1875-1940; Delhi tradition

Natthu Khan was one of the most important tabla players of the early 20th century, and a key member of the Delhi tabla gharana. I discuss his playing in general and this peshkar in particular in an online article called Natthu Khan and the Delhi Peshkar. I also discuss the Delhi lineage in detail in another online article called Genealogical musings: a brief discussion of the Delhi tabla gharan


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Natthu Khan (1875-1940) was a stalwart of the Delhi tabla gharana. (A discussion of the genealogy of the Delhi gharana is presented in my article Genealogical musings….) Rebecca Stewart, in her wonderful but sadly unpublished Ph.D. dissertation The Tabla in Perspective (UCLA, 1974) suggested that Natthu Khan was primarily responsible for popularizing the Delhi peshkar and qaida. Peshkar and qaida are really names for types of improvisatory processes that a player conducts on thematic material (gat), and the origins of both are firmly associated by most players with the Delhi tradition.

In the following recording, from the mid to late 1930s and just a few short years before his death, Natthu Khan plays a theme that is identified by many older musicians as “Natthu Khan’s peshkar”. We must therefore assume that Natthu Khan too thought of this theme as a peshkar.


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