Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Names in Instrumental Music

There are numerous musical instruments that are played by greatest of artists. But few artists make themselves immortal on the sheer basis of their talents. Few of the musical instruments are solely attributed to one in a generation artist whereas some instruments got popularity because one single artist took the craft of playing the instrument to an altogether new height. Let’s talk about few such artists.

Whenever you think of Shehnai, the only name that comes to the mind is Bismillah Khan. He has become a synonym for Shehnai. His popularity in India as well as abroad can be gauged from the fact that an Islamic country Iran has named one of its principal concert halls after the name of Shehnai maestro. Similarly, Tabla is associated with Ustaad Zakir Hussain whereas Sarangi is associated almost solely with Ram Narayan. This does not show that there haven’t been any other notable performers with the particular instruments but just the fact that one single artist has commanded utmost respect and love from people all over the world. Zakir Hussain is also associated with fusion music recordings. Notable fact is Tabla is an accompanying instrument yet he has the capability of commanding a performance by himself and that is no mean feat. Another such name that comes to the mind is Shiv Kumar Sharma, who is credited to bring Santoor in the drawing room of every Indian household. This is basically a folk instrument with more than 100 strings yet Pandit Shiv has managed to popularize it and made it a mainstream musical instrument.

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