Hidayat Inayat-Khan - Composer

Hidayat Inayat-Khan

Hidayat Inayat-Khan (August 6, 1917 - September 12, 2016), was a Murshid, or Sufi teacher, as well as a musical treasure for Western formal music. He composed a great variety of music as well as numerous musical settings for the performance of Sufi spiritual practices. For more than twenty years I had the privilege of performing and/or producing the recordings of this body of work with Hidayat. This album, as the title suggests, is a collection of his symphonies.

Jelaluddin Gary Sill

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with Aziza and Hidayat Inayat-Khan

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Hidayat Inayat-Khan's music is a search for a combination of oriental raga systems and occidental polyphonic structures that follow as much as possible the basic principles of western music analysis while adding the enchanting flavour of oriental raga. His music is a formulation of the emotions; a ‘tuning of the heart’.

Here is an explanation of what he meant by "Raga"

Hidayat Inayat-Khan
from "Documentation of Symphonic Works and Chamber Music (2013)"

"The term Raga, which is generally translated as ‘Melodic Formula’, is much more complex than just a specific mode, as usually expressed in Western music, but the true meaning of the word Raga is really ‘Emotion’. The structure of a Raga is immutable, as opposed to western harmonic systems, which are modulative. A raga stands for a group of notes produced for the purpose of invoking a particular state of mind, which can be explained as being the ‘Tuning of the Heart’.

A Raga consists of a group of notes, which are distinguishable from each other by the way that the intervals are structures between the ascending and the descending notes, placed within the unfoldment of the melodic line.
Classical treatise describes numberless types of Ragas whereby the principles ones consist of five, six or seven notes. All notes, other than those of the scale, which are not compromised in a Raga, are called Sandavi, meaning dissonant tones, because they do not fit within the pattern of the chosen group of notes.

Within these groups of notes called Ragas, there is a dominant note and a consonant note, which are repeatedly heard during the entire performance, and the magic effect created through the enchanting intermingling of the dominant and the consonant, together with an appropriate rhythmic pattern, emphasises the characteristics of a chosen quality, creating thereby a specific meditative atmosphere."

Hidayat Inayat-Khan, Lake O'Hara, 1980

Available as Download and Physical CD


a double CD set

the symphonies of
Hidayat Inayat-Khan

The “Cherag’s Procession” is a composition by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan that is often used as a start to the Sufi Universal Worship ceremony.
  1. Cherag's Procession

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© 2019 J. Gary Sill | Vancouver, Canada