The Gwalior Gharana is one of the oldest Khyal Gharanas. The rise of the Gwalior Gharana started with the reign of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. The favorite singers of patron of the arts, such as Miyan Tansen, first amongst the vocalists at the court, came from the town of Gwalior. ...During the time of Mughal kings Ustad Naththan Pir Bakhsh and his maternal grandsons were the legendary Haddu, Hassu and Natthu Khan.The main musician in the court at the time was Ustad Bade Mohammad Khan who was famous for his taanbaazi. Both Ustad Bade Mohammad Khan and Ustad Naththan Pir Bakhsh belonged to the same tradition of Shahi Sadarang.
A distinguishing feature of the gharana is its simplicity, and one means to this is the selection of well-known ragas so that the listener is saved the effort of trying to identify the raga. While the khyal singer does include "Raga Vistar" (melodic expansion) and "Alankar" (melodic ornamentation) to enhance the beauty and meaning of the raga, there is no attempt to include the "Tirobhava" (using melodic phrases to obscure the identity of the raga) feature in the interest of adding interest or mystery to the listener's experience.
The singing itself places Bandish (the composition) at the heart of the presentation because of the gharana's belief that the full melody of the raga and guidance on its singing is provided by the bandish. The asthayi section is sung twice before the antara, to be followed by swar-vistar in medium tempo. This slow rendition of the notes is known as the Behlava, and is sung from Ma in the lower register to Pa in the higher register, following the pattern of the Aroha (ascent) and Avaroha (descent) of the raga. The behlava is divided into the asthayi (from Ma to Sa) and antara (from Ma, Pa, or Dha to Pa of the higher register). The Dugun-Ka-Alap follows in which groups of two or four note combinations are sung in quicker succession but the basic tempo remains the same.
Bol-baant, bol-taan, no sargam, wide range in taans, alankarik taans, descending sapaat taans, roughly similar emphasis on melody and rhythm, preference for simple (as opposed to compound) ragas, repertoire of bandishes, variety of taans
The Bol-Alap is next in which the different words of the text are sung in different ways, to be followed by Murkis in which notes are sung with ornamentation to a faster pace. Bol-Taans entail the formation of melodic sequences with the words of the song. The other Taans, including the Gamak, follow.
The Sapat Taan is important to the Gwalior style and refers to the singing of notes in a straight sequence and at a Vilambit pace. Both Dhrupad and Khyal singing evolved in Gwalior and there are many overlaps. In the khyal style there is one form, Mundi Dhrupad, that incorporates all the features of dhrupad singing but without the Mukhda.
Common ragas include Alhaiya Bilawal, Yaman, Bhairav, Sarang, Shree, Hameer, Gaud Malhar, and Miya Ki Malhar.
Nathan Pir Bakhsh
Ustad Qurban Hussain Khan
Bade Inayat Hussain Khan
Rehmat Ali Khan
Krishnarao Shankar Pandit
Raja Bhaiya Poonchwale
Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar (1849–1926, brought Gwalior gharana style to Maharashtra)
Vishnu Digambar Paluskar - (1872–1931, disciple of Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar, founded Gandharva Mahavidyalaya)
Anant Manohar Joshi - (1881 - Unknown), disciple of Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee in 1955.
Gururao Deshpande - (1889–1982)
Vinayakrao Patwardhan - (1898-1975, Padma bhushan awardee in 1972)
D. V. Paluskar - (1921-1955, child prodigy from Nasik, disciple of Vinayakrao Patwardhan)
Abdul Rashid Khan - oldest exponent of the gharana, disciple of Chhote Yusuf Khan. Bharat bhushan (2013) and Sangeet Natak Akademi (2009) awardee.
Malini Rajurkar - disciple of Vasantrao Rajurkar, acknowledged master of Tappa and Tarana, Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee (2001).
Pandit Vinayak Torvi - disciple of Pandit Gururao Deshpande, also influenced by Kirana, Agra and Jaipur gharanas.
Veena Sahasrabuddhe - also influenced by Jaipur and Kirana gharanas.
Ghulam Hassan Shaggan (1928-2015)- renowned khayal singer, disciple of his own father Ustad Bhai Lal Muhammad, Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) awarded in 2000 from the Government of Pakistan.
Shashwati Mandal Paul
Arman Khan (1988–present) - After Sadarang son of Niyamat Khan belongs to the family of Tansen's daughter, is musical composer & one of the finest lyricist of Gwalior Gharana.
Ustad ShahJahan Khan - (1990–present), versatile singer/artist and brother of Arman Khan, did research work on Eastern, Western, Classical & Modern Singing styles.He introduced & brought Qawwali singing, for the very first time in this Gharana.
Dr. Ashok Huggannanavar -Hails from a village yeraguppi near Hubli ,currently HOD in SDM College Honnavar,UttarKannada.Deciple of Sangameshwar gurav and Basavaraj Rajguru.He is a renowned singer noted for his unique voice and style of singing.
Muslim Hassan Shaggan - grandson and disciple of Ghulam Hassan Shaggan.
Vasundhara Komkali - wife of Kumar Gandharva and a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri.