Indian classical music has evolved over the centuries, and its many diverse forms reflect the great diversity of the sub-continent of India. Hindustani classical music is traditionally practice-oriented, and learned without formal notation through the traditional “guru-shishya” or teacher-student tradition. Khyal is a modern genre of Hindustani classical singing in North India. Khyal’s name comes from the Arabic word meaning “imagination,” as each singer adds his or her own style to each melodic line—known as a raga—to make it his or her own.
Ved Sheth was born in Chicago in 2000 but moved to India with his family as a boy, where he started learning the basics of Indian classical music at the age of five. Even at this young age, his sense of beat and tune were innate and exceptional. At seven, he participated in and made it to the third round of “Indian Idols for Juniors,” even though he was underage. In 2012, Ved moved back to the United States, settling in Northern Virginia. There, Ved began studying with master Hindustani musician, Humayan Khan, in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, continuing his own mastery of a tradition important to the vibrant South Asian community of Northern Virginia.