Pt. Buddhadev Das Gupta
























Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan







Shahjahanpur was probably the most famous of the three main centres of Sarod playing in North India in the mid nineteenth century. During this time , three contemporary sarod players, Enayat Ali (1883 - 1915), Niamatullah Khan(1809 - 1902) and Gulam Ali , belonging to three different families in the above mentioned centres earned recognition. All were descendents of Afghan soldiers who played the Rabab (the ancestor of the modern day Sarod) while marching into war. These soldier cum musicians came with armies like the Mughal army into India and finally settled down and started practising Hindustani Raag Sangeet in North India.

Enayat Ali, was the most well known and one of the finest Sarod players belonging to the Sarod Gharana of Shahjahanpur. It is interesting to note that all the above three stalwarts of Sarod playing took extensive training at one point of time from masters of the Senia Gharana - the Gharana coming down from Mian Tansen - and thus the Sarod Gharana of Shahjahanpur later on came to be known as the Senia Shahjahanpore Gharana. One (or more) of these three are credited with the idea of modifying the Afghan Rabab by adding a metal fingerboard and metallic strings and also with the addition of the Chikari (Jhala) and Tarab (sympathetic) strings. Thus the modern Sarode was born.

Gulam Ali was the grandson of another Afghan Rabab player Gulam Bandegi Khan Bangash who was commissioned as a soldier in the army of Raja Vishwanath Singh of Rewa. Bandegi Khan trained his son Haider Khan and grandson Ghulam Ali Khan in the art of Rabab playing. Ghulam Ali also received musical training from Pyar Khan and Jafar Khan who were distinguished Rabab players (the Senia Rabab, which was different from the Afghan Rabab ) and direct descendents of Tansen. Raja Vishwanath Singh gave Ghulam Ali Khan instruction in Dhrupad singing, the slow, ornate and dignified style of vocal music, that was prevalent then. Ghulam Ali later became a court musician in Gwalior, the most important musical center for North Indian music at that time.

Ghulam Ali Khan had three sons, Hossain Ali (eldest), Murad Ali and Nanne Khan (youngest) who were all Sarode players. Nanhe Khan's son was the Late Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan (1888- 1972) one of the noted Sarode players of the last generation. Hafiz Ali's son Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is one of the most accomplished Sarode players of the present day .
Ustad Md. Ameer Khan
Ghulam Ali's second son, Murad Ali was childless . He moved to Shahjahanpur and adopted an orphan boy, Abdullah Khan belonging to one of the musical families of Shahjahanpur and who under his training became an outstanding Sarod player. Murad Ali's musical line continued with Ustad Abdullah Khan, whose disciple Mohammed Ameer Khan was the Guru of the Late Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra (1917-1981) a brilliant Sarodiya of the last generation.
Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra
Radhika Mohan Maitra also took taleem (musical training) in Dhrupad from Beenkar (Veena player) Ustad Dabir Khan of Rampur, a direct descendent of Mian Tansen and in Sitar playing from Ustad Enayat Khan, father of Sitar Nawaz Ustad Vilayat Khan, of the Etawah Gharana.
Ustad Dabir Khan
Ustad Enayat Khan
Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta is the foremost disciple of Radhika Mohan Maitra and is one of three most outstanding Sarode players of India today. His playing reflects the beauty of his Guru's melodic style which is a perfect blend of the Rababiya and Beenkar traditions and he has developed a personal style and idiom that is uniquely his own.
Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra's Gharana