[4] Devotion for Khayal Style with Practice and Self Inspiration

Keeping in view all the influences, the ultimate form of Ustad Amir Khan’s gayaki was the result of his own genius and devotion, suitable to his thinking. That is why he can be called a rationalist in the field of modern classical music.


About the practice of music by Ustad Amir Khan, Mr. Krishnarao Majumdar, a friend and contemporary of him and resident of Indore, said in an interview given to the author:

“It is not a game to imbibe the gayaki of three top vocalists. During whole of his youth he worked hard and practiced and I am surprised looking to his achievements. His talent and receptivity was wonderful. He realized what was suitable to the nature of his voice. He was also aware of the limitations and horizons of other vocalists.”


In above statement of Mr. Krishnarao Majumdar, the subject of nature of voice is of much importance, because the quality of voice played a prominent role in development of Amir Khan’s vocal style. He gave much importance to voice culture.


Specific quality of his voice gives a different color to his gayaki, despite the influences of aforesaid ustads. Though being inspired by the badhat of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, he didn’t sing in a high pitched voice making his voice thin like him. Similarly he kept comparatively less the exciting and quickening tans of Rajab Ali Khan in his gayaki.


Ustad Amir Khan says about importance of his voice culture in his practice of music:

“People say that singing is done by throat, but the throat is only a means. The voice comes out from the navel or the chest. My gayaki  is not g p g n, r n g p [that is, sargam of chhoot or tan etc]. My gayaki is my voice. If you apply the same vocal activity, its effect will be one thing, whereas I apply the same, it will be another thing.”[1]


Thus we find that the gayaki of Ustad Amir Khan was not merely a mixture of styles of his Guru like senior Ustads. He himself was a thinker and relied on his own conjecture for his riyaz. Ustad Amir Khan didn’t accept any previous or contemporary vocalist or vocal style as his perfect ideal during the period of practice of music; nor did he try to be representative or replica of anyone. The form of his peculiar style found shape only by his imagination and constant experimentation.

[1]‘Sangeet’-January/February 1980, P.18, ‘Meri Gayaki Meri Avaz Hai’, Writer: Ravindra Visht.