Ustad Asad Ali Khan Passes Away

The last of an older generation of legendary Beenkars has passed away.

The most distinguished Rudra veena maestro Ustad Asad Ali Khan breathed his last this past Tuesday. He belonged to the Jaipur Beenkaar gharana founded by the 18th Century Beenkaar Shahji Saheb. Ustad Asad Ali Khan and his illustrious ancestors played the Khandar Bani mentioned as one of the four Banis of Dhrupad in Indian music treatises.
The razor sharp tonal quality of this gharana named after Khanda, a very strong and sharp knife used in Rajasthan, was further enhanced by Asad Ali Khan Saheb’s individual style and his intense sensitivity for melody and rhythm.
Ustad Asad Ali Khan was the son and disciple of Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan, the court musician of Alwar and Rampur. Asad Ali Khan was born in Rampur in the year 1934, and was initiated into music at the early age of six.
For 15 long years he underwent the painstaking discipline of daily ‘riyaaz’ (practice) of 15 hours each day before Rudra Veena became a part of his existence. His father was trained the same way by his grandfather Ustad Musharraf Ali Khan, who in turn was groomed under his great grand-father, the legendary Rajab Ali Khan. Ustad Asad Ali Khan, in fact, belonged to the seventh generation of Jaipur Beenkaar gharana.
Some more tributes:

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