Khan is one of India's most distinguished and respected musicians, coming from a lineage that can trace itself back to the court of sixteenth-century Moghul emperor Akbar. Legend has it his family was responsible for inventing the tabla, the sitar and also the surbahar, a bass sitar on which Imrat Khan has become one of the true masters (he also plays sitar). With his brother Vilayat, Imrat developed a style of playing based on the ancient vocal style of druphad called "gayaki ang" -- the style is more austere and disciplined than that of other schools of music in India. Khan can make you laugh or cry at will -- he displays the tiny inflections of pitch and intricacies of conceptualizing a raga that characterize a true master. In a slow surbahar alap section, he'll often play an entire scale on one fret, and you find your emotions directly correlated to the movements of his fingers. Similarly, on faster sections of a composition he can generate intense excitement with his blistering runs, which often leave a listener breathless. While he has carried musical tradition from his ancestors (like his grandfather Imdad), he also provides the world with a new link, what he calls "the Fifty Fingers": himself and his four sons Nishat, Shaffaatullah, Irshad and Wajahat, all excellent rising music stars in the world of Indian music.