Biography of Tansen

Tansen, also known as Miyan Tansen, was one of the most renowned and influential musicians in the history of Indian classical music. He was born in 1493 in a town called Behat near Gwalior, in present-day Madhya Pradesh, India. His real name was Ramtanu Pandey.
Early Life and Musical Training - Royal Patronage and Akbar's Court - Legacy - Musical Style and Contributions of Tansen
Biography of Tansen

Early Life and Musical Training:

Tansen was born into a Hindu family, and his musical talent was evident from a young age. He was a disciple of the famous music teacher Swami Haridas. Later, he became a disciple of the legendary Sufi saint and musician Hazrat Swami Muhammad Ghaus.

Tansen’s Royal Patronage and Akbar’s Court:

Tansen’s exceptional musical abilities gained him widespread fame, and he eventually caught the attention of Emperor Akbar, the Mughal ruler of India. Tansen entered Akbar’s court as a musician and soon became one of the Navaratnas, the nine gems of Akbar’s court.
Tansen’s contributions to Mughal court music were immense. He was not only a talented singer but also a gifted composer and instrumentalist. He played a significant role in the evolution of Hindustani classical music and was credited with creating several new ragas (melodic structures) and compositions.

Musical Style and Contributions of Tansen:

Tansen’s style of singing was characterized by his deep understanding of ragas and his ability to evoke deep emotions through his music. He was known for his mastery over a wide range of ragas and his ability to blend different musical traditions, creating a unique and innovative style.
He also developed the concept of “Raga-Ragini system,” which classified ragas into different families based on their musical structures. This system became fundamental in the development of classical music in North India.


Tansen’s contributions to Indian classical music are immeasurable. His compositions and innovations laid the foundation for modern Hindustani classical music. Many of his compositions are still performed and cherished by musicians today.
Apart from his musical prowess, Tansen was also known for his humility and devotion to his art. His life and legacy continue to inspire generations of musicians, and he remains a revered figure in the history of Indian classical music.