Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Biography:
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born in Kasur in a family with a great musical heritage. Before the partition of India Kasur belonged to the province Punjab, today it belongs to Pakistan. There were many descendants of Kasur Patiala Gharana in this region and his father was one of them.
Since his father, Ustad Ali Baksh Khan, was a well-known singer, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan learned early Hindustani classical music. However, his paternal uncle, Ustad Kale Khan, was his first guru and began to learn music from him when he was only five years old. Then he learned the nuances of his father’s classical songs much later in his life.
When the division of India took place in 1947, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan chose Pakistan as his homeland, as Kasur, his hometown, was in Pakistan. However, ten years later, he returned to India and gained citizenship with the help of Prime Minister Morarji Desai of Bombay. Then he moved to his new home in Mumbai, a well-designed bungalow on Malabar Hill.
He was a frequent traveler and lived throughout his life in many cities, including Calcutta and Lahore, before settling in Hyderabad. Ustad Bades wife, Ghulam Ali Khan, Ali Jiwai, died in 1932 still young. His son Ustad Munawar Ali Khan became a great classical singer and gave several successes until his death, which took place in 1989.
After learning the traditional style of Kasur Patiala Gharana (a classic style) from his uncle and father, Ghulam Ali Khans improvised bathing. He wanted to break with the millennial tradition by realizing that his singing style should be in line with the sensitivity of contemporary audiences.
He was quick enough to understand that the taste of music lovers would evolve to include other styles of singing in the style he already mastered. This led to the fusion of four traditional styles – Patiala-Kasur, elements of Dhrupad, ornaments of Gwalior and the folds of Jaipur.
Baden Ghulam Ali looked beyond the bowl-banav tradition of Thumri. No one before him had dared manipulate the traditional form of Patiala-Kasur. He not only manipulated, but also had great success with this new style. This is probably one of the reasons why it is one of the best of the twentieth century. Thanks to him, his own style of Thumri is now well established among contemporary musicians who seek to keep the tradition alive.
He approached the traditional form of Khayal without making too many changes. He did not want to play with the presentation and therefore left the variations alone, which often accompany the presentation.
His style was simple and prevented any drastic change in the presentation style. However, he always had a fascination for the technology of the new era, which made him look beyond the traditional method. To get the perfect tune, he mixed the notes to achieve what he wanted.
This was usually achieved by a very subtle modulation of the notes. This contact was innate to Bade Ghulam Ali. He had the ability to play with notes while finding the perfect expression and the perfect melody.
The musical career of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was relatively short. He made 1938 in Calcutta and 1944 at the All India Music Conference in Bombay impression. He was promoted to a “teacher” in each of the musical forms he explored.
For the reasons he knows best, he hesitated for a long time to give his voice to the cinema. But in 1960, producer K Asif manages to convince him and lets him sing for his film “Mughal-e-Azam”, whose music is composed by Naushad.
He sang two songs consisting of ‘Sohni’ and ‘Rageshree’ Ragas. But their services came at a cost and cost. According to reports, Ustad Bade had invited Ghulam Ali Khan and received a huge Rs. By comparison, the best singers of the day, namely Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, earned less than Rs. 500 per song.
Many of his works were reissued by music companies in the late ’90s and almost all are available in stores such as Apple iTunes.
Some of his albums include:
Mehfil: This album has three recordings spanning nearly an hour. The songs are based on different ragas like “Todi”, “Piloo” and “Bhairavi”. Mehfil is available for Apple iTunes for Rs. 120
Time Recording – This album also has three songs and one of them is a thumri. The other two songs are based on ragas like ‘Malkauns’ and ‘Bageshwari’.
Golden Heritage: sang songs by Bath Ghulam Ali Khan
Hindustani Classics: Indian Classical Music – This album contains 19 recordings, all interpreted by the master himself.
This album is a gift for all music lovers as it contains many ragas, including “Bhupali”, “Rageshri”, “Peelu”, “Kamod” and “Paraj”, among many other ragas.
Celebrating Legend: Bathing Ghulam Ali Khan: This album contains the recording of Thumri and a song based on the Raga ‘Malkauns’.
Golden Milestones by Ustad Bade The milestones of Gulam Ali Khan-Golden have two Thumris and two songs based on ‘Goonkali’ and ‘Malkauns’ Ragas.
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Thumris: As the name suggests, this album has only a large number of legends. It has about eight recordings and is available on Apple’s iTunes.
There are also some songs by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan available on the market, including the two famous songs from the movie “Mughal-e-Azam”. While the songs of the movie are called “Prem Jogan Ban Ke” and “Shubh Din Aayo Raj Dulara”, the others are famous. Some of them are “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye”, “Aaye Na Balam” and “Prem Ke Phande Men”.
Padma Bhushan: In 1962, he received the third-largest civilian prize in India for his contribution to classical Hindustani music.
Sangeet Natak Akademi Prize – In the same year he received this prestigious award.
Aftab-e Mauseeqi Award: This award is presented in honor of Ustad Faiyaz Khan, another great interpreter of classical music.
Sangeet Samrat Prize: This prize is awarded to individuals who make a major contribution to the field of music.
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan has been honored with many of these awards, including the famous South Devta Award during his short career. He is one of those weird gems that has managed to win many awards in such a short time.
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