Indian Music Discographies


North Indian Classical Vocal Music of the 78 rpm era

Rajeev Patke's Music Page




'Must Listen' List




Music is an art that lives and dies in time, unless preserved by human memory or by technological reproduction. The recorded music of India, especially that recorded in the 78rpm format during the first five decades of the twentieth century, presents a fascinating encounter between technology and music. On the one hand, records were an enabling medium in which music could be circulated and preserved. On the other hand, the limits of that technology - just over 3 minutes to a side in an ordinary 10-inch 78rpm disc (only slightly more in the 12-inch format) - presented musicians with a challenge that was all the more difficult given the innate improvisatory nature of Indian music. The vocalists took on the challenge and availed of the opportunity in a manner that constitutes one of the most remarkable achievements of musical culture at the interface between technology and creativity. We are lucky to have a huge corpus of recordings that date back to the beginnings of the twentieth century. Michael Kinnear reports, “by mid 1908, it is estimated that there was upwards of 10,000 different recordings of the various styles of Indian music on the market” (The Gramophone Company’s First Indian Recordings, 1899-1908, Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1994, p.29), and in 2000, commemorating one hundred years of recording technology, Suresh Chandvankar estimates that the total number of gramophone records issued in India would amount to about half a million, each with 500 to a few hundred thousand copies (The Record News, 2000, p.99). A large portion of this corpus remains unheard by, and inaccessible to, contemporary audiences.

This current project is a way of honoring this cultural achievement by helping the dissemination of knowledge about it to a wider listening audience.




Representative Sound Clips

Brief excerpts in MP3 format are provided in order to give listeners an idea of what musicians achieved within the limits of the 78rpm format. The sound is rough, but the interest of the music almost transcends the mere sound - if one can accept the paradox.




Male Vocalists


Female Vocalists

Abdul Karim Khan
Amir Khan 19jan07   
Ashiq Ali Khan 16feb07  
Azmat Hussain Khan
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
Bal Gandharva  9june05    
Bapurao Pendharkar
Basavraj Rajguru 3aug05
Bhimsen Joshi
D.V. Paluskar 9may06  
Faiyyaz Khan 
Inayat Khan R. Pathan 22nov05
Janendra Prasad Goswami 9may06 
Khadim Hussain Khan
Latafat Hussain Khan
Krishna Shankar Pandit 25april06  
Kumar Gandharva
Mallikarjun Mansur 7oct05
Manohar Barwe 22may06
Master Krishnarao
Moujuddin Khan 15may06
Mushtaq Hussain Khan 30june06
Narayanrao Vyas
Nazakat Ali Khan / Salamat Ali Khan
Nissar Hussain Khan
Omkarnath Thakur
Ramkrishnabua Vaze
Rahimat Khan
Sawai Gandharva
S.N.Ratanjankar 14oct05
Sureshbabu Mane
Vilayat Hussain Khan
Vinayakrao Patwardhan
       K.L. Saigal
Azambai of Kolhapur
Begum Akhtar
Gangubai Hangal 14nov05
Gauhar Jan
Goharbai of Bijapur  
Hirabai Badodekar 13Mar12
Indira Wadkar 19oct05
Jankibai of Allahabad
Kesarbai Kerkar
Laxmibai Jadhav 3july06
Mehbubjan of Junagad
Mehbubjan of Sholapur
Miss Angurbala 6sept05
Miss Indubala
Miss Kamla Jharia 10oct05
Mogubai Kurdikar
Rasulanbai of Benares 27may05
Roshan Ara Begum
Saraswati Rane  12jan07
Siddeshwari Devi
Sundrabai of Pune
Sushila Tembe
Vocalists of the first decade
Zohrabai "Agrewali" 27may05
Malika Pukhraj

The BROADCAST label (1930s-40s)

Music Books: Review 1

Music Books: Review 2



Additional Sound Files

The following recordings are a selection from the now defunct BROADCAST record label. They date from 1933-38, and are now in the public realm. Many of these musicians are scarcely remembered today. The short selections should give an idea of the wealth of music that is buried in such old catalogues.

Mallikarjun Mansur, Multani (Y2136a) (c.1936)    ●MP3 excerpt

Mallikarjun Mansur, Khambavati (mislabelled "Basant") (Y2136b) (c.1936)MP3 excerpt

Kesarbai Kerkar, Gauri (BHT-4017a) (1936) MP3 excerpt

Kesarbai Kerkar, Kafi Kanada (BHT-4017b) (1936)  ●MP3 excerpt

Sharif Khan of Gwalior, Malkauns - Tarana (BT2005b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Sharif Khan of Gwalior, Khamaj (BT2098a)   ●MP3 excerpt

Sharif Khan of Gwalior, Yaman Kalyan (BT2098b)  MP3 excerpt

Ragrani Durgabai, Jogiya (B2038b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Ragrani Durgabai, Yaman Kalyan (B2038b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Balram Singh of Gaya, Bhairavi Bhajan (B2050b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Chota Ram Das, Sohni (B2137b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Shanti Lal Desai, Shankara (B2141b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Nathu Bua, Bihag (B2162b [labelled "lalit tritaal"])   ●MP3 excerpt

Nathu Bua, Bageshri (BN2209a)   ●MP3 excerpt

Nathu Bua, Puriya - Tarana (BN2209b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Saraswati Phatarphekar, Chayanat (B2163a)   ●MP3 excerpt

Krishnarao Tendulkar, Hamir (B2178a)    ●MP3 excerpt

Balabai Kale, Tarana (Bihag) (B2197a)   ●MP3 excerpt

Balabai Kale, Adana (B2197b)    ●MP3 excerpt

Siddeshwaribai of Benares, Bhajan (B2368b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Gulab Bai, Bhimpalas (BB2053b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Master Krishnarao, Bageshri (R4010a)   ●MP3 excerpt

 Master Krishnarao, Bhairavi (R4010b)  MP3 excerpt

Rasoolanbai of Benares, Multani ( R4039b)   ●MP3 excerpt

Shankarabai of Hyderabad, Purvi (Broadcast R4047b)   ●MP3 excerpt




Music on the Web

Music India Online

Rajan Parrikar's Web Pages on Music

Music from Pakistan - Sadarang Archives

 MacMoutal's RagPage

Toronto Gharana

ITC Research Academy Archives

Underscore Records

Information on Vocalists Anecdotes Profiles

Musical Nirvana

Steve Schoenherr: A history of recording technology

HMV catalogue of LP/EP records






The information included here is based on the scholarly work of many researchers and enthusiasts, to whom all music lovers are indebted. A huge amount of music was recorded in the 78rpm era, most of it is very competent, and much of it is fine in quality. Yet, to this day, information about how much, and what precisely, was recorded remains fragmentary and difficult to find out. Therefore, a situation has resulted in which even knowledgeable music lovers have an incomplete, inaccurate, or approximate notion of the recordings made by any given musician. These lists are a small contribution towards changing this situation by sharing information about the 78rpm legacy as widely as possible, giving due credit to those who have made the original efforts to prepare lists and discographies.  Special thanks to

Alain Danielou for A Catalogue of Recorded Classical and Traditional Indian Music (Unesco, 1952), 

to Michael Kinnear and his many contributions to the discography of Indian music

and the Society of Indian Record Collectors, based in Bombay, and its journal, The Record News.  The group is doing pioneering work in compiling discographies of Indian music, and in the dissemination of information about the music and musical culture of the 78rpm era. All music lovers owe the SIRC a great debt of gratitude, and are encouraged to contact the SIRC Secretary Suresh Chandvankar at

The site is an ongoing project, hence more or less indefinitely UNDER CONSTRUCTION.




Last updated on 13 March 2012




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