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Dhrupad is the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music

Ragas are soliloquies and meditations, passionate melodies that draw circles and triangles in a mental space, a geometry of sounds that can turn a room into a fountain, a spring, a pool."

By Octavio Paz

Dhrupad is the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music that has survived until today in its original form. The Dhrupad tradition is a major heritage of Indian culture.

The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual. Seeking not to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and contemplation in the listener. The word Dhrupad is derived from DHRUVA the steadfast evening star that moves through our galaxy and PADA meaning poetry. It is a form of devotional music that traces its origin to the ancient text of Sam Veda. The SAM VEDA was chanted with the help of melody and rhythm called Samgana. Gradually this developed into other vocal style called ’Chhanda’ and ’Prabandha’ with introduction of verse and meter. The fusion of these two elements led to the emergence of Dhrupad.

By the eleventh Century Dhrupad music had crystallised into a perfect form which has retained its original structure and purity through to the present day. One significant characteristic of Dhrupad is the emphasis on maintaining purity of the Ragas and the Swaras. According to some accounts, Dhrupad was sung in the temples, the singer facing the divinity. From this early chanting, Dhrupad evolved into a sophisticated classical form of music.

 

The language of Dhrupad changed from Sanskrit Brij Bhasha some time between the 12th and the 16th century. About six centuries ago, Dhrupad came to be patronised by the royal courts and its complex rendering became intended for highly sophisticated royal audiences. The compositions became more secular. Some were written in praise of the emperors; others elaborated on music itself. However the pristine nature of Dhrupad survived and even today we hear this majestic form of music performed like it was more that 500 years ago in the royal courts of the emperors and kings of India.

06/06/2011 09:32. plotino #. INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC

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plotino

gravatar.comMichael

Hi, came across your blog in a Dylan related google search. Did you write the poetry in this post? I see we share a love for the work of LC also. Cheers,

Fecha: 30/11/2011 19:08.


Richard

You know, my brother Geoffrey was a great student of the druphad style. He held it such high esteem, and worked so much in his music to immerse himself in it, that he told me "I don't care what 'they' want, as far as fast playing and 'tricks'. the heart of Hindustani music beat with druhpad.

Fecha: 04/01/2012 00:57.


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