Back to home page The instrument The history The musicians The music Miscellaneous

The musicians

The Mughal period
The transmission
The legacy of Bande Ali Khan

during the marriage
of Prince Shah-Shuja,
attributed to Bhola,
towards 1635,
The Royal Collection

The legacy of Bande Ali Khan

Bande Ali Khan gave both his daughters in marriage to Zakiruddin Khan (1855-1922) and Allahbande Khan (who died in 1926), both grandsons of Behram Khan, the ancestor of the Dagar dynasty. They were widely respected dhrupad singers who enjoyed great fame.
Zakiruddin held an important post at the court of the Maharaja of Udaipur while Allahbande had worked successively with those of Alwar and Jaipur.
Zakiruddin, like his son Ziauddin Khan (died in 1947) – also a singer at the Udaipur court – privately practised the art of the bin.

Ziauddin Khan’s son, Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (1929-1990), dedicated his life to the bin and to him goes the credit of getting the instrument known and largely appreciated in the West. In the early sixties, Zia Mohiuddin Dagar - in association with Murari Mohan Adhikari, nephew of the famed instrument maker Kanailal in Calcutta – made a few significant changes to the instrument in order to increase the tonal capabilities.

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

  View image in bigger size (34 Ko)
The size and weight of this new bin would prompt Zia Mohiuddin Dagar to adopt a new posture for playing, one reminiscent of that prevalent in South India among sarasvati-vina players.

His son Bahauddin Dagar (born in 1970) follows talentedly in the footsteps of his father
Bande Ali Khan, who was a fervent follower of Sufism, was also a musician whose charisma has become legendary since. Paying little heed to the strict canons of an extremely hierarchical society, he transmitted his musical training freely and many musicians, sarangi, sitar and even harmonium players, like Bhaiya Ganpat Rao, hurried to his side.
View image in bigger size (38 Ko)  
He settled in Pune with his second wife, the singer Chunnai Bai, once the favourite of the Maharaja of Gwalior, and taught the bin to Murad Khan, Waheed Khan and
Abdul Rheman Khan.

Murad Khan (on the right)
and his disciple Krishnarao Kholapure

Abdul Rheman Khan handed down his art to his son Mohammad Khan Faridi whose heir Shamsuddin Khan Faridi (born in 1938) was, not so long ago, the only binkar to be employed by the radiophonic institution "All India Radio" of New Delhi.

An innovative and iconoclastic musician, Bande Ali Khan was particularly fond of khyal singing, which he adapted to the bin, the instrument having until then been solely used to interpret the dhrupad style.
It was thus that Murad Khan propagated this unorthodox innovation through the state of Maharashtra.

Mohammad Khan Faridi

Shamsuddin Khan Faridi

  View image in bigger size (30 Ko)
View image in bigger size (53 Ko)   View image in bigger size (65 Ko) Hindraj Divekar

Today, the bin is played within a form known as khyal-baj (accompanied on the tabla) by Hindraj Divekar in Pune. Bindumadhav Pathak of Dharwar, until his recent demise (2004), played his part in keeping the Murad Khan "style" alive.

View image in bigger size (48 Ko)
View image in bigger size (46 Ko)
Bindumadhav Pathak Anant Bedekar

The aura of Bande Ali Khan proved to be very important and among the many musicians who benefited from his training, some in their turn bequeathed the knowledge that drew from both the dhrupad and khyal traditions.
Anant Bedekar (1921 - ?), doctor and binkar, enjoyed the mixed instruction of Laxman Rao Chavan, son of Balvant Rao Chavan, one of Bande Ali Khan’s disciples.
Back to top Previous page