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Notable Indian Musicians and Their Proficiency in Instruments

Names Of Famous Indian Musicians And The Instruments They Play

Rhythm and Harmony have the ability to penetrate deep within our souls.

Indian Classical Musicians have undoubtedly proven their mastery over the traditional instruments, making them true legends in the history of Indian music. These talented individuals have not only left a lasting impact on the classical music scene but have also gained international recognition for their contributions.

Indian classical musicians have left a lasting impression on music enthusiasts with their enchanting melodies, bringing comfort and joy to listeners. Their soulful compositions resonate deeply with audiences, forging a profound connection that transcends words.

Presented here are the renowned Indian classical musicians, revered for their exceptional talent and everlasting impact in the field. These maestros have left an indelible mark on our hearts and minds, ensuring that their names will forever be etched in our memories.

1. Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma (Santoor Musicians)

Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, born on January 13, 1938, is a renowned musician known for his expertise in playing the Santoor instrument. Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, he has made significant contributions to the field of music as both a composer and performer.

He began his musical journey by learning singing and playing the tabla under the guidance of his father. At the age of 13, he was introduced to the santoor and showcased his talent in Bombay for the first time in 1955. He played a significant role in popularizing the santoor as a classical instrument.

He released his debut solo album in 1960. Seven years later, he collaborated with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra to create a renowned concept album called “Call of the Valley” (1967), which became immensely popular in the realm of Indian classical music.

He even composed music for Hindi movies starting with the movie Silsila (1980) along with Hariprasad Chaurasia and later became popularly known as the ‘Shiv-Hari’ music duo.

In recognition of his contributions to music, he received the prestigious Padma Shri in 1991 and was later honored with the esteemed Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

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2. Hariprasad Chaurasia (Flute Musicians)

At the age of 15, he began his vocal training with a neighbor named Rajaram. After that, he dedicated eight years to learning how to play the flute under the guidance of Bholanath Prasanna. In 1957, he joined All Indian Radio in Cuttack, Odisha where he worked as both a composer and performer.

He has worked together with numerous skilled and famous musicians, including Western artists like John McLaughlin and Ken Lauber. He has also created music for movies in Hindi, Telegu, and English such as “16 Days in Afghanistan”.

He holds the position of artistic director at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands, overseeing their World Music Department. Additionally, he established two institutes named Vrindavan Gurukul, one in Mumbai (2006) and another in Bhubaneswar (2010). These institutions are focused on imparting Bansuri training to students following the traditional Guru-Shishya system.

The musician received the prestigious Padma Bhushan honor in 1992 and was later bestowed with the esteemed Padma Vibhushan award in 2000.

3. Ustad Zakir Hussain (Tabla)

Ustad Zakir Hussain, born on 9th March 1951 in Mahim, Mumbai, is a renowned Indian musician who now resides in San Francisco. He is widely recognized as a versatile artist and excels in various fields such as composing music, playing percussion instruments, producing music, acting in films, and being an expert tabla player. His exceptional talent has earned him global acclaim and he is regarded as one of the greatest musicians India has ever produced.

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His father, who also is a legendary Tabla maestro, Ustad Allah Rakha taught him ‘Pakhavaj’ from the age of three and would even teach him vocally by reciting different rhythms. He gave his first tour at the age of 7 and started touring by the age of 11.

He has accompanied many artists but also raised his spectre through his solo excursions. He has collaborated with many artists including Western artists. He collaborated with Violinist L. Shankar , Guitarist John McLaughlin , Mridangam player Ramnad Raghavan , and legendary Ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram and formed a fusion group ‘Shakti’, which performed worldwide and acquired great acclaim. Twenty years later, a second version of the Shakti group, called Remember Shakti, was created featuring U. Srinivas, Zakir Hussain, TV Selvaganesh, and Shankar Mahadevan.

He has received numerous esteemed accolades, such as the Padma Shri in 1988.

He received the Padma Vibhushan in 2002, becoming the youngest percussionist ever to be honored with this award.

On 8 February 2009 for the 51st Grammy Awards, Zakir Hussain won the Grammy in the Contemporary World Music Album category for his collaborative album “Global Drum Project” along with Mickey Hart, Sikiru Adepoju & Giovanni Hidalgo. On 18 January 2017, the San Francisco Jazz Centre gave Hussain a Lifetime Achievement Award.

4. Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod Musicians)

Amjad Ali Khan Bangash, a renowned sarod player, was born on 9th October 1945 into a family with a rich classical music background. He gained fame for his exceptional skill in performing clear and rapid “ekhara taans”.

He first performed in the United States in the year 1963 and continued performing with his sons through the year 2000 and made modifications to his instruments throughout his career. He even played with the ‘Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’. He was a visiting faculty (professor) at the University of New Mexico till 2011.

He also made a film about Amjad Ali Khan, which received the Filmfare Award in.

He received the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and was honored with the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

‘Raga for Peace’ in the year 2014 at ‘Nobel Peace Prize Concert’.

5. Bismillah Khan (Shehnai Musicians)

Ustad Qamruddin ‘Bismillah’ Khan was born on 21 March 1916 and was an Indian Musician who is credited for popularizing ‘Shehnai’ not only as a folk instrument but at the concert level and that too globally.

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He relocated to Varanasi when he was just six years old to study music under his maternal uncle named Ali Bux Vilayatu Khan. At the age of 14, he accompanied his uncle to the Allahabad Music Conference. In addition to performing solo concerts, he also composed music for films.

Numerous biographies and a monograph have been written about him, documenting his remarkable journey in the realm of Indian Classical Music that has captivated countless readers.

In addition to being bestowed with honorary doctorates, he was honored with numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding achievements.

He has made a significant impact on promoting and popularizing Shehnai music globally.

He was honored with the Padma Shri in 1961, followed by the Padma Bhushan in 1968, the Padma Vibhushan in 1980, and finally the Bharat Ratna in 2001. This made him the third person to receive such prestigious awards.

A renowned Indian musician has been selected to receive the highest civilian award in India for their contribution to classical music.

Google celebrated the 102nd birthday of Bismillah Khan by featuring him in a Google Doodle.

Top 5 Musicians from Andaman and Nicobar Islands

In Andaman and Nicobar, there are some really talented musicians who have become famous for their music. One of them is Manoj Sharma, who plays the flute beautifully. His melodies on the flute can make you feel calm and peaceful.

6. Pandit Ravi Shankar (Sitar Musicians)

Pandit Ravi Shankar, a renowned Indian musician and composer of Hindustani Classical Music, was born on 7 April 1920 into a Bengali Brahmin family. During his early years, he traveled extensively in India and Europe as a dancer alongside his brother Uday Shankar.

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In 1938, he gave up dancing and started learning Sitar under court musician ‘Allauddin Khan’. In 1944, after the completion of his studies, he started composing music for Satyajit Ray’s trilogy ‘Apu Trilogy’ and worked as music director for All India Radio in New Delhi from the year 1949 to 1956.

Starting in 1956, he began traveling to Europe and America, which played a significant role in boosting the fame of Indian Classical Music. He formed strong connections with renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Beatles guitarist George Harrison, leading to the widespread adoption of Indian Classical Instruments in the pop genre.

He dedicated himself to spreading Indian classical music in the Western world through his compositions for Sitar and Orchestra, and he traveled extensively across the globe during the 1970s and 1980s. He continued to perform until his final days on Earth.

He has received numerous accolades and honors from the government and academic institutions for his contributions to the arts.

In 1967, he was honored with the Padma Vibhushan award, followed by the Bharat Ratna in 1999.

Famous Indian Flute Player: Who is it?

Pandit Hariprasad, born on 1st July 1938 in Allahabad, is a renowned Indian flutist. Recognizing his exceptional contributions to music, the Government of India honored him with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award in 2000. Apart from Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, there are several other notable flute players in India who have made significant contributions to the field of music. Some of them include N Leela, Pannalal Ghosh, Rajendra Prasad, and V Kunjamani.


– N Leela

– Pannalal Ghosh

– Rajendra Prasad

– V Kunjamani

7. Pt. Ram Narayan (Sarangi Musicians)

Pt. Ram Narayan, an eminent Indian musician, was born on 25th December 1927. He is renowned for his significant contribution in promoting the Sarangi as a solo concert instrument and achieving international recognition as the first successful Sarangi player.

He began his journey with Sarangi at a tender age, receiving guidance from skilled Sarangi players and vocalists. As he entered his teenage years, he embarked on a path as both a music educator and an itinerant musician.

Afterward, he was employed by All India Radio in Lahore as a musician supporting vocalists in 1944. Following the partition in 1947, he relocated to Delhi and commenced his career in the Indian film industry from 1949 onwards.

He became a solo concert artist in 1956 and performed at major Indian festivals. Much like Pt. Ravi Shankar, he performed extensively in Western countries with his older brother ‘Chatur Lal’ who was a tabla player through which the popularity of the Sarangi instrument rose. He even recorded solo albums. He taught both Indian and foreign students.

Bhushan received the prestigious honor in 1991 and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2005, along with numerous other accolades.

Renowned Indian Pianist: Who is the Maestro of Piano in India?

Anil Srinivasan is a famous Indian musician who was born on June 3, 1977. He is known for playing the piano and also works as an education entrepreneur. As a pianist, he has gained recognition for his talent and skills in playing this musical instrument.

Apart from being a musician, Anil Srinivasan is also involved in entrepreneurship related to education. This means that he uses his knowledge and experience to create innovative ideas or businesses in the field of education. He may be working towards improving educational systems or creating new opportunities for students.

8. Ustad Asad Ali Khan (Rudra Veena)

Ustad Asad Ali Khan, born on 1 December 1937 in Alwar, comes from a long line of Rudra Veena players. He is known for his expertise in the Khander School of Dhrupad, making him one of the few prominent Rudra Veena players today.

He was employed at All India Radio and also served as a professor of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi, where he imparted Sitar lessons for a period of 17 years. Even after retiring, he continued to offer private training to his students.

Countries such as Australia, the United States, Afghanistan, Italy, and various others are included in this list.

He also taught music classes in the United States and traveled to various European countries.

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Famous Indian Singers: Who are they?

The next names on the list are Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, S P Balasubrahmanyam, and Arijit Singh. These are all well-known singers in India too.

9. Ramnad V. Raghavan (Mridangam)

Starting in 1970, he began teaching at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA. Following his retirement, he relocated to Chennai and remained there until the end of his life.

Several notable musicians, such as Glen Velez, Jamey Haddad, David Nelson, Patricia Shehan Campbell, Frank Bennett, and Joseph M. Getter were among the students who received training from him.

Famous Indian Musicians and Their Instrument Specializations

Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram, also known as Vinnu Vinayakram, is an eminent Indian percussionist born on 11 August 1942. He is renowned for his expertise in playing the Ghatam instrument and is often referred to as the “God of Ghatam” due to his mastery in Carnatic music.

His concert career started at the age of 13. His first performance took place on 5 March 1957 at the ‘Ram Navami’ Festival in Thootukudi. He has accompanied many famous Carnatic Vocalists which even including M.S. Subbulakshmi. His brother T. H. Subhash Chandran also excelled in this field. He made the Ghatam a popular percussion instrument.

His journey at the international level started in the 1970s when he joined ‘Shakti’ along with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. He has also performed at Basant Utsav, which is an annual fundraiser for the Banyan. Vinayakram is the Principal of Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya in Chennai, India. The academy was established by his late father and teacher in the year 1958.

He received Padma Shri in the year 2002. He was awarded with Padma Bhushan in the year 2014. He is the first South Indian Musician to win a Grammy for ‘Best World Music Album’ for his participation in Mickey Hart’s, ‘Planet of Drum’ in which he played both Ghatam and Morsing. He donated all the proceeds to a charity organisation in South India.

Sharmila Feroz, a multi-talented individual, was raised in a military family and had the opportunity to explore various fascinating and picturesque locations across India. Her passion for writing about her travel experiences eventually led her to focus on documenting the diverse ethnic lifestyles and cultural festivities in the country.

The fame of Great Nicobar Island?

The region is renowned for its abundant variety of plants and animals. It is home to a diverse range of flora, including 650 species such as angiosperms, ferns, gymnosperms, bryophytes, and lichens. This area boasts a high concentration of plant diversity and supports the growth of numerous rare and endemic species. Notable examples include the Cyathea albosetacea (tree fern) and Phalaenopsis speciosa (orchid).

The deity of Andaman

Puluga is revered by the tribal people as the supreme being who governs various aspects of life, including natural phenomena, human affairs, and spiritual matters. They attribute all events such as birth, death, harvests, and even weather patterns to the will of Puluga. The tribes view themselves as custodians of nature and maintain a deep connection with their surroundings through rituals and ceremonies dedicated to appeasing Puluga.

These ancient traditions are deeply rooted in animistic practices where spirits are believed to reside within every element of nature – from trees and animals to rivers and mountains. The tribal communities engage in elaborate rituals involving dance, music, offerings, and prayers to seek blessings from Puluga or communicate with other spirits inhabiting their environment.

The Indian singer who is a legend?

Lata Mangeshkar, originally named Hema Mangeshkar, was a renowned Indian playback singer and occasional music composer. Born on 28th September 1929 in India, she is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional and influential vocalists in the history of the Indian subcontinent. With her mesmerizing voice and remarkable talent, Lata Mangeshkar has left an indelible mark on the world of music.

Throughout her illustrious career spanning several decades, Lata Mangeshkar captivated audiences with her soulful renditions across various genres including film songs, ghazals (poetic expressions), bhajans (devotional songs), and classical music. Her versatility allowed her to effortlessly adapt to different musical styles while maintaining a distinctive charm that resonated with listeners from all walks of life.