While Dhrupad, which has undergone a revival period over the past century, is now an integral part of all major Indian Music festivals, the senior established performers find performance assignments frequently. However, many young upcoming Dhrupad musicians of excellent caliber and ability find it difficult to find platforms to share their repertoire of Dhrupad music around the country. Dhrupad Sansthan has been organizing 2/3 day Dhrupad Utsavs in various cities to showcase such fine young Dhrupad musicians, along with reputed senior artists as well, to spread and propagate Dhrupad Music as well as to give a platform to young upcoming artists, who having dedicated themselves to the study of the art, have no other source of livelihood. We have already successfully conducted such Dhrupad Utsavs in various cities including Bhopal, Pune, Delhi, Udaipur, Chennai, Vishnupur in association with bodies like Doordarshan, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sangeet Shyamala, Kalakshetra Foundation, Mridang Mandir. We wish to organize more such Dhrupad Utsavs regularly across the country, and eventually, across the world.
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 tradition 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 to 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 wri en 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. The unique feature of Dhrupad music is the glorious and positive secularism it enshrines. Sung by Miya Tansen in the Court of Emperor Akbar, the form was preserved by a Muslim family of Dagars. However, despite their religion, they did not change the compositions or the syllables which represent praise and chant of Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. Classical music in India took a turn towards entertainment with forms like khayal, thumri, dadra and so on and lost its pristine majesty through the Centuries, but the Dagars continued to stay with Dhrupad. The 20th Century members of the Dagar family were amogst the very few practitioners of the Dhrupad form. They took much trouble to make this art known more widely.