In the third part of our series on streets named after Hindustani musicians, we visit Gayan Samrat Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Dilrang Marg situated in South Mumbai’s New Marine Lines neighbourhood.
According to the information provided on the website dedicated to the maestro, a function was held on Sunday, January 25, 1987, to name the street after the respected vocalist and composer Azmat Hussain Khan (1911-1975), who wrote his compositions under the pseudonym “Dilrang”. He also wrote Urdu poetry with the pseudonym “Maykash”.
In a segment of an interview available to us, Azmat Hussain Khan has mentioned notable personalities in his family tree and his gurus. He said that he received his initial training from his maternal uncle Altaf Hussain Khan of the Khurja gharana. He came to Mumbai at the age of 18 and learnt from his paternal uncle Alladiya Khan, the founder of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana.
This interview is followed by two vocal presentations. The first is a composition by Alladiya Khan “Ahmed Piya” in the raag Bhankar set to the seven-matra Rupak. The second composition, a creation of Mia Achpal from Delhi, is set to the 16-matra Teentaal in the raag Shuddha Nat.
One of his early commercial recordings contains a drut or fast composition set to Teentaal in the raag Yaman. This is composed by the Agra gharana maestro Vilayat Hussain Khan “Pran Piya”, Azmat Hussain Khan’s brother-in-law and third guru.
Azmat Hussain Khan sings his composition set to Teentaal in the raag Jhinjhoti in an interview conducted by Ghulam Mustafa Khan, eminent vocalist of the Sahaswan-Rampur tradition. Listeners will note that his pseudonym “Dilrang” is embedded in the composition.
The next track has two compositions in the raag Lalit set to Teentaal.
Raag Dhanashri is not heard very often in concerts today. Here is a segment of a presentation by Azmat Hussain Khan set to Teentaal.
We end with a famous composition from the thumri-dadra repertoire. It is set to the six-matra Dadra in the raag Gara, although it is interspersed with changes to a Teentaal structure, which then normally goes into the laggi section exploited by the tabla player.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.