Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – The Phenom

It’s 4AM and it’s been more than 3 hours now since I started to listen to Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (BGAK) today. Time has just flown past and I am forced to wind up only with thought of catching some sleep before I leave for office in another 2.5 hours. Such has been the impact of the music of the legend on me in the past few weeks. 

I first heard the Ustad in an old recording of his about 10 years back and was held spellbound by the Marwa he had sung! But I somehow didn’t get a chance to listen to his music much after that … and I am making up for all of that these days by listening to him as much as I can amidst a really crazy schedule at work. 

My recent BGAK mania was triggered off when the audio of A.R. Rahman’s “Delhi 6”  got released. One of the tracks in Delhi 6 is “Bhor bhayi“, sung by the Ustad and by Shreya Ghoshal in the raga Gujari Todi. ARR has just included a part of the rendition by the Ustad. The entire original rendition is just too good, especially the parts that ARR has not included in the album. 

The thing that struck me when I first heard the Ustad was his voice. What a range and what a weight in his singing! How much riyaz he must have done to sing so effortlessly and to traverse 3 octaves with such ease! And what clarity even while singing lightning fast bhrigas! I feel I can just go on and on and on.  Let me however stop right here and drench myself once more in his Megh Malhar before I hit the sack.

19 thoughts on “Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – The Phenom

  1. My favourite is Jaunpuri, Basant and Thodi and of course his immortal Sohni from Mughal E Azam…otherwise I am in the Amir Khan camp 😉

  2. I did pretty much the same a couple of days back…Miyan Malhar, Malkauns, Bageshri Kaanada, Bhatiyar and Basant Bahar on the trot!

    The last was just amazing – his swara kalpana is out of world…as you may be knowing, the two ragas are completely different and stringing them together in a sargam in the manner he did requires a monumental level of swara gnanam. One of the rasikas says something to that effect in Hindi!

    To me, he is the last word on HM in many ways.

  3. I have not heard of him before. I will try to check out some of his songs. BTW, I have a musical tag waiting for you in my website on the topic “Slow Melodious and Soulful songs” Please do it if you have time….

    Destination Infinity

    1. Sure. I will be away from home for at least the next couple of weeks with very little access to blogs/email. Will take up the tag when I am back.


  4. Giri there is a good rendition by SAlamat and Nazakat Ali – you can get it from The raga is a janya of Harikambhoji and aro/avaro as far as I could see are something like – SGMPDNS – SDPGMRS.

    Ram – grab the Amir Khan marwa from the same site above..phenomenal…

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