Friday, 24 August 2012

Little known facts of Hyderabad: Music bands of Nizam's Dominion

By Syed Akbar

The British had its own music band mostly played at the Residency,
the present day Women’s College in Kothi, before visiting European
dignitaries and the city nobles

The Nizams had a special department of music and arts. The Indian
unit had 108 employees on its rolls including great musicians like
Pandit Maniram, Pandit Motiram, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Begum
Akthar. The highest salary offered was Rs 50 a month. The eminent
musicians got special allowance for each appearance additionally.

The Nizam VI, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, encouraged a special English
music band of his own (String Band), in addition to the one employed
by the British Residency. Eminent German musician Joseph Henry
Luschwitz was the Director of Music to the Nizam government. His son,
Charles Henry Luschwitz, succeeded him.

Mir Turab Ali Khan, Salar Jung I, prime minister to Mir Mahboob Ali
Khan, during one of his European tours invited Joseph Luschwitz to
Hyderabad. Luschwitz was then performing in Vienna and the Salar Jung
I was impressed by his music. He was a first a band master in the
Nizam’s String Band and then elevated to the status of Director of
Music by the Nizam VI.

Luschwitz accepted the invite and started a band for the Hyderabad
Dominion. He settled down in Hyderabad. Two of his three children (two
out of first marriage and one out of second marriage), were born in
the city. They were baptized at St Joseph’s Church.

He reportedly served as a band master to the second Balouchi
regiment before settling down in Hyderabad.

Nawab Asman Jah Bahadur, a Paigah noble and brother-in-law of Mir
Mahboob Ali Khan, too used to host English music band at the now
demolished Basheerbagh Palace. The Nizam and visiting European
dignitaries were his guests. The band used to play on special
occasions like the birthday of the ruler.

Falaknuma Palace boasts of a mechanical organ, said to be the
largest in the world. Piped music was played to the guests during
banquets and special occasions.

The Hyderabad military band too used to play special western
classical music. It had a Scottish bagpiper unit too.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Syed Akbar, I am keen to find out where you got the information about Joseph Henry Luschwitz (my g-g-father) being invited to Hyderabad by Salar Jung. My records show he was Bandmaster of the 2nd Balouchi Regt in Karachi in 1858 and then moved to Hyderabad...I would be happy to hear your views. Kerry Edwards

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