Dhrupad on Vichitra Veena by Padmaja Vishwaroop

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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. http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article2109808.ece
Some more tributes:
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Vainika Smt E Gayathri talks about the parts of the Saraswati Veena

This is part of a series:
** CONTENTS: 1. History and Artist Profile 2. Introduction 3. Parts of Veena 4. Tuning of Veena 5. Sitting Posture 6. Handling Ways 7. Types of Veena 8. How to Pluck the String 9. Basic Lessons 10. Tips for Practice Veena 11. Concert Pattern **

Format: NTSC – ALL Regions * Language: English

Buy the DVD at: http://www.musicandchants.com/

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Noor Zehra Kazim talks about the Sagar Veena(Urdu)

In the video below Noor Zehra Kazim talks a little about the development of the Sagar Veena, a type of Veena built and designed in Pakistan by her father Raza Kazim and herself. This is followed by a performance of Raag Des.

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Padma Bhushan Ustad Asad Ali Khan/असद अली खान/اسد علی خاں

Ustad Asad Ali Khan (Hindi: असद अली खान, Urdu: اسد علی خاں) (born 1937) is an Indian rudra veena player. Khan performs the Dhrupad form of North Indian classical music. He was awarded one of India’s highest civilian honours, the Padma Bhushan in 2008.

From the Facebook page on Ustad Asad Ali Khan:

Khan was born 1937 in Alwar, Rajasthan in the seventh generation of rudra veena players in his family. His ancestors were royal musicians in the courts of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur, Rajasthan in the 18th century. His great-grandfather Rajab Ali Khan was head of the court musicians in Jaipur and owned a village land holding. His grandfather Musharraf Khan (died 1909) was court musician in Alwar, and performed in London in 1886. Khan’s father Sadiq Ali Khan worked as a musician for the Alwar court and for the Nawab of Rampur for 35 years. Khan grew up in a musical surrounding and was taught the Beenkar gharana (stylistic school of rudra veena playing) of Jaipur and vocals for fifteen years.

Khan is one of a few active musicians who play the rudra veena and the last surviving master of one of the four schools of dhrupad, the Khandar school. He has performed in many countries, including Australia, the United States, Afghanistan, and Italy and several other European countries, and conducted music courses in the United States. Khan worked at All India Radio, taught the sitar in the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi for 17 years, and continued to train students privately after his retirement. Students of Khan who perform include his son Zaki Haider and Bikramjeet Das of Kolkata. Khan has criticized the lack of willingness among Indians to study the rudra veena and has more foreign than Indian students. He is involved in preserving the playing of the instrument, which he believes to be created by the deity Shiva, and performed for SPIC MACAY, promoting Indian classical music to young Indians.

Khan received several national awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1977 and the civilian honor Padma Bhushan in 2008, which was awarded by Indian President Pratibha Patil. He was described as the best living rudra veena player in India and resides in Delhi.

Must Read:
Deepak Raja speaks to Asad Ali Khan

Video with an introduction on Ustad Asad Ali Khan in Hindi followed by a performance of Raga Asavari.

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