Note: This article was written as part of a publication released during the Saptak Annual Festival 2018, which was dedicated to the memory of Ustad Sharafat Hussain Khan. The publication also included a CD containing audio clips of Khansaheb’s music which you can listen to below:
Hindustani Art music is an intriguing genre – one that is simultaneously new, old and everything in between. At every moment of their growth, practitioners of this art have to strive to achieve a balance between the taleem in which they root themselves and their own, personal utopian vision of what music ought to be. They also have to contend with the restless evolution of music as a social whole that they find themselves constantly engulfed in. This struggle to place oneself within the flow of tradition continues even on stage. Sensitive listeners are often able to experience a performer’s strife even during the course of a performance
Though this is a form of improvised music, its building blocks of raga and tala remain eternal. Whatever the extent of the departure an artist might make from the conventions of his tradition, he must still sing the same raga, the same tala, often even the same bandish. Performers of this genre thus, inevitably, find themselves having to have dialogues with their Ustaads – dialogues across time. As Subrata Sinha says in his article1 on Ustaad Sharafat Hussain Khan Saheb, “The art of a performer whose face is turned towards the past can only be understood as a dialogue with that past”. It is with this in mind, that one must begin to look at the music of Khansaheb.
Early Life and Taleem
Born in July 1930 in Mousiki Manzil, his family home in Atrauli, Ustaad Sharafat Hussain Khansaheb found himself the inheritor of a rich tradition of music-making. As the son of Ustaad Liyaqat Ali Khan, Court-musician of the erstwhile Jaipur State, the paternal grandson of Ustaad Inayat Hussain, founder of the Atrauli Gharana and the maternal grandson of the famed Ustaad Mehboob Khan ‘Daraspiya’, a talent like Sharafat Khansaheb’s had only to make itself worthy of riding the rich tide of a tradition in full flow.
Even as a child, Khansaheb loved to sing. In his ancestral house, ‘Mousiqi Manzil’, which belonged to his grandfather Daras Piya, he would snuggle up with his mother under a razai on dark winter nights and she would sing to him compositions she had picked up from her illustrious father2, that the young Sharafat would lap up. That this talented child would grow up to be a musician was thus assumed from the beginning. As Khansaheb reminiscences in an interview3, his ‘silsila’ of formal taleem from his father began from a very early age. In keeping with the spirit of the word, this silsila comprised of acquainting him to fundamental Raagas like Bhairav, Yaman-Kalyan, Bageshree, Jayjayvanti, Basant and others, together with the basic Taalas and sthaaee-antare. He learnt how the ragas ascended and descended and learnt to ascend and descend with them. In his own words, ‘शुरुवात में रागों की ‘भरती’ करवाई जाती थी’3 – they ‘filled him up’ with the ragas, so that as a child, he was already familiar with the Kalyans, the Kaunses and the Kanadas. Finding raw material for spontaneous improvisation, thus, would never be a problem for the receptive student.
Ustaad Faiyyaz Khansaheb
The towering figure of the time, Aaftaab-E-Mousiki Ustaad Faiyyaz Khan was also a member of Sharafat Khansaheb’s extended family – his uncle from his mother’s side. On one of the uncle’s visits to Atrauli, he was made to listen to the singing of his prodigious nephew – all of eight years of age. Skeptical of the child’s abilities at first, Faiyyaz Khansaheb was so taken by what he heard that an instant bond was formed between the two. When Akhtari Bai, Sharafat Khansaheb’s mother, requested that Faiyyaz Khansaheb accept him formally as his disciple, the Ustaad decided to go one step further and laid down a difficult condition. If taleem was what was desired, the price would be adoption1. The childless Khansaheb would only teach this talented nephew if he could adopt him and take him away to Baroda, where the Ustaad was the court musician. Sharafat Khansaheb was the youngest of 13 siblings, of whom his parents had lost ten. One can only imagine the pain his parents must have gone through on losing another, while drawing some solace from the fact that this child was lost to music.
What began thus was a long silsila of taleem, riyaz and accompanying Ustaad Faiyyaz Khan Saheb as his tanpura player and supporting vocalist on his concert tours. At around this time, Sharafat Khansaheb had already begun to make a bit of a name for himself. He had already debuted at the age of 8 at the Matunga Music Circle in Bombay, received the title of the ‘rising sun’ of music at the Gayaki Conference at age 11 and cut his first disc for HMV at age 12. But his essential conception of the nature and purpose of music was framed during the long years he spent as Faiyyaz Khansaheb’s Shagird. He constructed his own musical personality, not unsurprisingly, under the overpowering influence of the great Ustaad.
Much has already been said about the music of Aaftaab-E-Mousiki Ustaad Faiyyaaz Khan Saheb – his departure from the dominant voice culture of the time with his pioneering use of a low-pitched, robust bass voice; the playful, lyrical, provocative drama of his music; his command over raga-roop and laykari; the Kawwali-numa bol-banaav that endeared him to so many. For the generations that followed, Faiyyaz Khan and the Agra Gharana (which was really his blend of the Agra-Atrauli-Rangeele Gharanas) were synonymous. It is beyond the scope of this short piece to examine the Ustaad’s music in detail, in spite of it being the primary influence and by far the dominating factor in Sharafat Khansaheb’s music-making. Instead, we will move on from here with a memory of his Ustaad’s singing that Sharafat Khansaheb fondly relates3: “Ustaad Ataa Hussain Khansaheb (Faiyyaz Khansaheb’s brother-in-law) was once singing taans in Raga Marwa. He did not realise that Faiyyaz Khansaheb was standing behind him, listening. Suddenly inspired, Faiyyaz Khansaheb belted out a taan of his own with such sheer force and vigour that his voice shook the mud loose from the roof of the room – and Ataa Hussain Khansaheb lost his grip on his tanpura, which slipped and fell. “जैसे इमली के पत्ते पर हाथी नाच रहा हो – ऐसी फैय्याज खाँसाहब की तान थी !” (Faiyyaz Khansaheb’s taan was like an elephant dancing upon a tamarind leaf!)”. Like generations of musicians that followed in the wake of the Faiyyaz Khan phenomenon, Sharafat Khansaheb was captivated by the power of this voice – power in terms of sheer intensity and also in terms of its ability to move audiences to tears.
In his later years, Sharafat Khansaheb always looked back upon the period of his taleem with Faiyyaz Khansaheb with a good deal of nostalgia. Learning from the Ustaad was not an easy proposition by any means. As Sharafat Khansaheb says in an interview, “Faiyyaz Khansaheb would conduct his taleem in the evenings on the terrace of his house. Yunus Hussain, Khadim Hussain and other students would come from all over to learn from Khansaheb. A durri would be laid out on the floor of the terrace and we would all sit on it ready to receive instruction3.”
The great Ustaad was a difficult, demanding and often impatient guru. He would sing a phrase, often even an entire sthai once and expect a disciple to grasp it in its entirety, with all its nuances immediately. If the disciple could not, he would repeat it one more time. Everyone knew that this was their last chance – and everyone also knew the consequences of failing a second time – for in that case, the Ustaad would ask another disciple to punish the offender. The punishments were often as playful, robust and effective as the Ustaad’s music was – ears were pulled till they hurt, blows were handed out with shoes; Sharafat Khansaheb himself, though usually a formidably quick learner, remembers being the recipient of such punishment. The Ustaad taught him a Dhrupad once and Sharafat Khansaheb picked it up so quickly that the Ustaad was pleased. But then the next day, the Ustaad proudly asked his disciple to sing the piece for the visiting Ustaad Vilayat Hussain Khan, who was later to become Sharafat Khansaheb’s father-in-law, and Sharafat Khansaheb found that he could not remember it at all! So enraged was the Ustaad that he gave the unfortunate Shagird a sound beating – but the beating was effective! Memory of the Dhrupad returned, and all was well! But the odd incident apart, Sharafat Khansaheb proved to be an excellent disciple and made rapid progress. The Ustaad was proud of his disciple’s abilities and audiences fondly remember how he would sometimes pause in his concerts to allow the young Sharafat to sing so that everyone could hear and praise him. As a young singer, Sharafat Khansaheb would usually initiate the proceedings at the Ustaad’s weekly recitals at Kirti Mandir Hall in Baroda in the 1940s, regaling the audience for half an hour before the Ustaad took the stage.
While this silsila of taleem went on for well over ten years, Faiyyaz Khansaheb was one of the busiest artists of the era and often couldn’t devote as much time to teaching as he would have liked. Many of his disciples, therefore, were sent to his brother-in-law, the aforementioned Ustaad Ataa Hussain Khansaheb in Calcutta, and Sharafat Khansaheb was one of them. Ataa Hussain Khansaheb was the son of the famed Ustaad Mehboob Khan, whose daughter was married to Faiyyaz Khansaheb, thus making Ataa Hussain Khansaheb and Faiyyaz Khansaheb brothers-in-law. Mehboob Khansaheb was the selfsame Ustaad whose Bandishes, composed under the pseudonym Daraspiya are gems of the Agra-Atrauli canon. Legend has it 300 of these bandishes were Faiyyaz Khansaheb’s wedding dowry! Ataa Hussain Khansaheb had also taken some taleem from his famous brother-in-law4, which made him the ideal teacher for students bereft of Faiyyaz Khansaheb’s availability.
With disciples such as Poornima Sen, Ramrao Naik and Swami Vallabhdas, Ataa Hussain Khansaheb was a much sought-after guru5. Thus under the able guidance of another gifted Uncle, the nephew’s already strong musicality could only have been added to and his delve into the Agra-Atrauli-Rangeele tradition could only have become deeper. In addition, there was one prominent change Ataa Hussain Khansaheb deliberately brought about in his disciple’s Gayaki. He exhorted him to stop singing long alaaps (that Sharafat Khansaheb was inordinately fond of), and focus instead on the development of the Bandish3. This was a development Sharafat Khansaheb looked back upon with regret. He loved the elaborate alaap. But Khansaheb was not one to disregard the command of the guru, and apart from the occasional departure in order to please insistent, devoted audiences, he forsook his beloved alaap and began concentrating his energies on the Bandish and it’s elaboration instead.
It was when Sharafat Khansaheb was 20 that his greatest mentor, Aaftaab-E-Mousiki Ustaad Faiyyaz Khansaheb passed away. Khansaheb left in his wake an enduring legacy, and a strong desire among his followers to hear more of his brand of music making. Sharafat Khansaheb, by this time, was already being seen as the great Ustaad’s most promising heir. But the prodigal disciple was not yet done with his learning. Sharafat Khansaheb was, by this time, married, and his wife was the daughter of another figure of great reverence in the Agra tradition. Sharafat Khansaheb now began receiving instruction from his father-in-law, Ustaad Vilayat Hussain Khan whose authority in raga-roop, as well as the bandishes he composed under the pseudonym ‘Pranpiya’ are legend. Vilayat Hussain Khansaheb was encyclopedic in his knowledge of the ragas and is remembered with reverence as possibly one of the greatest Gurus in the Khayal tradition. His relationship with his other famous disciple, Jagannathbuwa Purohit, and the compositions they they dedicated to one another is an endearing piece of lore in the fable of ragasangeet. It must be mentioned here that Vilayat Hussain Khansaheb’s daughter, Naseema Begum, who was Sharafat Khansaheb’s wife, was knowledgable about music herself, and Khansaheb would often in later years turn to her if he ever forgot the lyrics of an obscure composition. Naseema Begum was Sharafat Khansaheb’s pillar of support throughout his life in more ways than one.
As will be apparent by this point, Sharafat Khansaheb’s taleem, from all his Ustaads, was very firmly rooted within a very specific tradition. That tradition itself though, as has been mentioned before, was a rich blend of the Agra, Atrauli and Rangeele traditions. It must be remembered that we are dealing here with a very Indian, familial, oral tradition of knowledge transfer. It has been shown, among other things, to be comparable to the artisan traditions of India in its tendency and readiness to pass knowledge on within communities united by familial and matrimonial ties6. While this may seem restrictive and exclusivist, closer inspection shows that this social system actually fostered a long tradition of intermingling and diversity. The lineage of the Agra tradition itself illustrates this point well.
Khansaheb’s Music – The Agra Gharana
The Agra tradition of Khayal singing is said to have begun with Ustaad Ghagge Khudabaksh (1790-1880), who first introduced Gwalior Khayal into a tradition that consisted mainly of Dhrupad singing at the time. Ghagge Khudabaksh’s two sons, who had learnt from that joint Gwalior-Agra tradition, started teaching the Ustaads of the Atrauli gharana5. Faiyyaz Khansaheb belonged to this tradition and was also himself descended from Ustaad Ramzan Khan ‘Rangeele’, founder of the Rangeele Gharana. His matrimonial connection with Daraspiya Mehboob Khansaheb has already been recorded. Sharafat Khansaheb himself was Daraspiya’s grandson. And he and his cousin, famed singer Latafat Hussain Khansaheb were both married to the daughters of Ustaad Vilayat Hussain Khan of Agra. In a nutshell, there was so much intermingling that one cannot tell which aspects of the gayaki of this tradition came from Atrauli, which aspects came from Agra, and which from Rangeele – just as one cannot tell what the progenitor, Ustaad Ghagge Khuda Baksh took from the Dhrupad tradition and what he took from khayal5. What is of overarching importance is the resultant Gayaki and the form it took in the hands of Sharafat Khansaheb.
It is, again, beyond the scope of this article to delve into Agra Gayaki itself in detail, but for the benefit of those less acquainted with it, a brief foray into the nature of the music that Sharafat Khansaheb inherited would be of value7. Characterised by their charismatic, evocatively dramatic vocalism, the singers of the Agra Gharana in general, and Faiyyaz Khansaheb in particular, were pioneering in allowing their colorful personalities an unapologetic presence in their singing. Their thrilling, unexpected meandering between robustness and delicacy created a kind of endearing melodrama that was new to the Khayal – almost as if there was a thread of feminine expression running through their overtly masculine vocalism. Although the Gharana is known for its masterful rhythm-work, it was this vocal expressiveness that took the rhythm-work beyond the level of arithmetic and gave it a human wholesomeness. Their voices represented a fundamental, and very human longing for beauty, and solicited praise and attention from their audiences on its behalf.
Their Bandishes, deceptively simple on the surface were laced with difficult kanas (grace-notes or touch-notes) – the throbbing life force of Raga. The Gharana was known for its un-muddled conception of raga-structures, for its clarity of raga-thought – so much so that the great Pt. V.N. Bhatkhande, epochal democratiser of the Khayal tradition, sent his disciple, the revered Pt. S.N. Ratanjankar to none other than Faiyyaz Khansaheb for taleem – for his clarity of raga-thought, as much as because he wanted his student to receive instruction from a performer and not just a scholar. The shrutis (microtones) they employed did more than just differentiate one raga from another – they were the tools the singers used to infuse their ragas with the unpredictability and non-conformism of human emotion.
Their aavartans (rhythm-cycles) were crisp and well defined, their mukhadas multifarious. Their renditions had an almost qawwali-esque folk dynamic which they embedded within the frameworks of raga and tala, thus elevating it to the level of high art. Their renowned nom-tom was a leisurely exploration of the infinite melodic possibilities of the raga at hand – but then their in their bandish, they were careful only to sing as much of the raga as was suitable to the character of the composition. Their tempo revolved around the madhyalay – the goldilocks tempo – neither too fast, nor too slow – that kept their improvisation within the limits of temporal relevance and aesthetic meaningfulness.
It was this brand of music-making that Sharafat Khansaheb was the inheritor of. And it was this Mijaz – this ethos that was true music to him. This is where his heart was. To reiterate Subrata Sinha’s insightful comment, “The art of a performer whose face is turned towards the past can only be understood as a dialogue with that past”. This tradition of music making that he inherited from his Ustaads – this was the past that Ustaad Sharafat Hussain Khansaheb’s music was constantly in conversation with.
Khansaheb’s Music – Departures
As every free thinking performer is wont to do, Sharafat Khansaheb made his own departures from the tradition he inherited and reframed it in the context of the era he found himself functioning in. His personal musical tendencies also played a major role in the shaping of his music. These often came to the forefront in his performances, shining a new light on his valiant effort to keep his inherited Agra idiom alive. These musical departures that Khansaheb made from the homeground of tradition are what made him stand out and helped him carve out his own niche as one of the most sought-after performers of his time.
The major departure Khansaheb made from tradition had to do with the tempo of his vilambit khayal. It must be remembered that the vilambit khayal is a later stage in the evolution of a music that is rooted in madhyalay. If one attempts to trace the roots of khayal in dhrupad, or even all the way back to the Carnatic Kruti, one finds that neither of these two allied forms uses the vilambit lay as it is used in Khayal. Indeed, the music of Gwalior, the progenitor of Khayal, was madhyalay music. As musicians gradually felt the need to draw longer, leisurely melodic lines, they began slowing their tempos down, thus giving birth to the vilambit khayal. But Sharafat Khansaheb appears to have felt this need anew, for he used tempos much slower than Agra tradition advocates. Like the great Ustaad Amir Khan8, the most famous protagonist of the ati-vilambit movement, Sharafat Khansaheb seems to have found that this slowing down gave him even more space to flow, and to encompass his audiences within that flow. The ability to lose themselves in the leisurely flow and continuity of his music was something his admirers treasured.
The other remarkable thing about Khansaheb was his voice. Khansaheb remembers how his uncle Mushtaq Hussain Khansaheb would begin his riyaaz at 3 am in Atrauli and spend hours building up his kharaj (lower register). This was the kind of work Sharafat Khansaheb put in – building his voice up note by note, improving his capacity for breath, intensity and tunefulness aiming to achieve a voice that, in his own words, ‘was filled with a strange light’.3 The voice he thus achieved was, as the revered Agra musician Pt. Shrikrishna Haldankar describes it, a Golden Voice.
Full of the resonance typical to the Agra aesthetic, Khansaheb’s voice betrayed an unashamed, intense pride in the vocal tradition he belonged to. Like Faiyyaz Khansaheb, he had managed to develop a voice that was solid and yet tentative; robust and yet very malleable – all at the same time. He had acquired his Ustaad’s uncanny ability to modulate his voice and change its texture and intensity at will. His execution of difficult, long passages was smooth and fluent and his taans were clear and speedy – all of which was made possible by his command of his voice.
Needless to say, Khansaheb put his voice to great use in performance. With elaborate, robust and leisurely nom-tom aalaaps, Khansaheb would establish the raga among the audience as strongly as he would establish his own presence. He was able to use his voice to create drama in his nom-tom – a gripping theatre of tension and resolution. The vilambit that followed could be as elaborate – Khansaheb was not averse to singing a raga for hours on end. Because of the aforementioned tempo of his vilambit khayal, Khansaheb’s audiences were able to savour every nuance in his singing, rather than being accosted by the structure of the avartan or the bandish as a whole. Khansaheb himself seemed to enjoy taking his time with every meend, kan and harkat he employed, revisiting it repeatedly to extract more beauty from it.
In his madhyalay presentations, he was able to take audiences back to the Qawwali-numa drama of the Agra expression described above. It was in his madhyalay that the subtle riches of his Agra bandishes shone through, with lilting rhythm-work and word-play. His employment of sargam was lively and enticing, and he was able to sustain sargam even in his drut and ati-drut pieces – no easy task! His lightening taans would awe with their force and importantly their speed – the kind rarely found in Agra vocalism. A Gharanedar Ustaad to the core, Khansaheb’s repertoire was full of traditional Agra fare, right from the mainstream Yaman all the way to the obscure Patdeepak and Patdeepaki – and he was proud of his ability to present both.
Another special feature of his presentations was the ladhant he often did – an almost competitive dialogue with his tabla accompanist. Ladhants are usually the province of instrumentalists, first made popular by Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustaad Allarakha Khansaheb. But Sharafat Khansaheb was able to bring this element very competently into his vocal music which gave his audiences something unique to look forward to. His ladhants with Pt. Nandan Mehta in Ahmedabad were particularly energetic, enticing and elaborate.
Khansaheb’s association with the Saptak family in Ahmedabad was deep and long-running. A close friend of Pt. Nandan Mehta, the founder of Saptak, Khansaheb found in him a friend, admirer and able tabla accompanist. Ahmedabadi audiences fondly remember the many, many concerts Khansaheb presented with Nandanji accompanying him on tabla. The theka played on the tabla is probably one of the most important aspects of khayal singing, especially since the vocalist depends upon a lilting, but solid and dependable theka, based upon which he attempts to build his musical structure. The greatest vocalists will attest to how difficult it can be to find a sensitive tabla accompanist who has insight into the vocalist’s temperament – both musical and otherwise. It was this crucial role that Nandanji often played (quite literally) in Khansaheb’s music-making process.
Khansaheb’s elaborate concerts, and his leisurely elaboration of the raga within them were legend. At a concert that went on all night, Ustaad Sultan Khansaheb who was accompanying him on the sarangi finally said to him at 4 in the morning, “Please stop now! You have strength because you eat the ghee of Atrauli, but we are tired! We cannot keep pace with you!”.
True to the Agra tradition Khansaheb was also a composer. He composed under the pseudonym prem-rang and was fond of creating bandishes in uncommon ragas like Chhaya Bihag, Jayant Malhar, Bihari Kalyan and others, together with the fundamental ragas.
A Simple Man
Khansaheb was thus a top performer and a very busy live concert, radio and doordarshan artist by the age of 30. He continued to sing prolifically and was especially popular in the cities of Ahmedabad and Calcutta, where he acquired a large and dedicated following. His musicianship was duly honoured with various awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the Tansen Samman and the Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian honour.
With prominent disciples like his son Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan, Smt. Poornima Sen, Smt. Bindu Prasad, Shri. Rabin Dutta and Shri. Nasir Hussain, Saharafat Khansaheb was also a very capable teacher. Smt. Poornima Sen attests to this when she describes how, through Khansaheb’s help and hard work, she was able to sing forceful Agra taans (conventionally the domain of male singers) without them sounding unmusical or awkward in her voice9.
But in spite of the achievement, the popularity and the accolades, Khansaheb was a simple man at heart. Material possessions were not attractive to him. His commitment to his music had given his personality a inherent, joyous lustre – to the point where he felt no need to put his identity as a celebrated musician on public display. From the sweetseller to the zamindar – he was was equally at ease with crowds and kings. One could even find him at the deaf blacksmith’s shop talking to him in gestures. Always smiling, always content, Khansaheb was unassuming to the extent that Atrauli locals realised his value only after he received the Padma Shri.
With his fondness for beedis, hunting (Khansaheb was a champion marksman) and fishing, always dressed in the simplest attire, Khansaheb lived a lifestyle that belonged to another era. Especially fond of hunting the Russian Duck, Khansaheb once lost track of time and spent an entire day waiting for the elusive bird to show up. His worried sons searched the entire town and its outskirts and finally found their father lost in contemplation, focussed on his prey. This was a man who once spent his entire concert honorarium on buying all the mangoes from an entire orchard – and proceeded to eat them through that summer, at peace with his family. This fondness for leisure was characteristic of Khansaheb’s tabiyat – his temperament – and it was at odds with the growing pace of life of the world around him. His music was the only thing he wanted in the center of his world. Perhaps his decision to move away from the cities and settle down in Atrauli was born out of his need to slow things down – he needed his world to move at the pace of his vilambit khayal.
The pace of life he found at Atrauli would possibly have taken his khayal deeper into the unfathomably vast caverns of khayal, but this was not to be. Struck with the cancer of the lung, Khansaheb departed, after a difficult and painful battle with the disease, all too early. His demise, on July 7th, 1985 at the age of only 55, was a blow that his many admirers found hard to digest.
The fragrance of Khansaheb’s music had, for many years, enriched the musical environs of ahmedabad. Difficult as it was for the Saptak family to accept its sudden disappearance, Pt. Nandan Mehta and Shri. Prafull Anubhai requested Khansaheb’s son Ust. Shaukat Hussain Khan to move to Ahmedabad from Atrauli and teach at the Saptak School of Music. Shaukat ji is thus faculty for vocal music at Saptak, and continues to keep the old association between Saptak and Ustaad Sharafat Hussain Khansaheb alive.
We fondly remember Ustad Sharafat Hussain Khansaheb today as possibly the last of the Gharanedar Ustaads of Agra, as our link between the times we were born in and the times we were not fortunate enough to witness.
By Srijan Deshpande
- Sinha, S. (2013, January 15). Sharafat Hussain Khan: Singing the Archive. https://www.academia.edu/23286723/Sharafat_Hussain_Khan_Singing_the_Archive
- Interview with Shanta Serbjeet Singh, Date Unknown
- Recorded interview by Ustaad Hafeez Ahmed Khan, Saptak Archives, Ahmedabad
- Parrikar, R. Ata Hussain Khan. http://www.parrikar.org/vpl/?page_id=371
- Pratap, B. (2016, September 14). Lalith Rao & Jayavanth Rao. https://www.sahapedia.org/lalith-rao-jayavanth-rao
- Roy, Tirthankar. “Music as artisan tradition.” Contributions to Indian sociology (1998)
- Most observations on the Agra Gayaki based on lectures by Pt. Satyasheel Deshpande on the subject at Saptak Archives, Ahmedabad, March 2014
- Haldanakar, S. (2001). Aesthetics of Agra and Jaipur traditions. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan.
- Raja, D. (2008, September 11). Purnima Sen – “I could easily have become a knowledgeable musician nobody wanted to hear”, http://swaratala.blogspot.com