Sitar strains from Etawah

Jun 11, 2015, 07:34 IST | Krutika Behrawala

Participate in a special demonstration on the Etawah Gharana of sitar-playing by octogenarian Arvind Parikh, who trained for six decades with maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan

So, you’ve heard about the Etawah Gharana of sitar but haven’t been able to find any more information about its relevance? Head to a lecture-cum-demonstration by Arvind Parikh, that will take place this Friday at NCPA. Having trained for more than six decades with the sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, the octogenarian’s demonstration will cover the origin of sitar, the evolution of the gharanas (schools) as well as the contribution of various icons to this style of sitar playing.

Arvind Parikh
Arvind Parikh

Parikh informs, “Sitar and Surbahar (bass sitar) music started being practised by Ustad Vilayat Khan’s great-grandfather Ustad Sahebdad Khan, which was carried forward to a level that the gharana started being called Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana as Ustad Imdad Khan lived in Etawah (a city on the banks of Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh). His son, Ustad Enayat Khan, perfected it to a level that he was called ‘Bengal ka Jadugar’. Ustad Vilayat Khan, the sixth generation of this gharana, started a new path by adding vocalised music (gayaki ang) to this school.”

In his demonstration, Parikh will also pay a tribute to Ustad Vilayat Khan and other legends of the gharana by performing their compositions. According to Parikh, there are nine gharanas of sitar playing, of which Maihar Gharana and Shahjahanpur Gharana are famous for playing sarod in addition to playing sitar.

Differentiating Etawah gharana from the rest, Parikh says, “This gharana followers do not play many ragas and perform in a few taals. The specialty is that the ustads of this gharana have tendency to go deeper and deeper into each raga based on a few taals. It is observed that majority of concert level sitar players use a sitar with ‘gandhar-pancham’ string, a unique contribution of Ustad Vilayat Khan. In that sense, Etawah Gharana also has a strong following,” shares Parikh.

On: June 12, 6.30 pm
At: Little Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point. 
Call: 66223813
Cost: Rs 100

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