AguruSarkar300Aguru Sarkar of Calcutta was one of a handful of non-hereditary players whom I met during my fieldwork between 1993 and 1998. A rare breed, he was from a middle-class background and chose to learn this difficult and stigmatised instrument from the great player, Ustad Sagiruddin Khan, one of the great accompanists of the 20th century. Although very few solo recordings of Sagiruddin Khan survive, because he was a staff artist, his sarangi can be heard on many recordings of vocal music from AIR, Kolkata. Sagiruddin had been a disciple of the peerless Bundu Khan. From Sagiruddin Khan Aguru Sarkar learnt some of Bundu Khan's unusual sitar-like fingering techniques, and also some limited use of the little finger and  extraordinarily subtle bowing techniques which are demonstrated in the videos I made in the summer of 1996.

Aguru Sarkar worked was a music teacher in a local school in the suburb of Kolkata in which he lived. He is one of the few remaining sarangi players of those I met in the 1990s—still alive and teaching his students both sarangi and vocal music.

Here we have four videos from July 23, 1996. As it was around midday, he began by playing rag Shuddh Sarang:


Then we had some discussion:


This was followed by rag Maru Bihag:


Then another long discussion with plenty of demonstration of interesting techniques: