Today, Sham Chaurasi gharana has lost its identity for want of the representatives of this gharana. Some artists have become very old and the great exponents of this gharana like Nazakat Ali and Salamat Ali has settled in Pakistan after the partition. But it is a matter of satisfaction that they still calim to be the descendants of sham Chaurasi Gharana.
History of Sham Chaurasi Gharana
The Sham Chaurasi Gharana was once a very prestigious gharana. It is said that the Mughal king Mohammad Shah Rangile once paid a visit to this village to listen to the artists of this gharana. He was so pleased that he donated all the income acquired from the 84 villages to the Sufi saint Shami Shah. It is believed that after this episode that became popular by the name Sham Chaurasi taking its name from Sufi saint Shami and 84 villages, Chaurasia adding up as Sahm Chaurasi. This village still exists by the same name. The Samadhi of Sifi saint Shami Shah is still there and many people come to pay their homage at this place. Ustad Salamat ali also used to come to Sham Chaurasi to pay obeisance wherever he came to India.
Singers of Sham Chaurasi Gharana
According to Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi, Sain Karim was a great exponent to Sham Chaurasi Gharana. The vocalist as well as the instrumentalists of this gharana earned a lot of fame. One of the eminent Veena players of this Gharana was Baba Inayat Khan. The proficient artists of this Gharana received tutelage under legendry Baiju Bawra, Suraj Khan and Chand Khan. According to history Baiju Bawara had gone to visit the village Bajwada near Hoshiarpur. It is believed that that during his stay the artists of sham Chaurasi Gharana had received training from him. It is also possible had the name of this village was named as Bajwada after the name of Baiju Bawra.
Several artists of this Gharana had shifted to Pakistan after the partition of India. Meer Baksh, Khairdeen, Vilayat Ali, Haidat Ali, Nazakat Ali and Salamar Ali all began singing in Jugalbandi. Presently many singers like master Rattan of Phagwda, Om Prakash Mohan have kept up the tradition of the Sham Chaurasi Gharana. They all perform in the All Indian radio, Delhi.
Style of Sham Chaurasi Gharana
Sham Chaurasi Gharana has been famous for its simple Sapat taanas that can be performed with ease. The elaboration is done in all the three octaves. The basic feature of this Gharana is the step by step Alap and Taana that gradually returns to the basic Shadaj. The artists of this gharana are popular for their execution of these taanas. The beautiful taanas, murki, khatka and bol banav added to the magnificence of the gayaki of this gharana.
Even today the essence of the Sham Chaurasi gharana can be felt in the performance and gayaki pattern of the singers