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RAWALPINDI, May 2: A certain type of emotion grips the listeners of classical music as they identify their feelings with that of the artist but being unable to express it enjoy the music as if they are singing.

This was stated by Ustad Fateh Ali Khan while answering a question during an informal sitting with the students of National College of Arts (NCA) in its monthly programme “Spotlight” conducted by the theatre department on Friday.

When a student asked him why a certain type of feeling overcomes the listener of classical music whether or not he understands it, Mr Khan said music was a beauty and appreciated by all. When the listener cannot sing, he moves his head here and there in a bid to realise as if he was singing with the artist.

“Classical singers take singing as a type of worship that is why it has a healing and intuitive effect on the keen listeners whether they understand the music or not,” said the celebrated singer.

Besides informal conversation with the students, Khan also sang some of his classical songs on the occasion and enthralled the audience in the hot afternoon. “Classical music is not limited to certain gharanas and anybody can learnt it if he or she has the will and determination,” he said.

Fateh and brother Amanat Ali Khan of Patiala became celebrities while still in their childhood in undivided India. Fateh and his late brother were trained by their father Akhtar Hussain, a distinguished vocalist under the patronage of the princely state of Patiala.

Their grandfather Ali Baksh also served the same court and was a co-founder of the Patiala Gharana.

The prodigious talent of the duo received early encouragement at the Patiala court. They had a glorious debut in 1945 at Lahore sponsored by influential connoisseur Pandit Jeevanlal Matto. Their breakthrough came at the All-Bengal Music Conference in Calcutta in 1949, when Amanat Ali was 17 and Fateh Ali was 14, after which they never looked back.

In the later half of the 20th century, the Patiala style of Khayal vocalism has been represented by two streams of the gharana. One stream gave the music world the Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali duo.

The other through its training of Kasur gharana vocalists produced Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, his brother Barkat Ali and the former’s son Munawar Ali Khan.