Amir Khusraus Contributions to Indian Music:
A Preliminary Survey

Dileep Karanth


Amir Khusrau (1253-1325), a celebrated court poet and musician of North India, is commonly credited with several innovations in Indian classical music. In a critical appraisal of those contributions, this paper shows that they have been exaggerated and remain largely unproven. To build his case, Dr. Dileep Karanth, a lecturer at the department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, uses a wide range of primary and secondary sources and an intimate knowledge of Persian, Sanskrit and Urdu.

This paper is due to be published in the Filliozat Felicitation Volume (edited by A. S. Venkatanathan, M. S. Krishna Murthy and Satkari Mukhopadhyaya), University of Mysore, in press. A slightly modified version of the paper is being reproduced here, with the permission of Dr. Vasundhara Filliozat, of the editors, and of the author.

The author writes, “This paper draws heavily on Rashid Malik’s
Hazrat Amir Khusro ka ilm-e-musiqi (The Music of Amir Khusrau), and some of his other works. I regret the passing away of my dear friend and mentor, Janab Rashid Malik of Lahore, whose memory is cherished by many grieving friends in Pakistan and India.”

Because of the extensive use of diacritics, the paper is available for download as a PDF file (180 kB).

Back to home
Back to home