Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tribute to Late. Maestro Ustad Amanat Ali Khan.

A name in classical music never to be forgotten. He along with his brother Fateh would mesmerize the audience whenever the duo performed live. He was a true singer and left a rich music unmatched forever. His "ghazals" and national songs are still being copied by many new artists. Some of his famous songs include "Inshah jee abh kooch karo, aa meray piyar ki khusbu, aye watan piyre watan" and many more. His legacy would always remain. Although, his two sons Asad and Shafqat have been in singing for quite a long time and have made their own standing, but have been unable to be a match of their legendry father. REFERENCE: Music and Melodies


موسم بدلا رت گدرائی اہل جنوں بے باک ہوئے

فصلِ بہار کے آتے آتے کتنے گریباں چاک ہوئے

دل کے غم نے دردِ جہاں سے مل کے بڑا بے چین کیا

پہلے پلکیں پُرنم تھیں، اب عارض بھی نمناک ہوئے

کتنے الہڑ سپنے تھے جو دورِ سحر میں ٹوٹ گئے

کتنے ہنس مُکھ چہرے فصل بہاراں میں غمناک ہوئے

برقِ زمانہ دور تھی لیکن مشعلِ خانہ دور نہ تھی

ہم تو ظہیر اپنے ہی گھر کی آگ میں جل کر خاک ہوئے

Ustad Amanat Ali Khan (1922 – 1974) was a Pakistani classical singer. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw the rise of seraphic singer Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. The prestigious Patiala Gharana, the family that sworn to carry on the traditional and classical aura of Hindustani music, saw another immaculate and faultless singer adding more shine, prestige and prosperity to their name. Along with Ahmed Rushdi and Mehdi Hassan, he was a top singing icon of the Indian subcontinent. He was honoured with the ‘Pride of Performance’ award by the government of Pakistan.


ہونٹوں پہ کبھی ان کے میرا نام ہی آئے
آئے تو سہی، بر سرِ الزام ہی آئے

حیراں ہیں، لب بستہ ہیں، دلگیر ہیں غنچے
خوشبو کی زبانی، تیرا پیغام ہی آئے

تاروں سے سجا لیں گے، راہِ شہرِ تمنا
مقدور نہیں صبح، چلو شام ہی آئے

کیا راہ بدلنے کا گلہ ہمسفروں سے
جس راہ سے چلے تیرے در و بام ہی آئے

باقی نہ رہے ساکھ ادا دشتِ جنوں کی
دل میں اگر اندیشئہ انجام ہی آئے

Early life and background

Amanat Ali Khan was born in Sham Chaurasi, Hoshiarpur, Punjab to Akhtar Husain Khan and the grandson of Ali Baksh Khan, the founder of ‘Patiala Gharana’. Along with Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, the young Amanat Ali started singing for gatherings (‘mehfils’) and at an early age he became a recognised singer in the court of the Patiala king.


Soon after independence he came to Pakistan where he continued his singing, which made him popular not only in Pakistan but in the entire South Asia.

His concerts on Radio Lahore became quite popular and he toured the whole South Asia becoming the representative of Patiala gharana in Pakistan.

His memorable songs include “Aa Mere Pyaar Ki Khushboo”, “Yeh Arzoo Thi”, “Mausam Badla”, “Yeh Na Thi Hamari Qismat” and “Kab Aao Ge”.

Personal life

Ustad Amanat Ali died at aged 52 years in Lahore in September 1974. His eldest son Ustad Ustad Asad Amanat Ali Khan inherited his father’s beautiful voice and talent. After a very successful music career, and contributing unforgettable treasure to ghazal singing, he died of heart attack on April 8, 2007, in London. Since most of the newer singers like Shafqat Amanat Ali and Rustam Fateh Ali have changed away from classical Patiala style singing, this leaves Amanat’s youngest brother Hamid Ali Khan, as the last of the Patiala legends. COURTESY: Amanat Ali Khan

For music, the 20th century can be seen as period of great artists in all genres and witnessed the rise of a large number of giants in all gharanas of music. This includes superstars such as Bhaskar Rao, V. D. Pulskar, Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Fayaz Khan, Taan Kaptan Fateh Ali Khan and his partner Gernail Ali Bakhsh Khan, Vishnu Digambar, Pundit Balkrishan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, his able disciple malka-e- mausiqi Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pundit Ravi Shankar, Ude Shankar, Mahraj Ghulam Hussain Kathak, Khalifa Qadir Bakhsh and Ustad Nathu Khan who rose to great heights as well as newer forms and styles also came into being.

Sindh has a long history of classical and traditional music. Recorded history notes the existence of classical music during the days of Akbar’s regime. Permanent settlement of musicians from other parts of the subcontinent took place during the Kalhora and Talpur eras. Besides artists from Gwaliar and Patiala gharanas and local music lovers also played their role in promoting this great genre. Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan had already migrated from Punjab and settled in Khairpur under the patronage of the Mirs. Cities like Shikarpur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Karachi and Dadu were main centres where music conferences were held annually and at random. Seth Vishandas Manjhuwaro was such a great music lover that he raised a two-storey building in Hyderabad where vocalists and instrumentalists were to live on expenses paid by the Seth. The building still exists posing a question mark for music lovers.

During the last century music conferences called Handas were held regularly and were participated in by music legends of the subcontinent. In Hyderabad, Holmstead Hall was an important venue for such moots. In Karachi, Seth Vishandas had built a hall near Merewether Tower where regular music festivals were held till Independence. Another venue for music concerts was the Mayfair Theatre where classical and light music concerts were held.

After Shikarpur, Hyderabad was a busy centre of music. Here popular artists from the Gwaliar and Patiala gharanas settled down and promoted music. Among them Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan and Ustad Allahdino Noorani were two legendary figures. Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan was the son of Taan Kaptan Fateh Ali Khan while Ustad Noorani did not belong to any traditional gharana of music but to a peasant family of Sindh. Out of sheer love he learnt music and became a great exponent of classical and traditional Sindhi music. No music concert was complete without the two performers.

Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan settled down in Hyderabad and taught a number of students who rose to the heights of music in Pakistan. These include Farida Khanum, Nasim Begum, Zahida Peveen, Ustad Umeed Ali Khan and Nawab Akhtar.

The Patiala gharana is known for its expertise in the Dhurpad genre. Ashiq Ali knew Dhurpad but seeing its decline due to its intricacy, he chose khayal and in that genre he applied the sophistication of Dhurpad, making it a different style of khayal than that sung by another gharana. He gained full command of interpreting the theme of raaga with alap using swifter gamaks to embellish it. Since Ashiq Ali belonged to the era of open air music, he cultured his voice in that direction. When gramophone came into being he was offered to sing for them which he did, but since the gramophone records allowed only 3.3 minutes duration he had to develop that skill to meet the requirement of khayal within that span of time. For that he developed a ‘chhota khayal’ with almost non-existent alap and directly stepped into asthai and antara and spent half of the time in swift glides. In doing so he did not disfigure the raaga, which is a difficult task and comes with acquired skill.

Besides using traditional instruments he had a skilled pianist Kantilal who accompanied him on piano, perhaps the only vocalist in classical music to be accompanied by a piano in khayal rendition. By being a proponent of historical style of classical singing Ashiq Ali Khan never hid anything from his students. Thus, he kept his school of singing alive. Ashiq Ali Khan strongly believed in ‘Ustad-shagird’ relationship which is a time-tested way of transmitting the art form from one generation to the other. This trend is still followed by Ustads and music teachers. It was due to this practice that when Umeed Ali Khan attained expertise, Ashiq Ali Khan made him a singing partner and the duo sang many ragas to perfection.

He had a special blend of voice suitable for the singing of Dhurpad and Khayal. He sang the two with complete dedication showing no inclination towards thumri which is generally sung after khayal. Instead he would choose Sindhi or Seraiki Kaafi, in which he also involved his own style that was followed by many of his contemporaries. Jadoo lai vya jee mein’ still reverbrates in the minds of Kaafi listeners. It was sung in Sindhra and continues to be sung by three generation of vocalists. In those days the gramophone recording companies recorded at Bombay but for popular musicians they brought their machines to Karachi. Ashiq Ali Khan never went to Bombay but got all recordings done at Karachi. A well mannered and well-dressed person, he never allowed his students to look shabby. Eventually his students, too, became very popular and excelled in their own form and styles. REFERENCE: A scion of Patiala gharana By Shaikh Aziz August 05, 2007


RAWALPINDI, May 2: A certain type of emotion grips the listeners of classical music as they identify their feelings with that of the artist but being unable to express it enjoy the music as if they are singing. This was stated by Ustad Fateh Ali Khan while answering a question during an informal sitting with the students of National College of Arts (NCA) in its monthly programme “Spotlight” conducted by the theatre department on Friday. When a student asked him why a certain type of feeling overcomes the listener of classical music whether or not he understands it, Mr Khan said music was a beauty and appreciated by all. When the listener cannot sing, he moves his head here and there in a bid to realise as if he was singing with the artist.


“Classical singers take singing as a type of worship that is why it has a healing and intuitive effect on the keen listeners whether they understand the music or not,” said the celebrated singer. Besides informal conversation with the students, Khan also sang some of his classical songs on the occasion and enthralled the audience in the hot afternoon. “Classical music is not limited to certain gharanas and anybody can learnt it if he or she has the will and determination,” he said. Fateh and brother Amanat Ali Khan of Patiala became celebrities while still in their childhood in undivided India. Fateh and his late brother were trained by their father Akhtar Hussain, a distinguished vocalist under the patronage of the princely state of Patiala.

Their grandfather Ali Baksh also served the same court and was a co-founder of the Patiala Gharana.The prodigious talent of the duo received early encouragement at the Patiala court. They had a glorious debut in 1945 at Lahore sponsored by influential connoisseur Pandit Jeevanlal Matto. Their breakthrough came at the All-Bengal Music Conference in Calcutta in 1949, when Amanat Ali was 17 and Fateh Ali was 14, after which they never looked back. In the later half of the 20th century, the Patiala style of Khayal vocalism has been represented by two streams of the gharana. One stream gave the music world the Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali duo. The other through its training of Kasur gharana vocalists produced Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, his brother Barkat Ali and the former’s son Munawar Ali Khan. REFERENCE: ‘Classical music has healing effect on listeners’ By Our Reporter May 03, 2008 Saturday Rabi-us-Sani 26, 1429

1 comment:

ajnabi said...

Thank you for these snippets of information. it is hard to find good information on Pakistani artists.