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Passing of Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Ali Zaki Hader



  Sep 11, 2023

Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Ali Zaki Hader Died


Ustad Ali Zaki Hader, a renowned Rudra veena exponent, passed away in New Delhi at the age of 50. He was a prominent figure in the world of classical music, particularly known for his expertise in the Khandarbani style of the Jaipur Beenkar gharana of Dhrupad.
 
Artistic Legacy: Hader was a disciple of Ustad Asad Ali Khan and had the honor of being the last exponent of the Khandarbani style. He was also Ustad Asad Ali Khan's nephew, as his mother was the sister of the renowned Ustad. Ustad Asad Ali Khan adopted him as his son and began training him from the age of four. This close mentorship and tutelage played a significant role in shaping Hader's musical journey.
 
Khandarbani Style: The Khandarbani (Khandaharbani) style of Dhrupad, which Hader specialized in, is celebrated for its rich tradition and unique musical expressions. Hader's commitment to preserving and propagating this style was highly regarded within the classical music community.
 
Challenges and Dedication: After the passing of Ustad Asad Ali Khan in 2011, Ali Zaki Hader faced the challenging task of upholding the tradition almost singlehandedly. Classical musicians typically reach their artistic maturity in their 40s, and Hader was poised to continue the legacy of his guru. However, fate had other plans, and his untimely passing left a void in the world of music.
 
Legacy and Grief: Ali Zaki Hader is survived by his sister Shazia, who had been a dedicated companion and caregiver throughout his life. He also leaves behind a small group of grieving disciples who valued his musical guidance and mentorship. His legacy as a Rudra veena maestro and his contribution to preserving the Khandarbani style will be remembered in the world of classical music.
 
Final Resting Place: After his funeral prayers at a local mosque, Ustad Ali Zaki Hader was laid to rest at Jamia cemetery in New Delhi. His departure marks the end of an era in the world of Rudra veena and classical music.
 

Rudra Veena Maestro Ustad Ali Zaki Hader Dies

Ustad Ali Zaki Hader, a renowned Rudra veena exponent, passed away in New Delhi at the age of 50. He was a prominent figure in the world of classical music, particularly known for his expertise in the Khandarbani style of the Jaipur Beenkar gharana of Dhrupad.
 
Artistic Legacy: Hader was a disciple of Ustad Asad Ali Khan and had the honor of being the last exponent of the Khandarbani style. He was also Ustad Asad Ali Khan's nephew, as his mother was the sister of the renowned Ustad. Ustad Asad Ali Khan adopted him as his son and began training him from the age of four. This close mentorship and tutelage played a significant role in shaping Hader's musical journey.
 
Khandarbani Style: The Khandarbani (Khandaharbani) style of Dhrupad, which Hader specialized in, is celebrated for its rich tradition and unique musical expressions. Hader's commitment to preserving and propagating this style was highly regarded within the classical music community.
 

Dhrupad: The Timeless Art of Devotion

Dhrupad is one of the oldest and most revered classical music traditions of India. With roots dating back to ancient scriptures and Vedic chants, it embodies a rich tapestry of musical expressions and spiritual depth. The word "Dhrupad" itself translates to "fixed words" or "pillar," underscoring its emphasis on meticulous and structured rendition.
 
Historical Significance: Originating in the North Indian subcontinent, Dhrupad has a storied history that predates many other classical music forms. Its pristine style and austere approach make it distinct from other Indian classical genres like Khayal and Thumri.
 
Musical Characteristics: Dhrupad compositions are characterized by their slow and measured tempo, which allows for intricate melodic and rhythmic elaboration. The use of syllables like "Aa," "U," "M," and "Na" in alap and bandish reflects the ancient Sanskrit traditions. Dhrupad singing places significant emphasis on voice culture, pitch accuracy, and tonal purity.
 
Spiritual Essence: Beyond its musical prowess, Dhrupad has a profound spiritual dimension. It was historically performed in temples and ashrams, serving as a medium to connect with the divine. The lyrics often draw from devotional poetry, exploring themes of love, devotion, and mysticism.
 
Dhrupad Revival: While Dhrupad faced a decline in popularity during the colonial era, efforts by dedicated musicians like Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, and Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar played a pivotal role in its revival. Today, Dhrupad continues to resonate with aficionados worldwide, transcending time and boundaries, as it carries forward the timeless tradition of musical devotion.
 

Rudra Veena: The Revered Stringed Instrument

The Rudra Veena, often referred to as the "King of Instruments," is a classical Indian stringed musical instrument known for its profound resonance and majestic presence. Its origins can be traced back to ancient scriptures, making it one of the oldest known instruments in India.
 
Design and Sound: The Rudra Veena features a large, hollow, resonant body and two main strings, along with sympathetic strings that create a rich, layered sound. Its deep, soul-stirring tones are revered for their ability to evoke deep emotions and a sense of spiritual transcendence.
 
Tradition and Virtuosos: Rudra Veena has been an integral part of Indian classical music, especially in the Dhrupad tradition. Legendary musicians like Ustad Asad Ali Khan and Ustad Ali Zaki Hader have been celebrated maestros of this instrument, keeping its tradition alive. Its meditative and evocative sound continues to captivate audiences worldwide, making it an enduring symbol of India's musical heritage.


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