Etawah Gharana and the Indian Classical Music

by Dr. Binoy Shanker Prasad*


On 28 May 2016, the Malhar Group, at its 11th Annual Springfest, featured a young Sitar player, Shakir Khan, the first son of Shahid Parvez Khan. Both Shahid and Shakir come from the lineage of an established family of musicians, Etawah Gharana.

A short description on the Etawah Gharana should be in order.


In the mid-19th century, Haddu Khan and Hassu Khan, the two Dhrupad and Khayal singing brothers at the Gwalior Princely court (Darbar), accepted one Sahib Singh, a Hindu Rajput music prodigy, as a disciple. Sahib Singh became Sahabdad Khan after embracing his teachers’ religion and dedicated himself to a rigorous exploration of music and reyaz. He also learnt from the Senia musician Nirmal Shah and later himself became a musician at the Naugaon court.

Accredited with the invention of such musical instruments as Surbahar and Jaltarang, Sahabdad Khan lived in Etawah (in Uttar Pradesh close to Agra) and raised his two sons, Imdad Khan and Karimdad Khan, training them rigorously in music for the first twelve years.

Imdad Khan achieved great fame in his lifetime,

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Tenth Annual Springfest.

In May 2006, The Malhar Group initiated a festival of Indian classical music in Hamilton Ontario Canada. We called it Springfest. On 23 May 2015, we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of this signature event in Hamilton Place.

It has been a long road. We are proud to be able to continue this festival in a sustainable manner over these years and have hosted many musicians both from abroad and from the local area. We have had well known artists as well as not so known names to support them and to give them a platform. In Hamilton, this event is now an annual fixture in the local art scene.

This year, we are hosting Sitartist Indrajit Banerjee (Visit Indrajit Banerjee’s Website) of Maihar Gharana along with Hindole Majumdar on the Tabla. After the intermission with complimentary refreshments, we will have Uday Bhawalkar ( Visit Uday Bhawalkar’s Website ) singing Dhrupad along with Pratap Awad on Pakhawaj.

For further information, please email: Send Mail

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Season’s Greetings from The Malhar Group!

Anupam Bagchi, President, The Malhar Group

On behalf of all of us in The Malhar Group, we wish you all happy holidays and a happy and prosperous New Year of 2015.

We are working hard to present to you Indian Classical Music in various events as best as we can.  Our upcoming events in 2015 are as follows:

  • April 4: Annual General Meeting & Listening Session
  • May 23: Tenth Annual Springfest
  • August 8: Listening Session
  • September 19:  Third Annual Arohi
  • December 5: Listening Session

Please make sure that you pencil in the above dates!  Further details on each event will follow.  For any questions, email:

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On December 6, 2014, The Malhar Group of Canada held its 25th Listening Session. What is our listening session?

By Anupam Bagchi – President, The Malhar Group.

For those who love Indian Classical Music, there is nothing more satisfying and exciting than attending live concerts and listening to the artists performing on stage.  In a country like Canada, these opportunities are available but there are limitations.

The next best thing after live concerts is to listen to recorded music.  We collect music, exchange music and talk about music with other music loving friends almost on a continuous basis!  This is our passion!

These days we can of course sit at home and listen to Indian Classical Music all we want via the Internet.  It is an enormous boon and it will quickly change the way we interact with the music and the musicians in general.  However, it is a lot more fun to enjoy music with your like-minded friends who have the same passion.

The Malhar Group has been organizing Listening Sessions of recorded music for our music loving members for more than a decade.  They are more structured than just casual listening and well planned music selections with a specific theme such as a Raga, an artist, a Gharana and the like. 

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Pre-eminence of Dharwad in Hindustani Classical Music

by Binoy Shanker Prasad, PhD

Hubli-Dharwad, a twin-city in Karnataka, occupies a unique spot in the narrative of the Hindustani Classical Music (HCM). Music lovers have called the place a Line of Actual Control between Hindustani and Carnatic music. It’s regarded as the southern outpost of the Hindustani classical music tradition and from there southward the Carnatic music tradition has its sway. Hubli-Dharwad is home to the musical tradition which has still not compromised on its exclusive and defiant purity. The market forces haven’t diluted its dedication to perfection. The city has at least three centers of music, one of them set up by two Canadian HCM enthusiasts.