Hindustani Vocal (Dhrupad)
Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music, said to be
the oldest still in use in that musical tradition. Its name is
derived from the words dhruva and pada (verse), where a part of the
poem (dhruva) is used as a refrain. The term may denote both the
verse form of the poetry and the style in which it is sung.
Dhrupad as we know it today is performed by a solo singer or a small number of singers in unison to the beat of the pakhavaj or mridang rather than the tabla. The vocalist is usually accompanied by two tanpuras, the players sitting close behind, with the percussionist at the right of the vocalist.
Traditionally the primary instrument used for dhrupad has been the Rudra Veena, but the surbahar and the sursringar have also long been used for this music. Like all Indian classical music, dhrupad is modal and monophonic, with a single melodic line and no chord progression.
Dhrupad is therefore a form of music that is meant to bring the mind to a peaceful, meditative state. It's an ancient science of sound and music that aim to develop human consciousness and the corresponding nervous system. It is the original form of Indian classical music and has been retained in its pure form to date by traditions of masters. Hence, it also forms a major part of the Indian cultural heritage. Like other great sciences of old India, as for instance Yoga or Ayurveda, it is a powerful tool for life improvement.