In the 15th episode of the series on Hindustani musicians composing for Hindi cinema, we listen to songs composed by Jhande Khan, who worked as composer in the 1930s and 1940s. The biographical details provided here mention that he belonged to Jammu but moved to Lahore where he had his musical training and learnt the harmonium from Syed Mir Qudrat Ali Hyderabadi, a music director for Parsi theatre.
Later, he moved to Bombay and studied under Nazir Khan, Chajju Khan and Khadim Hussain Khan, the initiators of the Bhendi Bazaar gharana. According to the same source, Jhande Khan was also an accomplished sarangi player.
He worked as music director for theatre companies before composing for cinema. After Partition, he migrated to Gujranwala in Pakistan. Considered to be one of the significant composers for early talkies, he had been assisted by music composers like Naushad and Ghulam Mohammad, who went on to gain critical acclaim in succeeding years.
The first three tracks in today’s episode are from the film Chitralekha (1941). The songs are composed in the raag Bhairavi as are all others in the same film. Evidently, Jhande Khan had been asked to compose all songs in the film in Bhairavi.
The next song is from the film Shahenshah Akbar (1943). It is set to the 14-matra Ada Chautaal, a taal rarely heard in film songs, and includes a lot of rhythmic interplay. The accompanying text mentions that the song has been sung by Jhande Khan.
We end this episode with the following track from the same film sung by Krishnarao Chonkar.
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.