One of the leading exponents in Indian vocals in the dhrupad tradition, one of the oldest existing form of North Indian classical music, and the 19’th generation of Dagar family of musicians passed away at the age of 78 on 30th of July.
Ustad Sayeeduddin came from a long, unbroken lineage of Dhrupad singers. The legend is that Swami Haridas Dagar (also famous as the Guru of Mian Tansen) was so happy with his disciple that he bestowed his own name, Dagar, upon him.
This disciple was the first of 19 direct descendants of the lineage to which Ustad Sayeeduddin belonged. Later, during Aurangzeb’s time, the family, like many others, had to convert to Islam under threat of persecution and death. In fact, as singing itself was not allowed, they had to modify the alaap by breaking it down to individual sounds – that is their style to this day.
Ustad Sayeeduddin also experienced the pain of partition wherein his ancestral books were taken from his family.
Many of the politicians including the Prime Minister and the President of India tweeted in grief and honour of his passing away. India lost one of its precious vocal instrument and offers gratitude towards the Ustad for his eminent talent, prestige and devotion towards the music and the nation.