experts and have formed their idea of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana
style, or gayaki as it is called, mainly from the performances
of Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan and Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan.
People who had first-hand or even second-hand experience of
the Inayat Hussain's style of singing apparently did not put
their experience or views on record. However, out of a general
analysis of these views the following may be said to be the
general characteristics of the Rampur Sahaswan style:
visible impact of the instrumental style of the Veena and
Sursringar in the form of character of the meend and sooth
used by the singers.
of the lyrics of the song in all stages of the vilambit
khayal in preference to aakar. The words of the song, moreover
are presented in the natural order and over-emphasis on
any single word is generally avoided.
use of bahalwa as the main means of slow elaboration in
the vilambit khayal. This is a device is prescribed by the
Gwalior gharana and comprises slow-motion taan-like figures
with long meends adding life to the movement. Stalwarts
like Mushtaq Hussain went on to this type of movements after
singing the basic composition and then on to rhythmic movements
and medium-paced taankari. There was no slow melodic elaboration
or vistar in the vilambit khayals as used by modern exponents.
use of intricate bol-taans, satta taans, and chhoot taans.
The faster movements cover three octaves and the last type
of taans often skip an entire octave while going up or coming
specialisation in singing taranas. The preservation of the
Inayat Hussain repertoire of taranas learnt from Bahadur
Hussain and the expansion of the range through contributions
by leading exponents has given the gharana a virtual treasury
of taranas. Most exponents sing taranas in their own special
manner at recitals. Nissar Hussain was an aknowledged expert
in this field . In the final portion of his taranas their
was bolkari in the manner of the thok jhala of the veena
and the sursringar with the twangy, jangling sound of the
old instruments being realistically imitated by nasal intonation.
course, all singers of the gharana have not, or do not display
all the general characteristics noted above in all individual
performances. Some have included apparently contradictory
material as well. For instance some experts have noted that
Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan at times developed his vilambit
khayal with note-by-note elaboration of the raga. But others
have said that he started his recitals with an aakar-based
aochar and did not sing any slow melodic elboration at all,
going on to the bahalwas in the strict Gwalior-Rampur Sahaswan
manner after singing the first part of the composition.
Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan was very particular about unfolding
the vilambit khayal with proper use of the lyrics in the
Gwalior manner. The tempo preferred by both these stalwarts
was the slow-medium one and not the very slow or ati vilambit
used by modern exponents. The profuse use of taankari and
the astounding variety of taans were salient features of
the styles of both.
Rampur Sahaswan is an off-shoot of the Gwalior gharana it
is quite natural that it shares its major characteristics
with it. Still differences can be in the Rampur Sahaswan emphasis
on taankari in preference to bol-bant and layakari. In the
older Gwalior style there is equal emphasis on all these aspects
in the second half of the vilambit khayal. Ustad Nissar Hussain's
son Sarafraz Hussain reproduced his father's vocal style almost
exactly with most of the personal mannerism intact as well.
In him and to an extent in Mushtaq Hussain's son-in-law Ghulam
Sadiq of the Delhi University, the style of the older exponents
survived more or less in its original form.
exponents, starting with Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan have added
some new dimensions in the style to make it more complete.
He also initiated the use of sargams popularised by Kirana
and Patiala exponents. In keeping with the other broad characteristics
and specialities of the gharana, Ghulam Mustafa introduced
slow melodic elaboration or vistar and in the vilambit khayal
and also sang it in the slower tempo prefered by most singers
in the final quarter of the 20th century.