Interesting Facts You May Not Have Known about Indian Music and Indian Musicians (Part 1)

India has one of the world’s oldest musical traditions and heritage. Its origin can be found in the Vedas (ancient scripts). Indian music, known as ‘sangeet’,  has got a unique and various style when being compared to the world’s other music forms. In the earlier days, as Indian music was just coming of age, it was devotional in nature, being used for ritualistic purposes and restricted only to temples. The most prominent folk music forms are Maharashtra’s Lavani, Punjab’s Bhangra, Gujrat’s Dandiya, Bengal’s Bauls, and Sufi form (Devotional music) Qawwali. Nowadays, Indian music is dominated by Bollywood and pop music. Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Indian music and Indian musicians.

Oldest Gharana of Hindustani Music

Gwalior Gharana is Hindustani Music’s oldest gharanas. There are a lot of Gharans which actually originated from Gwalior Gharana. Nathe Khan and Nathan Peer Baksh were the people that founded Gwalior Gharana in the 16th century.

First Woman Sarod Player of India

Sharan Rani, born in 1929 in Delhi, is the first woman to play Sarod in India. Well known as Sarod Rani, she played Sarod in about 70 years. She died in 2008. Sharan learned Sarod from great music maestros such as Ustad Ali Akbar and Ustad Allaudin Khan, then performed at many shows around the world and was considered as “Cultural Ambassador” by Jawahar Lal Nehru.  She was awarded The Padma Shri in 1968, Sahitya Kala Parishad in 1974, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani Instrumental Music in 1986. Sharan Rani is one of the three women that are titled “Gems of India” by the Government of India. The other two ones are MS Subbulakshmi and Lata Mangeshkar.

First Woman Shehnai Player of India

Bageshwari Qamar is the first woman to play Shehnai in India. She learned from renowned Guru Ustad Bismillah Khan, made her debut in 1983, and was crowned as “Shehnai Queen” at Chandigarh. She represented India at “The Bharat Mahotsav” in Russia in 1988.