Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, widely credited musician for putting Sarod on a global map with his music surprisingly enough reveals his first love is Tabla and not the 25-stringed instrument.
In his interview to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sansad TV, Khan said that as a child he was so much drawn towards tabla that his “worried father” had the hidden the musical instrument from him for a several months.
“Tabla is my first love. As a child I was drawn towards Tabla so much so that my father got so worried that Tabla was hidden for a few months,” he revealed. But tabla is very important for every musician to understand the rhythm, the lay. I encourage many young tabla players also. They were unknown but talented people, he said.
On asked about what made him to choose music as his field, Ustad Amjad Khan said that every human is born with sound and rhythm, only some realise and some don’t.
He explained to Tharoor, “There is the world of sound and the world of language. Naturally people are more busy with the world of language. I couldn’t understand the world of language… So thank god I live in the world of sound because through sound I cannot manipulate. If I am out of tune you’ll get to know, it is so transparent.”
The son of a sarod maestro Haafiz Ali Khan, Ustad Amjad is the sixth generation in the legendary line of the Senia Bangash School. Since the 1960s, he has been performing internationally.
The 75-year old, called himself “very fortunate” for being born into a family of musicians and said he salutes and has huge respect for all those big names like Pandit Ravishankar, Ustad Alla Rakha, Ustad Allauddin Khan, Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi for doing it on their own without their parents being any musical players.
“.. They all made such a difference. What a contribution. And their parents were not musicians, so I salute them. My respect to them. It is an advantage that you are born in a family of musicians,” he added.
Therefore, Khan told the Congress MP that not everyone born in the family of musicians “achieves everything and get what they want”.
Representing the seventh generation of the musical lineage, the two sons of Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, are also sarod players like their father.
And from the looks of it, the eighth generation is already on its way to follow the footsteps of their ancestors.
“On my 75th birthday, my grand-children gave me a surprise, a musical tribute. Ayaan has two boys — nine years old. They played Rag Tilak Kamod. It is on YouTube. Since they are not going to school due to the pandemic, they are practising music for two hours a day now. So they are into music, they are enjoying playing music,” said the visibly happy Khan.
Sarod Maestro Khan’s family is also attributed for inventing the 25-stringed instrument sarod by adapting it from the Afghan rabab.
“There is a reason for the invention. The Rabab wasn’t expressive, but sarod was more expressive. Just like sitar, the ancient instrument in our country is Veena, but sitar became more expressive,” he said.
Sansad TV, a newly launched Sansad news channel combining the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha TV, has a hosted several chat shows by politicians, senior government officials and experts including Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader Karan Singh, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi.