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  • Ahmed Jan Thirakwa Khan was an Indian tabla player, commonly considered the preeminent soloist among tabla players of the 20th century, and among the most influential percussionists in the history of Indian classical music. He was known for his mastery of the fingering techniques and aesthetic values of various tabla styles, technical virtuosity, formidable stage presence, and soulful musicality. While he had command over the traditional tabla repertoire of various gharanas, he was also distinguished by the way in which he brought together these diverse compositions, his reinterpretation of traditional methods of improvisation, and his own compositions. His solo recitals were of the first to elevate the art of playing tabla solo to an art in its own right in the popular mind. His style of playing influenced many generations of tabla players. Thirakwa Khan-sahib was born to a family of musicians in 1874 [this year of birth is contested by a number of scholars and students of Hindustani classical music; e.g., Kumarprasad Mukhopadhyay in his "Kudrat Rangibirangi"] in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India.

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