The Sarod Museum called SAROD GHAR* is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage and culture. Under the aegis of Haafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust, through this 'window' to the past, music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of North Indian Classical Music and can get a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.
The City of Gwalior is famous as an ancient seat of culture with a colourful history going back to the sixth century. Due to its location in the heart of India, it has been a melting pot of cultures and civilizations. This synthesis has manifested itself in a highly developed musical tradition reaching a peak during the reign of Emperor Man Singh Tomar in the early sixteenth century. Mian Tansen, perhaps the best known vocalist of all times was born in Gwalior in 1606, reaching the pinnacle of frame in the court of mogul emperor Akbar.
The aim of setting up this institution is to create awareness and respect for classical music, musicians and the variety of instruments of India. The museum houses a collection of old and contemporary instruments, belonging to great and illustrious musicians of the past, on which they pursued their practice. Their immortality is thus enshrined in this institution.
SAROD GHAR also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents. Work on compiling a database on classical music in the form of books, articles, audio and audio-visual recording is in progress. The road on which the museum stands has been named Haafiz Ali Khan Marg by the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.
The other objectives are :
- To document the evolution of East Indian classical music and instruments.
- To illustrate the rich heritage of Gwalior in the field of classical music.
- To promote the relevance of the guru-shishya parampara (Teacher-disciple tradition / relationship) in classical music education.
- To provide a forum and platform for musician and scholars to express their art and views before a discerning audience.
The museum has been housed in the ancestral home of Amjad Ali Khan, the renowned sarod Maestro, who donated the property to the trust for this purpose. The house has a colourful history with four generations of Sarod players being born here.
The first instruments exhibited were the instruments belonging to his forefathers. The rabab of Ghulam Bandagi Khan Bangash, the Sarods of Nanne Khan, Asghar Ali Khan and Haafiz Ali Khan are part of this collection.
Subsequently, musicians and well-wishers from all over the country have come forward to contribute the instruments belonging to a number of great Masters and gurus of the past. The Collection now includes the Tanpura of Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, Violin of Allauddin Khan, the Tabla of Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa, Kanthe Maharaj and Kader Bux.
The Building has been remodeled based on the traditional building techniques of Gwalior using the local stone craftsmanship. The result is a stunning assimilation of old and new architecture, where the sanctity and purity that
resides here has been translated into a composition in stone. In the words of Amjad Ali Khan."In this building, wherever you look, there is Rhythm and Sound…"
The Museum conducts regular audio programmes and live performance for the public in keeping with its aims and objectives. The central courtyard is designed as an open-air auditorium for live performance. Here is an event to be experienced in true, a classical baithak (sit-down gathering).The Museum will also collect and make available to the public a database on classical music in the form of books, articles,