Thursday, April 25, 2024


Ustad NAWAB KHAN, born into a family with a long lineage of classical artists, is a music maestro catapulting the Indian classical music to newer heights by exploring the applications of music in healing, education, medication, spiritual progress, and creating connection with world at large. With deep love for the music of India, Nawab chooses to walk the road less travelled, with his extraordinary love for santoor. He has worked with many great artists during his journey, including Ustad Ghulfam Mustafa Khan, Ustad Dastgeer Khan, Ustad Sharif Ghuzal and many others. He also played along Philip Jacob Carlos Gettezto and George Scott. Nawab has many famous listeners who love his creations and art, expressed through his delicate 100-stringed instrument. Prince Charles, Siya Muslim spiritual leader HH Aga Khan, Sting, Michel Douglas, Madonna, Kenyan President Kibaki, Liz Hurley, and Lora Piana. His work does not stop here he has worked with the music film makers on various documentaries around the world. In an exclusive interview with T.I.W, Nawab unfolds his vision about classical music and how it can transform the world in an inclusive way.

#1. What’s classical music to you?

Classical music is the soul of socio-cultural evolution in the world. It can connect you to the supreme soul. Playing or listening to classical music has a wide range of benefits. Music can be a great stress reliever. Scientifically, it’s proven that playing any type of music can enhance a person’s intelligence because music can influence your entire cognitive system of the body. Music can give you a sense of accomplishment and can boost your overall confidence. Moreover, playing music especially at high levels music can significantly increase one’s creativity. Music can stimulate emotional and cognitive abilities; it can allow our brain to think in new and different ways and can open the door to higher dimensions of spiritual attainment. For me, music is a natural transformer of human life. Whether you believe or not, the universe is evolved from the cosmic naad, a fact that scientists are exploring now that what triggered the Big Bang.

#2. What is the impact of classical music on human life?

The classical music has immense impact on human life, ranging from influence the mind and soul. The vibrations, rhythm, and tempo of music act differently on different parts of body. For example, harmonica improves intestine’s work, saxophone enhances kidney’s work, santoor can improve writing skills of students with learning disability, oboe alleviates gall bladder’s diseases, and flute cures liver diseases. Different music can affect you differently. For example, if you listen to hard, loud song, it can rise your blood pressure up and on the contrary, if you listen to soft music, it can calm you.

#3. What initiatives are you taking to promote traditional music?

Traditional music is the mother of all musical forms that you come across with all other musical genres in the contemporary world. It’s our collective responsibility that we must preserve the Indian classical music and promote it on global fora. I started Raaga Science in 2019 initially as a small project intended to spread awareness of music as a healing modality. The initiative soon evolved into an online platform for live streams of Indian Classical Music presented by accomplished musicians and accompanied by detailed explanations. The idea was to present music not just as a “feel good” panacea but to deepen the viewer’s understanding of how it could be embraced in a meditative practice to enhance a healthy mind, body, and soul. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Raaga Science also used the platform to organise relief initiatives to support artist communities and especially the self-dependent artists of India’s precious folk traditions. Through our festivals and initiatives, Raaga Science has already helped approximately 500 Rajasthani artist families.

#4. Could you elaborate on your latest initiative The Western Dunes Legacy?

The Western Dunes Legacy is a noble initiative towards empowering the lives of Barnawa Jagneer in Jodhpur that nestles 3,500 folk artist families. A Rs. 100 crore project, Western Dunes Legacy has been steering the model to transform Barnawa Jagneer into a world-class tourism spot with amenities like art museums and research centre, eco-friendly luxury stay, school building, handicraft and art market, classical festivals, and many more. This project is self-sustainable and can help the artist community to enhance their livelihood by showcasing their musical talent to the larger world.



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