Certain instruments become indelibly linked with particular performers. In the Hindustani realm, the santoor is closely associated with Shivkumar Sharma and the rudra vina with Zia Mohiuddin Khan, but historically, perhaps the closest and most intimate association has been with Bismillah Khan and the shehnai. Born in 1916, he has raised the status of one of India's most distinctively voiced instruments unprecedentedly. In its folk form this double-reeded instrument is used on a variety of ritual occasions but is especially associated with weddings. Bismillah Khan has recorded extensively and like many Indian classical artists most of his early work was released by EMI India or its overseas partners. His historic jugalbandi with Vilayat Khan was chosen to inaugurate the Music of India series on EMI India's parent company in Britain. This ...
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