Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.
Ustad Rashid Khan is an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani music tradition. He belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, and is the great-grandson of gharana founder Inayat Hussain Khan. He is married to Joyeeta Bose, from the family of Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose.
In a story told in several versions, it appears that Pandit Bhimsen Joshi said at one point, that Rashid Khan was the “assurance for the future of Indian vocal music”. He was awarded the Padma Shri, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006.
The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. Rashid Khan includes the slow elaboration in his vilambit khayals in the manner of his maternal grand-uncle and also developed exceptional expertise in the use of sargams and sargam taankari (play on the scale). He is influenced with the style of Ustad Amir Khan and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi .
He is also a master of the tarana like his guru but sings them in his own manner, preferring the khayal style rather than the instrumental stroke-based style for which Nissar Hussain was famous. There is no imitation of instrumental tone. His mastery of all aspects tonal variations, dynamics and timbre adjustment leave very little to be desired in the realm of voice culture.
His renderings stand out for the emotional overtones in his melodic elaboration. He says: “The emotional content may be in the alaap, sometimes while singing the bandish, or while giving expression to the meaning of the lyrics.”This brings a touch of modernity to his style, as compared to the older maestros, who placed greater emphasis on impressive technique and skillful execution of difficult passages.
Rashid Khan has also experimented with fusing pure Hindustani music with lighter musical genres, e.g. in the Sufi fusion recordingNaina Piya Se (songs of Amir Khusro), or in experimental concerts with western instrumentalist Louis Banks.He has also performedjugalbandis, along with sitarist Shahid Parvez and others.