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Noted Rudra veena exponent, Ustad Ali Zaki Hader passes away

Noted Rudra veena exponent, Ustad Ali Zaki Hader, passed away in New Delhi. He was 50. Disciple of Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Ali Zaki Hader was the last exponent of the Khandarbani (Khandaharbani) style of the Jaipur Beenkar gharana of Dhrupad. With his untimely demise, this ancient tradition of Rudra veena has come to an abrupt and tragic end.

What is Rudra Veena?

  • A sizable plucked string instrument called the Rudra veena is employed in Hindustani music, particularly in the style of music known as dhrupad.
  • It is one of the main veena kinds used in Indian classical music and is renowned for its deep bass resonance.

Historical Relevance

  • The Rudra veena has a lengthy history and can be observed in the designs of temples built before the Mughal era.
  • It first appears in court documents under the reign of Zain-ul-Abidin (1418–1470), and among Mughal court musicians it rose to prominence.
  • Princely states supported Rudra veena players as dhrupad practitioners before to India’s independence.
  • However, after independence, this patronage structure was abolished, which caused Dhrupad and the Rudra veena to lose some of their appeal.
  • The Rudra veena has seen a rise in popularity recently, in part due to interest from practitioners outside of India.

Names and their origins

  • The term “Rudra veena” refers to the instrument and is derived from Lord Shiva’s name “Rudra,” making it “the veena of Shiva.”
  • According to legend, Parvati or the goddess Saraswati was referenced in Shiva’s creation of the Rudra veena.
  • Another explanation claims that the asura Ravana created the Rudra veena as a result of his devotion to Lord Shiva.

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