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Dhrupad singing uses subtle variations of pitch and colour through methods derived from yogic and spiritual practices which alter the resonance of the body by influencing the flow of energy in channels called nadis. The use of these methods is built into the basic gramar and structure of the music and lend Dhrupad a deeply contemplative and spiritual character which is independent of the content of the song texts. The changes of pitch and resonance used in the singing are actually used to establish subtle relations between notes. The establishing of such hidden relations between notes is also called samvad - a concept that is difficult to translate. Samvad is not the Western concept of consonance though that word has often been used to describe it. It can be more accurately called one note emerging from another or a note looking at another note or a subtle hidden harmony between notes.. Because of this method of establishing subtle relations between notes thorugh subtle changes of pitch and colouration Dhrupad singing can delve deeply into the subtle aspects of Ragas - the melody models which form the basis of Indian classical music.


Here in this recording of Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar (1927 -2011) one of the most knowledgeable and respected Dhrupad singers of the 20th century singing compositions in Ragas Kedar and Hameer in the Dhamar Tala with 14 beats. Fahimuddin Dagar Kedar Hameer

Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar
Shankarrao Shinde Apegaonkar




As in his composition in Kambhoji the song texts or compositions of Dhrupad are mostly in praise of Gods, but can also be of a philosophical or historical nature telling about events or great personalities saints or the royal patrons of the composer. However Dhrupad compositions in the 14 beat Dhamar Tala are always about Lord Krishna.





This Recording of Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar of a composition in Raga Kambhoji in chowtal (12 beats) based on a poem of Ras Khan illustrates the concepts of Sam, Bisam, Ateet and Anaghat the different ways of coming the the first beat in rhythmical improvisations. Ras Khan was a 16th century mystic a muslim devotee of Krishna who is known for his devotional poetry in Brajbhasha the dialect of the Mathura Vrindavan region. Aminuddin Dagar Kambhoji


anjaliarts traditional music from India
















ASHISH SANKRITYAYAN: Dhrupad Raga Miya Ki Malhar


ASHISH SANKRITYAYAN: Dhrupad Ragas Yaman, Malkauns, Lalit - DVD




Dhrupad Ancient Indian Meditative Singing



The oldest surviving form of Indian Classical Music, Dhrupad originated from the chantings of the sacred vedas. From these melodically simple chants, that however used a very complex and subtle inner dynamics of sound, evolved this classical performing art under the patronage of temples and royal courts.

Dhrupad can be seen at different levels as a meditation, a mantric recitation, a worship, a yoga based on the knowledge of the nadis and chakras and also purely as a performing art portraying a universe of human emotions. Dhrupad can be described as slow, majestic, meditative - a contemplation and exploration of the subtle depths of Ragas. It seeks to uplift and energize but not necessarily entertain.

Ashish Sankrityayan Dhrupad accompanied on pakhawaj by Udhav Shinde




ASHISH SANKRITYAYAN: Dhrupad - Ragas Abhogi, Lalit