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Tansen biography, age, birthday, family, performances & more

TansenTansen. Check out his biography, performances, concerts, birthday, age, family, achievements, some lesser known facts

Tansen Biography
Name Tansen
Birth Name Ramtanu
Known for Vocalist of Hindustani Classical Music. A musician and instrumentalist who also had a huge influence on music studies
Personal Life
Important dates Birthday: 1493

Death: 1586

Important places Birthplace: Behat, Gwalior

Place of death: Agra

Nationality Indian
Educational qualifications Tansen learnt and perfected his music in the region around Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh
Family Father: Mukund Pandey/ Makrand Pandey/ Mukund Mishra/ Mukund Ram who was a poet and an accomplished musician. He also served as a priest in a temple in Varanasi.




Children: Tanras Khan, Bilas Khan, Hamirsen, Suratsen and Saraswati Devi

Professional life
Teacher There are several legends around Tansen’s teachers. According to some legends of Hindu version, Hindu bhakti saint, poet and musician Swami Haridas was the most important influence on Tansen. However, in Islamic biographies Sufi Muslim mystic named Muhammad Ghaus is considered to have influenced Tansen in a major fashion.
Life He started showing his musical talent at the ripe age of 6. His talent was recognized also very early. It was the ruler of state of Gwalior who conferred upon him the honorary title of ‘Tansen’.

He spent most of his adult life and career in the court and under the patronage of the Hindu king of Gwalior named Ram Chand. His musical abilities got him widespread fame and followership. In fact, he was a very close confidant of Ram Chand and they used to create music together. The reputation Tansen had earned brought him to the attention of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar sent several messengers to Ram Chand and requested him to send Tansen so that he could join the musicians at the Mughal court. Although, Tansen did not want to leave, Ram Chand encouraged him so that he could gain a wider audience. In 1562, at the age of sixty, Tansen arrived for the first time in Akbar’s court long with gifts from Ram chand. He became a part of Akbar’s Navratnas.

He was a composer, a musician and a vocalist. A large number of compositions popular in northern regions of the India have been attributed to him. He is remembered for his epic Dhrupad compositions. He also created several new ragas and wrote two classic books on music namely Sri Ganesh Stotra & Sangita Sara.

Even today, a national music festival called ‘Tansen Samaroh’ is held in December every year, near his tomb at Behat as a mark of respect to his memory. An award called The Tansen Samman is also given away to exponents in Hindustani Classical music.

Achievements and
Lesser Known Facts
  1. Many gharanas of Hindustani classical music claim to have some connection to Tansen’s lineage. For these schools, he is considered as the founder of Hindustani classical music.
    1. Numerous legends have been created around him whicg mix facts and fiction. Although, the accuracy of these stories is doubtful, it is widely accepted that Akbar considered him as a Navaratna (nine jewels), and honored him the title Mian which means learned man.
    2. He was also an instrumentalist who helped in popularizing and improving several musical instruments.
    3. In his early career, he was influenced by other singers in Gwalior court. He also had some impact from the musically proficient queen of the court Mriganayani
    4. Tansen’s ragas have become mainstays of the Classical Hindustani tradition. These are often with the phrase Mian ki like Mian ki Todi and Mian ki Malhar
    5. Some of the important Ragas that he composed are Darbari Kanada, Darbari Todi & Rageshwari
    6. Fatehpur Sikri is strongly associated with him. At the fort, near the emperor’s chambers, a pond called Anup talo was built with a small island in the middle. This island used to have musical performances. This can be seen even today near the Diwan-i-Aam. It is believed that he would perform different ragas at different times of day. He would be honored by emperor and his guests with coins
    7. His legends about bringing down the rains with Raga Megh Malhar and lighting lamps by Raga Deepak are very well known
    8. Several Hindi movies have been made on his life like Tansen in 1943, in 1958 and in 1962

Written by Neha Singh

I am a fun loving person. Love adventure and exploring new places. Travelling adds a freshness in my life and adds on to new experiences in my life which is cherished always..Travelling also helps me taste all kinds of cuisines and foods around the world which also explains why I am such a foodie!!

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