10 Legendary Indian Musicians Who Changed The Face Of Indian Music

Posted at April 5th, 2016 | by Shivani Goel | in Bollywood, Entertainment, Featured, Music

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”  ― Nietzsche

Music is the one thing that binds the world and India has it’s fair share of legendary musicians. Here are 10 classic maestros who you must know about if you don’t already.


Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)

Tagore was an iconic figure for a lot of things and one of his many talents is being a brilliant musician. He has over 2,230 compositions to his credit and he had created his songs entirely on his own and from scratch. His music is diverse and Rabindrasangeet is almost a genre on it’s own.

Pt. Ravi Shankar (1920 – 2012)

Pandit Ravi Shankar made a vast impact including audiences all across the world. Some of his most ardent followers and students were The Beatles and The Byrds. George Harrison in particular religiously followed his teachings. His accolades were numerous including the Bharat Ratna and 3 Grammy Awards. See his music moving the crowd at a festival in California in the 60’s.


Lata Mangeshkar (1929)

Lata Mangeshkar‘s melodious voice has been revered for decades now. Very few singers have such range in their voices and she’s one of the rare vocalists to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Her songs are still covered by new musicians, check out one of her most iconic tracks ‘Lag Jaa Gale‘.

Mohammad Rafi (1924 – 1980)

Bollywood wouldn’t have been the same without Mohammad Rafi. His music enhanced the movies and captured the nuances of the scenes. His iconic song ‘Gulabi Aankhein‘ is still covered and played by many musicians.

Hariprasad Chaurasiya (1938)

Hariprasad Chaurasiya is a flautist of unparalleled brilliance. He’s received a Padma Vibushan and a Padma Shree and creates magic with his flute. Check out this bewitching ‘Song of the River‘.

Zakir Hussain (1951)

Ustad Zakir Hussain is the youngest percussionist to receive a Padma Bhushan and a Padma Shree. This maestro weaves magic with his tabla and can put a beat to every millisecond. His performances are riveting.


Bismillah Khan (1913 – 2006)

Bismillah Khan is a spectacular shehnai player and grasped the essence of the culture of India through his music. He’s received a Bharat Ratna and a Padma Vibhushan as well. Check out this clip below, you’ll be able to recognize excerpts in current Bollywood songs.

A. R. Rahman (1987)

Rahman is a living legend and probably the most popular name in Indian music at the moment. He’s internationally recognized and has done collaborations with foreign artists. He’s won ever accolade in the book including a Padma Bhushan and 2 Grammys. It’s difficult to pick one song of his, but this Shahrukh Khan track is iconic.

R. D. Burman (1939 – 1994)

Burman was the man who brought western tunes to the Indian film industry and also experimented with many other genres. He worked outside the box, made his own niche and is still a major influence in the industry.


Mian Tansen (1506 – 1589)

Tansen was one of the 9 jewels (navratnas) of Akbar‘s court. He’s considered a pioneer of classical Indian music and his ragas are still an important part of Indian culture. In many of them he prefixed “mian ki”. Check out Shivkumar Sharma’s rendition of the raga, “Mian ki Malhar”.

Shivani Goel

मुख्य लेखिका


Psy Legends Vini Vici Are Coming To India This November

Psychedelic Trance dignitary Vini Vici are planning an India tour later thi ...

20 Night Clubs In India That You Need To Party At

There are very little things that may beat going out partying that would ma ...

One Republic Are Coming To India Next Month

One of the greatest Pop-Rock bands of our time are hitting up India next mo ...

10 Night Clubs In Mumbai That You Must Party At

Not every soul would agree but Mumbai is the most exquisite city when it co ...

Troyboi Is Coming Back For An India Tour This Month

It seems like Troyboi will be coming back for more after his debut India to ...

Cafés In Mumbai That Won't Burn A Hole In Your Pocket

Mumbai is yuuge and as a result there are loads and loads of quirky and min ...


Two New Anisha Singles Hit The Spot

Anisha Uppal, who likes to go by her first name, is a New Delhi bas ...

Thomas Rett No. 1 on Billboard 200 Yet Again

Country singer Thomas Rhett is atop the charts once again, as he do ...

Chris Brown Drops A Banging Single With Drake

Chris Brown and Drake have buried the hatchet, it seems and collaborated on ...

R&B Hitmaker Jai Paul Returns With New Music

Jai Paul was missing from the scene for six long years after becoming a fab ...

Future Releases New EP, "Save ME"

Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn known professionally as Future, is an Ame ...

GoldLink Teams Up With Tyler The Creator Before Album Launch

GoldLink's new album, titled Diaspora is due to be released on 12th ...

Find Events

In your city, in your neighbourhood. Coming soon.

What’s Trending

What trends never ends.


Follow Us on Insta for #GVOStuff