Ustad Bismillah Khan Death Anniversary Observed

Death anniversary of Bismillah Khan being observed 21st August throughout the nation who is credited with popularising the Musical Instrument Shehnai. Ustad Bisimillah  was not only a musician but an embodiment honour with the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. The void caused by the death of this shehnai wizard on 21st August 2006 marked the end of an era in Shehnai music.

Ustad Bismilillah Khan

Ustad Bismillah Khan Chiildhood

The maestros melodious tunes were a household name throughout the country and brought happiness all around. Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb became synonymous in the public imagination with the Shehnai he played so much that we remember him every time we hear the Shehnai. His father was a Shehnai player in the court of the Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate, Bihar. At the age of six, he moved to Kashi. Hi received training under his uncle, the late Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu’, a Shehnai player attached to Varanasi’s Vishawanath Temple.

Though a pious Shi’ite Muslim, he was also a devotee of Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of Wisdom and arts, and often played at Hindu temples, including the famous Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, on the banks of the river Ganga. Khan is one of the finest musicians in post-independent Indian Classical music and one of the best Hindu-Muslim unity in India. He played the Shehnai t audiences across the world.

The seven decades of his eventful and artistic life were inseparably woven with the Shehnai and the marvel of his music was deeply rooted in our composite heritage and culture. It is no exaggeration to say that his divine, soothing nerves and having a balming effect on people who listen to that. The transformation of the Shehnai from a mere accompanying piece in concerts to respected instrument owes a lot this creative endeavour of Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. The legendary maestro transformed the Shehnai from an instrument only used in marriage ceremonies to be an honoured position in the classical pantheon.

Ustad Bismilahha khan

His Excellency in Music and Awards

Besides Shehnai, he also mastered variety of forms of classical music such as thumri, chaiti and Kajri. Khan was a unique personification of India’s composite culture. Bharat Ratna Bismillah Khan grew up without making distinctions between Ram and Rahim.  His music was not only shaped up the Moharram processions, but also the celestial shine of the Balaji temple on the imposing riverfront of Kashi. Though generally no music is played during the Muharram, the late Shehnai maestro used to observe it by playing dirges of Nuaha, a mourning music.

He is easily one of those classical musicians who, through their highly appreciated and popular performances, substantially contributed towards creating a large audience for the classical music. He was awarded India’s’ highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna,  in 2001, becoming the Third Classical musician after M.S. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction. His music lives and endures beyond the boundaries of religion, caste, language and nation. His music lives and endures beyond the boundaries of religion, caste, language, and nation. His legacy which is an integral part of our composite culture will continue to inspire many many generations to come.Stay tuned to for best trusted news feed.

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