Sun Temple, KonarkIndian MonumentsCultural IndiaCulture in India
Cultural India
Tansen was a brilliant musician in the 16th century. Know his life history in this biography of Mian Tansen.


Considered as the greatest musician in India, Tansen (1506 - 1589) is instrumental in the creation of the classical music that dominates the north of India. He was considered as one of the Navaratnas (Nine Gems) in the court of Emperor Akbar. Tansen was born in a Hindu family in a place called Gwalior located in Madhya Pradesh. His father was a famous poet by the name of Mukund Mishra. Tansen was named Tannu Mishra when he was born. To know more about the fascinating life history of this great musician, go through this biography of Mian Tansen.

He received the prefix "Mian" from Emperor Akbar. As a young boy, Tansen learnt music from his Guru, Shri Haridas Swamy. He was considered to be a legendary teacher of that time. It is said that Tansen has no equal apart from his teacher. Such was his passion for music that he is said to have performed astonishing miracles merely by singing. He could bring rain by singing in a particular Raag known as Megh Malhar. Similarly he could start a fire by singing in Raag Deepak. He has also composed several Ragas that have been the foundation of classical music like Bhairav, Darbari Todi, Darbari Kanada, Malhar, Sarang and Rageshwari.

There is no particular evidence of the origin of each and every school of music. Since he is the greatest musician, every school of music tries to trace its origin from him. The Dhrupad style of music is likely to have been started by him and his Guru. Some of his important works on music are the Rajmala and Sangeet Sara. Such was the power of his music that when he used to sing in the court of Akbar, candles used to light up automatically. Even today, Tansen is considered to be the greatest of all and there is no comparison when it comes to his style of singing. His contribution to the world of music is priceless and is still worshipped by leading singers and composers of the world.