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The Dagars

The Dagar BrothersThe Dagar family had seven performing members and held an annual Dagar
Saptak festival in different parts of India.

1.  Nasir Aminuddin Dagar of Calcutta, who used to sing with the late
Nasir Moinuddin Dagar, died about 22 years ago.  They are the famed Dagar

2.  Nasir Zahiruddin Dagar of Delhi.  He used to sing with his brother
Faiyyazuddin (see no. 3)

3.  Nasir Faiyyazuddin Dagar, d. 1990.  Zahiruddin and Faiyyazuddin were
sometimes known as the "The Younger Dagar Brothers" to distinguish them from the their elder brothers.  Later became known in their turn as Dagar Brothers..

4.  Fahimuddin Dagar, son of Rahimuddin Dagar, also of Delhi.

5.  Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, rudra vina player and a wonderful singer in his own right, of Bombay, who came the US as visiting artist at Wesleyan, University of Washington Etc., d. 1991.  (Please note, there is no 'n' in Mohiuddin).

6.  Zia Fariduddin Dagar, singer, younger brother of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, of Bombay and Bhopal.  He performed with his brother on the Festival of India tour.

7.  Saeeduddin Dagar of Delhi and Poona, son of the late Tansen Pande, a Dagar who was a Sanscrit scholar.

After the death of his younger brother Faiyyazuddin, Ustad Zahiruddin is now singing with the former's son, F.Wazifuddin Dagar.

Another Dagar to enter the concert arena is young M. Baha'uddin Dagar, rudra vina, son of Zia Mohiuddin.

Hence, there is still a Dagar Saptak to continue the tradition. Nasiruddin and Rahimuddin were brothers, and cousins to Ziauddin Dagar and Tansen Pande.  Their names are used by their sons in front of their own names.

My spellings of names and understanding of relationships is subject to confirmation by any Dagar gurubhai or gurubehen who may be reading this. 

Shantha Benegal
Phone: (206) 543-1186

Subject: Dagar family
Organization: University of California, Davis
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 19:44:53 GMT
Lines: 102
Status: RO

Here is some information about the Dagar family, the great torch bearer of dhrupad singing/bin playing.
The information has been gleamed from various sources and I think it quite reliable.   Any mistakes though should be pointed out by the informed folks.

1)  Baba Imam Khan Dagar (was Baba Gopal Das Pandey, but had to change religion).
2)  His sons were Haidar Hussain Khan Dagar and Bahram Khan Dagar.  Bahram (or Behram) Khan was court musician with king of Jaipur (the great city where I come from) Maharaja Sawai Rama Singh.  Behram Khan is considered to be a legend!
3)  Haidar Hussain Khan's son was Ustad Mohammadjan Khan Dagar  who was in Indore. Mohammadjan Khan's cousin was Pandit Inayat Khan Dagar.

4) Ustad Mohammadjan Khan of Indore had two very famous dhrupadiya sons; Zakiruddin Dagar and Alabande Khan (or Allabande).  Alabande Khan was court musician with Udaipur king and than with Alvar king.  He was born in last half of 19th century and died in 1927. Zakiruddin and Alabande used to sing together (jugalbandi) and were said to be very good.

5)  Alabande Khan had four sons, three of them considered to be the greatest dhrupad singers of this century:
  Nasiruddin Khan Dagar
  Rahimuddin Khan Dagar
  Hussainuddin Khan Dagar (also called Tansen Pandey)
  Imamuddin Khan Dagar

Nasiruddin Dagar (1895-1936) was in the court singer of Indore and is considered to be the true teacher of Rahimuddin Dagar. His four sons are the ones that we know as Dagar brothers.

Cousin of these four brothers was Ziauddin Khan Dagar who was in the court of Udaipur.   He died in 1946. Another of their cousins was Riyazuddin Dagar.

Rahimuddin Dagar was a great singer also, he died in 1975.

6)  Nasirduddin Dagars four sons:
  N. Aminuddin Dagar (lives in Calcutta)
  N. Moinuddin Dagar (deceased)
These were the original (senior) Dagar brothers and sang together like their grandparents Alabande Khan and Zakiruddin Dagar.
  N. Faiyazuddin Dagar (1933-1989)
  N. Zahiruddin  Dagar (1932- lives in Delhi)
These are the Dagar brothers too (call them junior) who sang together.  Correction, Faiyazuddin was born in 1934.

7)  Rahimuddin Dagars son is R. Fahimuddin Dagar, lives in Calcutta.

8)  Hussainuddin's (Tansen Pandey) son is H. Sayeeduddin Dagar, lives in Pune.

I have no information about Imamuddin Dagar!

Cousin of these Dagars, Ziauddin Dagar (?-1946) in Udaipur court was dhrupad singer, but also played rudra veena sometimes. He never gave a concert though with rudra veena.   His son Zia Moiuddin Dagar (1929-1990)  was impressed by rudra veena and I think we know him as the greatest rudra veena player
of this century, along with Asad Ali Khan Sahib!
Ziauddin Dagar had another son:  Fariduddin Dagar, another fine singer!

9)  Faiyazuddin, one of the younger Dagar Brothers, who died in 1989 has a young son:   F. Wasifuddin Dagar.  He is about 24 years old now and he is definitely a very good singer. I was very impressed by him after listening to two of his recordings.

I have many gaps in my information, however, this is due to the incomplete historical information available.

The Dagar family claims 20 straight generations of being dhrupad singers and bin players.   They consider Swami Haridas to be their original one and the guru.  I am impressed by the fact (and greatly admire them for this) that they have kept a very difficult musical tradition  alive.  The lack of popularity of dhrupad music in the people who listen to hindustani/indian classical music is evident by the fact that not many dhrupad concerts (actually in California I have heard of none in the last four years) are held.
Another evidence of the lack of popularity is the fact that not many recordings of dhrupad music are available (if you want khyal, thumri, whats and what nots: tons of it you can get; you want dhrupad:  good luck if you  will find more than 10 TOTAL available recordings)

Hope thid post gives people some thing to think about!

Those fortunate ones who are hiding their personal collections of dhrupad music:   please come out and share this great music with the unfortunate folks like me who feel helpless over not finding dhrupad in the music stores.

From Wed Jun  2 13:57:56 1993
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1993 13:53:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Shantha Benegal
To: Shantha Benegal
Subject: Dagar Family
Status: RO

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