Dhrupad Music - UPSC Notes

Dhrupad is a part of the Hindustani classical music, which thrived under Mughals and Rajputs. The composition of Dhrupad is purely spiritual and divine. The music form tries to induce peace in the listener’s mind through the Nadas.

Students preparing for competitive exams should know that Dhrupad music was previously limited to temples. However, the singer had to face the Lord or idol.

With time the chants or worship form developed into a music genre. The following article discusses the said topic to help students answer the Dhrupad music UPSC questions confidently.

IAS aspirants must learn in detail about the Hindustani Classical Music, an important topic for UPSC prelims and other competitive exams at the linked article.

The related articles that an aspirant can read are linked below:

Classical Dances of India

Folk Dances of India

Mural Painting In India

Tribal Paintings of India

Puppetry in India

Folk Music in India

What is Dhrupad Music?

Dhrupad is primarily a form of chant or worship where a singer offers prayer to the Lord through Nada or sounds.

Dhrupad music emphasizes the purity of Raga through sounds. Ideally, sung in Sanskrit, the language of this music form changed to Brij Bhasha in the middle of 12th-16th century.

The origin of this devotional music form traces back to the ancient text Sam Veda. This book was chanted using rhythm and melody called Samgana. Vocal styles like Prabandha and Chhanda developed from the same.

These vocal forms had a strong metre and verse, leading to the advent of Dhrupad.

Essential Facts about Dhrupad Classical Music

  • Dhrupad form was primarily prevalent under the Mughal and Rajput kings’ patronage. The popularity of Khayal led to its decline.
  • Dhrupad uses the compositional forms of Dhrupad and Dhamar. 
  • Ideally, Dhrupad music has four sections where only two forms, Bandish and Alap, are in practice today.
  • One can improvise the composition in Dhrupad to present integrity with commitment.
  • The singer adds texture to the notes in Alap using syllables from Sanskrit Mantra.
  • Ustad Faiyaz Hussain Khan is known to contribute to the Indian music scene with Dhrupad compositions in the 20th century.
  • In Dhrupad music, Raga develops methodically and smoothly like a meditation.
  • Bandish, Gat or Cheez is a fixed composition in the Hindustani vocal that has a specific set of Ragas. This music form is performed with pakhawaj, table, sarangi, harmonium or a violin.
  • According to the Hindu, Tansen composed Kalpadruma, containing nearly 300 Dhrupads in Gauhar Bani.
  • Abul Fazl records in Ain-i-Akbari that Akbar gifted Tansen Rs 2 lakhs for his performance. Tansen has composed many Dhrupads on Shiva, Rama, Parvati and Ganesha.
  • The doyen of Dhrupad Music and Hindustani classical Damodar Hota passed away on 7th February 2022.
  • The Dhrupad Sansthan in Gwalior was managed by the two gurus, Ramakant and Akhilesh Gundecha. UNESCO’s cultural heritage committee has accredited this institute.
  • Padma Shri awardee and Dhrupad guru Ramakant Gundecha passed away in 2019, leaving behind a legacy.

Hopefully, this article will help students answer Dhrupad music IAS questions confidently. They can refer to educational portals for detailed information on the said topic.

Keeping a tab over news reports will help UPSC 2022 aspirants find details on Dhrupad performances and singers.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

Visit BYJU’S for the latest competitive exam updates, study material and preparation tips.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Dhrupad Music


Are Dhrupad and Khayal similar?

No, Dhrupad and Khayal are part of Hindustani classical music. They have different notes and purposes. Dhrupad sings praises of the Lord. Khyal is related to romantic poetry and offers freedom of expression.


Which instruments compliment Dhrupad?

Pakhawaj and Tanpura compliment Dhrupad music. These instruments complemented the music as they praised the Lord and his divinity.


Which talas compliment Dhrupad singing?

Dhrupad singers use different talas like Sooltala, Teevra, Chautala, Matta, Rudra Tala and Brahma.


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