Ustad Munir Khan (1926-2011) was the son of Ustad Nazir Khan (1882-1975) from whom he learnt both sarangi and vocal music. He was born in Sikar, Rajasthan, and to my knowledge he is the eldest sarangiya of the Sikar gharana who has left solo redordings. His playing was somewhat less strident than that of other well-known Sikar players such as Sultan Khan and Liaqat Khan. He was learnt for some time from Ustad Amir Khan whose influence can be clearly heard, especially in the slowly unfolding barhat of vilambit khayal

Munir Khan was for decades one of the most in-demand sarangiyas in Delhi, accompanying many great singers including Alladiya Khan, Vilayat Hussain Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Mallikarjun Mansur, Nisar Hussain Khan Ashiq Ali Khan and Amir Khan. Munir Khan's younger brother was the highly-respected superb tabla artist Ustad Faiyaz Khan (1934-2014).

I visited Munir Khan in Delhi in 1995. He had a pleasant conversation talking about the plight of sarangi and sarangi players. Then his very business-minded son, the tabla player Zamir Khan arrived and stirred the pot, demanding an prohibitively huge amount of money for an extremely time-limited video of his father. Despite living in Amsterdam for many years, he still saw all Westerners as rich, and was sure I would get rich by documenting the unknown sarangi players of North India.This is sad because there is not, to my knowledge any surviving film or video of Munir Khan's solo playing. A sort of half-example is the video below of a jugalbhandi (duet) with the shehnai genius Bismillah Khan—rag Miyan ki Todi—which I have borrowed. The picture is terrible, and the sound is not synced, but one can see the efficiency of Munir Khan's technique and darshan with Bismillah Khan is always a sublime thing!

 

 

Our audio playlist includes several pieces which I recorded in Delhi during the 1970s:

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