The Teaching of Ali Akbar Khan

The Ali Akbar Khan Archive has an extensive list of ragas taught by Ali Akbar Khan. His method of teaching focused on using compositions as examples of how the notes are employed and combined. The majority of the compositions were composed in the classroom with his students.

For vocal compositions, he often used well-known poetry and lyrics, which he then applied to new compositions for his students. All of these materials were taught as stepping-stones for students to better understand the ragas. He often said that the purity of the ragas during improvisation could only be maintained when a performer had learned a large number of fixed compositions to draw from.

We are extremely fortunate to have captured the majority of his teachings both on audio tapes and in writing. The last twelve years of his teaching was also captured on video tape.

We have created a condensed example of his teaching using twelve common ragas. The introductory database has been created to help guide you through the types of options you will find when using the complete database in this library. We know how daunting the music can appear at first, and we hope this helps to make the process more clear. The musical examples are in their complete form—only the database has been revised.

Thank you, and enjoy!

Ali Akbar Khan teaching