Ali Akbar Khan and his family, and in particular his father Sri Baba Allauddin Khansahib, have created vast written, recorded, and oral records of music in their tradition known as the Sri Baba Allauddin Seni Gharana of Rampur and Maihar, India. On June 14th 1994, The Ali Akbar Khan Foundation was created in order to fund the Baba Allauddin Institute, a library and archive to preserve and make available these materials to future generations. The oldest reel to reel tapes of performances in the collection have already been preserved on new master tapes.
In old times, there were no written records of music notation in India, only the words of the songs. After learning Western classical music notation when he was young, Baba Allauddin Khan created the first written notation of Indian music. He also went on to invent orchestral compositions in classical ragas with harmony, which was new to India. The Institute is currently scanning and printing copies of over 100 composition books of Baba Allauddin Khan which were brought over from his home in Maihar, India. They are simultaneously being transcribed, cataloged and translated into English by one of Khansahib’s senior disciples, Smt. Sisirkana Dhar Choudhury. Khansahib’s wife, Mary, his sons, Alam and Manik and his secretary, Karuna Davy, are all actively working on the archives. This project alone encompasses over 10,000 compositions from the 16th through the 20th century including; 360 different exercises for voice and instruments, old traditional–and Baba Allauddin’s own–compositions in Tantrakaru style, songs in dhrupad style and old taranas, and a great variety of talas (rhythm cycles). All of the materials are quite rare and much of it is in a state of continuous physical deterioration, so financial help is needed urgently if the Institute is to succeed in preserving this music for future generations.