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Khan, Ustad Gul Mohammad


Khan, Ustad Gul Mohammad (1876-1979) artiste of dhrupad and kheyal, was born in the city of Tirhut in Darbhanga, where his father, Ustad Ahmad Khan, was a singer in the court of the maharaja. Gul Mohammad's grandfather, Ustad Namder Khan, was also a reputed musician. Gul Mohammad Khan got his first music lessons as a child from his father. Later on, he took lessons from his grandfather as well in the traditional Dagor gharana.

Subsequently, Gul Mohammad went to Agra and learned to perform in the style of the Agra gharana. In 1908, he moved with his whole family to Dhaka, where his sweet voice and high-pitched style of singing enchanted audiences. Among his disciples were Munshi Raisuddin, Utpala Sen and leila arjumand banu.

Gul Mohammad was equally skilled in dhrupad and kheyal. He gave a memorable performance in 1939 at the inauguration ceremony of the Dhaka Radio Centre with which he became associated as a music teacher.

Gul Mohammad received several awards for his contribution to classical music, among them, the Bulbul Academy Award in 1965 and the Ekushey Padak in 1978. The Shilpakala Academy held a reception in his honour in 1977. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]