Patbihag, Barari todi, Sorath malhar, Lalit pahcham, Badhans, Lachha sakh, dev sakh, Bahusakh and many others. Ustad Zahoor Khan Sahab became the court singer for the very first time of the court of Nawab Azam Ali Khan of Khurja. After that he went to Bareli court of maharaja Chitrakut, who also became his disciple. A number of Zahoor Khan Sahab’s disciples are spread in Bareli Peelibheet Khurja and Delhi.

Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan Sahab spent most of his last years in Delhi. The Khurja Gharana had strong marriage ties with the Delhi Gharana of Ustad Tanras Khan Sahab(the court musician of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor). Thus the Khurja Gharana, Delhi Gharana, Hapur Gharana (Ustad Shadi Khan and Ustad Murad Khan), Agra Gharana and Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana are all interconnected with the ties of relations. As per the historical facts the Khurja Gharana, Agra Gharana, Delhi Gharana and the Hapur Gharana are from the same Nohar Bani. And the Atrauli (said to be Jaipur) Gharana is from the Daguri Bani, a branch of Dagar Gobarhar Bani. For example we have the fact that Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan’s mother was from Khurja Gharana, father from the Atrauli Gharana and his sisters got married to Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan of the Agra Gharana. Even Ustad Tanras Khan Sahab of Delhi Gharana was related to the other Atrauli Gharana of Ustad Mehboob Khan Sahab Daras piya by ties of marriage.

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