Indian music in general and Hindustani classical music in particular is a seamless journey. The musical repertoire is often passed from generation to generation within the family as well as to chosen disciples, within the school of music, called Gharanas. Musicians often amalgamate their learning from the gurus, components from other gharanas, and their own creative inputs to develop what becomes their own distinct individual style, while following not just the rules of ragas but also the traditions of their gharanas.
Time, hence, is an important component of the musical evolution. A broad idea about the times of great masters—when they lived, learned, performed and trained—surely helps appreciate the finance nuances of Hindustani music. This helps the discerning listener to spot trends—how the styles have evolved over years—as well as have a perspective on how different musicians have influenced each other.
Presented here is a simple chart that shows when exactly did the great masters of modern times—the later part of 19th century to today—lived, in comparison to each other. The visual will help understand who was a contemporary of whom, while the colors denote the gharanas to which they belong.
Will appreciate if you point out any major name that I have missed. Please note that, to keep it manageable, I have done this for only the vocalists. I have also included top Thumri singers.