Birthdays & Anniversaries
15.8.1912 - 13.2.1974
Ustad Amir Khan was easily the single most influential Hindustani vocalist of the 20th century. He was a rare musician, whose music deeply influenced his contemporaries and, more than forty years after his demise, continues to shape the dominant tendencies in vocal, as well as instrumental music. An eclectic, who enriched his basic grooming with several other influences, he set standards of musicianship that have yet to be bettered. With no interest in accumulating audiences, wealth or rewards, he represented the essence of the Indian tradition,which regards music as a mystical pursuit, with spiritual evolution as its primary reward. He sang for himself and drew his listeners into a trance.
Amir Khan was born Amir Ali at Akole (Maharashtra) on 15 August 1912, and was brought up in Indore, where his father, Shahmir Khan served the princely court as a sarangi player. Young Amir Ali began his training in vocal music and the sarangi at an early age.
His father once sought the documentation of the Merukhand discipline from a colleague at the Indore court, Ustad Nasruddin Dagar, for his son’s training. The Ustad refused on the grounds that such knowledge was not available to “the son of a mere sarangi player”. The remark stung Shahmir Khan, and he started coaching young Amir Ali in the Merukhand discipline on his own.
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