Ustad Amir Khan : The Legend

Here goes one off-beat documentary on Ustad Amir Khan.

One of the most un-celebrated legends of Hindustani classical – Ustad Amir Khan. I am a long time fan of Ustadji. Recently, during a late night work, playing Vilambit Tarana in the background – I rediscovered Amir Khan. In the pin-drop silence of night, Ustadji’s voice drowned me in a ocean of mixed emotions – the feeling of melancholy, but I was enjoying that, his voice was deep – touching my soul – but I felt lighter too at the same time.

He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in Hindustani classical music during the 20th century, together with Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

Raga Abhogi – Tarana/Khyal In Drut Teental

He developed his own singing style and helped popularise taranas, as well as compositions in Farsi language. Besides singing in concerts, he also sang film songs based on ragas, most notably for the films Baiju Bawra, Kshudhita Pashan, and Shabaab. He died a premature death in a car accident in Calcutta on February 13, 1974.

The death of Ustad Amir Khan in a tragic motor accident in Calcutta in 1974 has created a void in the world of Hindustani classical music. At the present time, when there is a dearth of such gifted artists, his death is an irreparable loss. Had he lived longer he would have had, at least, a number of able and talented disciples to carry on the tradition of his gharana.

In the last 25 years some artists have, by their revolutionary spirit, progressive outlook and creative faculties brought about radical changes in the style of presentation of classcal music. Ustad Amir Khan was such an artist. Like Kumar Gandharva. Amir Khan disregarded the age-old, conventional traditions, and with his intelligence and talent evolved an entirely original style of presentation. He also succeeded in gaining the approval and recognition of critics and connoisseurs.


15 thoughts on “Ustad Amir Khan : The Legend

  1. i am also adisciple of ustad ,ji.For the last 40 years .I have been performing all over and also worked on the ancient INDIAN RAGAS and khan’s sab voice culture.An rtist like him comes to life after centuries khan sab’s depth of the ragas,and the voice culture has inflenced almost all the vocalist of INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC.I had the opurtunity of learnng directly fo a various places.

  2. I am also a disciple of Khan Saheb Ustad Amir Khan Saheb.
    I read comments of My Guru Bandhu Resp Bhimsen Sharmaji.
    He has written very true about Khan Saheb that We all music lovers are greatful to almighty that He bestowed us with such
    An Artist like Ustad Amir Khan Saheb.
    Though we are gurubandhu I am not fortunate to meet Resp.
    No body can write his or her sentiments about Khan Saheb
    in words.Khan Saheb ki awaaz Purn Ishwri Sakshatkaar
    karati Hay.
    I today nostelgically remember the live experiances I had while Khan Saheb was doing His Riyaz.

  3. Dear Sir, Could you tell me if this is the same Ustad Amir Khan who made records in Bombay in 1934?.
    My father Mr Wyndham Quin Lennane was the engineer in charge of the Columbia label recordings made at that time.

    1. I think this is indeed the same ustad amir khan. in 1934 he was a lesser-known young vocalist trying to make his mark, and was about 22/23 years old. he cut quite a few records duringthose years, but it is hard to say if they were commercially successful. his singing style was strikingly different then. in fact, he started gaining popularity about a decade later – during the mid or late 1940s.

      it is interesting to know that your father was the recording engineer. does he remember anything special about the young amir khan? please share or let me know at thank you

      1. dear hugo, i saw your comment on tony’s mail. if you have any information will youplease share with me? please drop a few lines.

    2. dear tony i wrote a few lines to you hoping to know more about your father’s involvement in the recording of some early 78 rpm discs by Ustad Amir Khan ( His name on the record label was written as professor amir ali khansaheb. please let mw know if you have got these mails, as i would like to have correspondence with you. thanks

  4. Hi …
    Thank you indeed for posting this amazing
    film on Khansaab here. I had not seen it.
    Thanks BigBangBong for the this.


  5. i m grand diciple of ustd amir khan saheb. i m learning from sh. bhim sen sharma ji, a nearer disciple of khan saheb… khan saheb was a YUGPARVARTAK in classical music……….

  6. Hey,
    I would be very much obliged if I could have this documentary video. I have gone to see this in Fergusson College when it was presented for the first time in Pune. Tear came to eyes by the humble attitude of this great “last of the Mughals” artist. Pl. pl. reply me on

  7. Thanks for the fantastic clip! I’ve been a devotee of Khansahab’s music for years and never seem to find any modern classical singer come close to his depth and pathos!

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