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What Are the Important Gharanas in Hindustani Classical Music?

6th May, 2022

Gharanas in Indian classical music are considered an old-age tradition. Every Gharana has a unique style and manner in which the notes are sung. There are different gharanas in multiple regions, and their styles are influenced by masters that are passed on to students.

There are different gharanas in Hindustani classical music. They are divided into two major categories known as ‘Khyal’ and ‘Thumri’, based on the singing style of ‘Gayaki’ in Hindustani classical music.

List of Gharanas in Hindustani Classical Music

The different types of gharanas in Hindustani classical music are as follows:

Music gharanas in India

1. Gwalior Gharana

This is one of the oldest growth gharana in Indian classical music, and it has a simple singing style and rhythm. Most of the songs from this Gharana are bandishes that use various tans. This was started by Miya Tansen and some reputed musicians such as Raja Bhaiyya Poonchwale and Krishnarao Shankar Pandit.

Contemporary artists such as Shashwati Mandal, Meeta Pandit and Vasundhara Komkali are all exponents of Gwalior Gharana.

2. Agra Gharana

This type of Gharana is rooted in Nauhar Bani, traced back to 1300 AD. The singing style is recognized by exuded deepness in the voice that makes the composition soulful and creates a resonating effect.

This gharana was founded by Haji Sujan Khan and by Ustad Ghaghe Khuda Baksh. Some influential singers are Khadim Hussain Khan, Faiyaz Khan and Zohrabai. Bharathi Prathap and Waseem Ahmed Khan are also important exponents of Agra Gharana in music.

3. Kirana Gharana

This is one of the most prolific gharanas in Indian classical music. The singing style primarily focuses on the perfect pitch of ‘swaras’. It has roots in the foundation of Ustad Bade Ali Khan, who played ‘Rudra Veena’. Some of the foremost exponents of Kirana Gharana are Bhimsen Joshi, Prabha Atre and Firoz Dastur.

4. Bhendi Bazaar Gharana

This is one of the old gharanas in Indian classical music, and it came into the picture in the year 1890. The founders of this particular Gharana are Nazir Khan, Chhajju Khan and Khadim Hussain Khan, and the roots of this ghana are in the ‘Bhendi Bazaar’ area of Mumbai.

The singing style needs the use of the ‘Merukhand’ system of extended ‘alaps’. The most famous disciples of this Gharana are Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar and Begum Akhtar.

5. Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana

This Gharana is mainly based on khayal singing, and Alladiya started it in the late 19th century. This Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana is quite famous for its unique Layakari and the top repertoire of ragas.

This singing style is different from other gharanas. While other gharanas notes are simple, they are not very oblique with filigree that involves neighbouring notes. The contemporary disciples of this specific Gharana are Raghunandan Panshikar, Shruti Sadolikar, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, and Sanjay Dixit.

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6. Patiala Gharana

This is one of the best and most famous gharanas in Indian classical music, founded by Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Ali Baksh. This Gharana in music uses enhanced rhythm play and by Layakari with idiosyncratic tans.

Patiala Gharana has two types of singing known as ‘Thumri’ and ‘Khayal’. The famous exponent of this Gharana is Pakistani ghazal singer Gulam Ali and contemporary singer Shafqat Amanat Ali and both of these singers have earned a lot of fame in India.

7. Indore Gharana

Ustad Amir Khan founded this Gharana, and the singing style is the combination of essence and styles of legends like Aman Ali Khan, Abdul Karim Khan and Rajab Ali Khan.

The songs under this Gharana have slow tempo raga development, melody and rare use of ‘Tihai’. Famous exponents include Singh Bandhu, Sultan Khan and Pandit Amarnath.

8. Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana

The roots of this Gharana are based on towns like Sahaswan and Rampur that Ustad Hussain Khan founded. The singing style is based mostly on Gwalior Gharana and features medium to slow tempos, intricate rhythmic play and a full-throated voice.

The famous disciples of this Gharana of Indian classical music are Arun Bhaduri and Ganpat Rao. in Bollywood and other popular music, Sonu Nigam, Shaan and Hariharan also did many renditions that have a characteristic style of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana.

9. Mewati Gharana

This Gharana is based on the music apprentice clan in Indian classical music founded by Ustad Ghagge Nazir Khan of Jodhpur. This Gharana became famous only after Pandit Jasraj rose to fame with his classical performances.

The compositions of Mewati Gharana portray Kirtankar and Sufi influences, and the songs have spiritual and theistic elements. Some famous exponents of this Gharana are Pandit Abhyankar and Smt. Kala Ramnath and Pandit Aravind Thatte.

Contact us at Kafqa Academy

There are many famous gharanas in Indian classical music, such as Indore Gharana, Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, Gwalior Gharana, etc. If you are interested in learning Hindustani classical music, you can contact us. We are one of the best academies where you can learn Indian classical music on different gharanas under the guidance of experts.

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