Mushtaq Ali Khan was born on June 20, 19 11, in Banaras , his father Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan was a renowned Sitar player. When Mushtaq Ali Khan was only five years old he began playing Sitar. On the advice of his father he also learnt playing Pakhawaj from Pandit Ramdev Pande.
In 1929, he started working for Radio programmes. His first appearance in Sangeet Sammelan took place in 1931 in Allahabad . Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1968 and in 1973 he got the title of D.Litt from Rabindra Bharti University . The Indian government appointed him as the Professor Emeritus in Education and the Cultural Ministry and gave fellowship.
His popularity inSitar playing was due to classical purity and traditional playing style. His alaap was a mixture of both Khayaal and Dhrupad. Following the traditional Sitar playing he used only 17 pads of Sitar. He was also a learned musician and teacher. Mushtaq Ali Khan, an eminent Sitar player of Senia Gharana, died on July 20,1989.