Ustad Abdul Karim Khan

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872-1937) was born in Kirana near Kurukshetra in the Punjab and dominated the world of Hindustani music for well over a generation. He has been acclaimed as the "maestro who conceived, evolved, and popularised the Kirana gharana", and in fact, he changed the entire mood of khayal and thumri-singing. Some of the finest exponents of khayal today are either his disciples or their pupils. He was perhaps the first North Indian musician to study Carnatic ragas and incorporate several of them into Hindustani music. His records of songs in "Kharaharapriya", "Saaweri", "Hamsadhwani" and "Abhogi" as well as his style of sargam-singing are proofs of his great admiration and love for Carnatic music. In 1913 Abdul Karim Khan founded the Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya in Pune. He was an expert on many musical instruments, especially the Veena and the Sarangi. In Maharashtra great men like Lokamanya Tilak and Gopalakrishna Gokhale were drawn to his music. In the South, he became a favourite musician in the Mysore darbar, and his music was highly appreciated by great Carnatic musicians. He also created a stir by advancing the "Shruti Samvad" theory in collaboration with the British musicologist Mr. E. Clements, and is said to have given a fine demonstration of 22 Shrutis with the help of 2 Veenas at a public function presided over by Dr. C.V. Raman.