Amir Khan's world-wide acclaim as one of the all time greats of the Hindustani sangeet could be attributed to his uniquely personal approach to traditional music. A purist by temperament and training, he boldly and successfully ventured to overshadow the time honoured gharana ideology, even while keeping his moorings firmly in tradition.
Amir Khan was much more than a leading classical musician of his times. He was an intellectual leader who created a fresh ideology in Hindustani Raga Sangeet which was so powerful in its impact that it directly or indirectly influenced a large number of subsequent artistes and styles.
He came of an illustrious house of Hindustani stalwarts and learnt the basics of traditional music from his father, Ustad Shamir Khan, a leading exponent of the sarangi as well as the veena. In his childhood, however, he came face-to-face with many leading lights of different gharanas, like the maestros Abdul Waheed Khan (Kirana), Rajab Ali Khan (Indore) and Aman Ali Khan (Bhendi Bazar). The precocious, impressionable youngster absorbed and assimilated much of what he heard from these and many other veterans.
Khayal and tarana were the singing genres which the Ustad worshipped with intense devotion and ardour. He cared most for improvisation with words in khayal singing. Amir Khan's voice had an innate quality of pathos to it which perhaps arose from the manner in which he related to swara.
1. Raga Lalit – Khayal Vilambit Jhoomra “Kahan Jaage Raat” – Khayal Drut Teentaal “Jogiya More Ghar Aaye”
2. Raga Hansdhwani – Khayal Vilambit Ektaal “Jai Maate Vilumbh Taj De” Tarana Drut Teentaal
3. Raga Megh – Khayal Vilambit Jhoomra “Barkha Ritu Aai” – Tarana Drut Ektaal