The Dagar brothers (डागर बन्धु)

The Senior Dagar Brothers (डागर बन्धु)

Senior Dagar Brothers (डागर बन्धु)

The Dagar brothers are said to be 19th generation of the unbroken Dagar family dhrupad tradition. The two elder sons of Ustad Nasiruddin Khan, Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar and Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar are popularly known as the senior Dagar Brothers( see the family tree). Nasir Moinuddin Dagar(May 12,1921 – 1966) was born in Alwar, Rajasthan and his brother Nasir Aminuddin Dagar (October 20, 1923 – 2000) was born in Indore two years later. Ustad Nasiruddin Khan was then the court singer of Tukoji Rao Holkar, the Maharaja of Indore.

The senior dagar brothers were trained by Ustad Nasiruddin Khan in the family tradition. Despite their father’s early demise, they recieved over 10 years of rigorous training with him. After their father’s passing on, they were also influenced by their maternal uncle Ustad Riazuddin Khan Dagar of Jaipur and then Ustad Ziauddin Khan Dagar of Udaipur.

An early Dagar brothers recording.

The senior Dagar Brothers contributed significantly to reviving dhrupad in the 1960s. Their dhrupad vocals jugalbandhi (duet) gained wide acclaim and following, particularly in Europe. 1961 onwards they toured Europe, and provided dhrupad with the much needed spotlight. Alan Daniélou was instrumental in organizing their initial international tour to Europe. Due to his efforts, the UNESCO has continued to highlight dhrupad with performances, and recordings.

By the time of Nasir Moinuddin Dagar’s demise in 24th May, 1966, Dhrupad had regained a lot of its lost following. The brothers also worked in Sriram Bharatia Kala Kendra between 1956 and 1961, composing music for acclaimed ballets like Malati Madhav, Kumar Sambhav and Shan-E-Oudh. They also trained several dhrupad singers including their younger brothers, who continued the tradition as the (junior) Dagar brothers.

Ustad Nasir Aminuddin continued to teach at the Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar Dhrupad Sangit Ashram in 1975 and gave free training to deserving disciples. Ustad Nasir Aminuddin passed away on 28th, December 2000. He received many awards including, Sangeeth Natak Academy award in 1985, Padma Bhushan in 1986 and Tansen award in 1990.

Please see the dhrupad recordings page for an incomplete discography.

The Junior Dagar Brothers (कनिष्ठ डागर बन्धु )

Ustad Nasir Zahiruddin and Ustad Nasir Faiyazuddin Dagar

The Junior Dagar Brothers Ustad Nasir Zahiruddin (1933-1994) and Ustad Nasir Faiyazuddin(1934-1989) were born in Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Their father and the great vocalist Ustad Nasiruddin Khan died in 1936, consequently they learned dhrupad from their elder brothers, the senior Dagar Brothers, Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar and Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar.

Their musical career unfolded in Delhi. After the untimely demise of Ustad nasir Moinuddin Dagar at Calcutta in 1967 they became the only pair carrying on the jugalbandi singing.Dagar Brothers played a very important role in the revival of Dhrupad tradition, carrying forward the great work done by their elder brothers. They took dhrupad to Europe and America and Japan. In India they formed the Dhrupad Society to popularise dhrupad inviting all gharanas exponents to share their platform. They also trained many students including Ustad Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar, the son of Nasir Faiyazuddin Dagar who is keeping the family tradition alive along with other dagarvani exponents.

The Dagar Brothers are well recorded abroad (France and Japan and Austria) as well as in India. The Dagar Brothers Memorial Trust also continues to publish recordings from their private collection. See the dhrupad recordings page for an incomplete list.

Dagar brothers in concert.

बंसीधर पिनाकधर गिरीधर गंगाधर, मुकुटधर जटाधर हो हो श्री हरिहर ।
सुधाधर विषधर धरणीधर शेषधर, गोपीधर गौरीधर नरहर शिव शंकर ।।

Traditional Raga Multani attributed variously to Baiju, and Tansen.