Imdadkhani Gharana



Ustad Sahebdad Khan


This Gharana is named after Ustad Imdad Khan,Sitar and Surbahar player and court musician at Indore.


The Alap used by Imdad Khan and Inayat Khan in Surbahar was simple, with extended Meends in Dhrupad style but without Murkis. The Sitar Gats, which are in Ragas, such as Bhairavi, Kafi and Khamaj, show an excellent Jhala technique, while Talas are executed with traditional techniques.

In the Imdadkhani Gharana, there is a free style and medium paced alap, and also fast paced 'ulta jhala' and 'ati jod'. The 'ulta jhala' is the distinctive characteristic of this Gharana. Here, the one 'da' stroke on the baj string followed by three 'ra' strokes on the chikari is reversed with one 'ra' stroke on the chikari strokes and three 'da' strokes on the 'baj' string or melody string, The 'da' stroke is used more for it's sustained sound and the left hand is used more for Meend and Murki. Taans employed are basically of the Sapat and Choot variety.

The Peerless & Illustrious

Ustad Imdad Khan"s sons Ustad Wahid Khan and Inayat Khan.Inayat Khan was also the court musician at Gauripur.

Vilayat Khan, son of Inayat Khan greatly developed the Khayal Gayaki Ang on the Sitar. In his style of playing, there is stress on playing the first (baj) string and the chikari strings. Vilayat Khan removed the lower pitched strings and put brass strings instead of steel ones. He also raised the bridge, strengthened the Tar Gahan, and introduced a thicker Tabli. Developing a greater range in the Meend allowed playing longer pieces in the Khayal and Thumri styles. Ustad Vilayat Khan also introduced complicated playing techniques on the Chikari strings, and it is struck thrice in eight matras. Ustad Vilayat Khan also specialized in playing the Khayal bandishes on Sitar.

Other notable exponents of this Gharana are Ustad Imrat Khan (Vilayat Khan's brother) Shujat Khan (Vilayat Khan's son) Nishat and Irshad Khan (Vilayat Khan's nephews) and Rais Khan. Also noteworthy are Ustad Vilayat Khan's disciple, Pt. Arvind Parekh, Buddhaditya Mukherjee (His father was a disciple of Inayat Khan) and Shahid Parvez.

The Torchbearers