Sultan Khan (1940 – 2011) – Raag Sehra

Shah Jahan Album | metmuseum.org | Click image for larger view.

Dr. Kashyap Dave has kindly shared the following recording and comments:

Raag Sehra by Ustad Sultan Khan on sarangi: a tribute to my teacher Ustad Sultan Khan. This is the name given by him to this raag from the forbidden scale. Once he recorded this for radio & asked to cancel it saying it is too sad so should not be aired. What could be a sadder occasion than this? Mehdi Hassan also sang one ghazal in this raag: Jab tere nain muskurate haiN. Audio quality is poor due to limited resources.

Mumbai, Nov 27 (IBNS) Sarangi exponent Ustad Sultan Khan, known for his instrumental skills, passed away on Sunday in Mumbai. He was 71 and died of kidney failure. —India Blooms News Service

The two time Sangeet Natya Academy Award winner was awarded India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan last year.

A sarangi maestro he used to play Hindustani classical music and was a member of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science, with Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell.

Tutored by his father Gulab Khan, Sultan Khan, who belonged to the Indore gharana, first performed at the All-India Conference at the age of 11.

He had accompanied Pandit Ravi Shankar on George Harrison’s Dark Horse tour in 1974.

He was also on the soundtracks of films like Gandhi and In Custody besides performing at Prince Charles’ 50th birthday celebration in 1997.

He was also the recipient of Gold Medalist Award of Maharashtra and the American Academy of Artists Award in 1998.

He sang “Albela sajan aayo re…”along with Shanker Mahadevan in the 1999 Sanjay Leela Bhansali film “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”.

His son, Sabir Khan, who is his student as well, is a well-known sarangi player too.

24 thoughts on “Sultan Khan (1940 – 2011) – Raag Sehra

  1. Inna lilah wa inna lilehe rajeoon . Another great Ustad passed away .What a loss .My sincerest condolence to all his dear ones
    Saida Haider

  2. The world of classical music loses another icon. Hazaron saal nargis apni benoori pe roti hai, bari mushkil say hota hai chaman mein dedawar paida. May Allah rest his soul in peace.

  3. May Khan Saab’s soul rest in peace.
    Condolences to his family members.

    Many thanks for sharing the master’s work and it is indeed a very sad day today. He was a genius and wanted to see the instrument sarangi being taken up and played by many in the younger generation.

    1. I had the good fortune of listening to Ustad Ji in Houston during his concert tour with Ustad Zakir Hussain. What an experience of listening to Ustad Ji in both Sarangi and vocal. A great loss indeed to the field of classical music. May his soul rest in peace.

  4. Thanks a ton Taimur Sahab and Dr. Dave, for this wonderful track, I have heard Mehdi Hassan Saab’s Jab tere nain muskurate haiN but could not recognise the raga earlier. I am a dye-hard fan of Ustaad ji. I have always been longing to learn sarangi playing, but somehow could not make it. But I am determined that one day I would definitely do, even if that day comes at my 60 yrs of age.
    I had a dream to listen to Ustaad ji live at Kolkata, which will never come true any more.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  5. My sincere thanks to Mr Taimur Khan and Dr Kashyap Dave for sharing the raga Sehra by the sarengi maestro Padma Bhushan late Ustad Sultan Khan Shaheb.

    I have had the privilege of presenting Sultan Khan Shaheb and meeting him personally through our society Surdhwani which was founded by my husband, myself along with 10 other connoisseurs of Hindustani classical music.

    Khan shaheb was an award winning legendary musician, classical singer and a great human being. He will be sorely missed by the music lovers. May his soul rest in peace.

    We at Surtarang will be dedicating our Surtarang [Wave of Melody] Broadcast dated 28th of December to pay tribute to the two great legends: the tabla maestro Pandit Sarda Sahai and the legendary sarengi maestro Ustad Sultan Khan as both the maestros have passed away this month.

    As we pay tribute to two great maestros, we would earnestly request everyone to listen to our broadcast via http://www.surtarang.co.uk & http://www.wcrfm.com on Wednesday the 28th of December between 7 & 8 pm UK time and the repeat show on Sunday the 1st of January between 10 & 11 pm UK time.

  6. I was sitting with Ch.Nazir Khan when Dr.Kashyap informed about sad demise of Ust.Sultan khan sb.It was a shocking moment renderjng us sad and sick.We could only manage to offer Fateha & left with the resolve to assemble after few days. We did that by listening to his recordings of all sorts….classical sarangi to songs to compositions sung by others …….He was a blessed soul indeed otherwise no one can create so much both in quality and quantity of diverse dimentions.He was blessed indeed.
    May be I am not qualified to comment on his status and standing as sarangi player which musicologist and scolars will do but as a keen listener I find him far ahead in creativity and innovation evident in his music and modifications in sarangi as instrument.As human being it must be mentioned that he accompanied legends as well as lesser known ghazal singers with equal ease and grace beside being soloist of highest repute.GOD BLESS HIS SOUL.

  7. My guru U. Sultankhan left his physical body exactly before one year. Such legends never become ‘late’ as they occupy our hearts for years to come. He was a moving Universitiy in himself & almost every new sarangi student wanted to learn play like him.

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