Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music - Informative & researched article on Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Music

 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
Indian Drama & Theatre|Indian Music|Indian Movies|Indian Television
Home > Movies & Entertainment > Indian Music > Indian Music > Indian Classical Music > North Indian Classical Music > Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music
Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music
Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music is of extreme importance. It is through the Guru that the musician acquires the art and knowledge of music and its performance, and the Guru plays a very important role in moulding and developing the student right from his formative years.
 Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music is of utmost importance. He is a central figure in the system of classical music in India and has the most important role to play in the growth and development of the musician as an artist. A musician`s Guru is arranged early on in one`s formative years and he continues to be a decisive figure throughout his lifetime. The student`s connection itself is form the Guru. The Guru conducts the daily regimen of practice and learning, and regulating all facets of the musical growth of the disciple (Shishya).

Earlier, the contact between the Guru and the disciple was even more intimate. The student lived with or near the guru and attended to the needs of the rhythm of his/her household- shopping, cleaning, cooking, and serving whenever called upon. In a ceremony early in the relationship, a thread was tied around the wrist of the student, symbolically binding him or her into a permanent relationship. The student was usually financially dependent on the Guru as well, so the student was not free to come and go at will. The music, of course, was the bond, and assumed a role as language of communication, devotion, and profession. The guru taught the music directly through oral repetition- hear, repeat, practice, repeat, hear again, practice. An entire body of knowledge of Raaga and Taal was accumulated slowly along with the technical abilities which had to be executed with greater and greater refinement and discernment of ear. The student was continually required to prove that he or she was ready for the next step. The Guru`s knowledge was a highly guarded treasure and not just given out at the student`s request. The years of slowly measured progress and refinement developed attitudes of patience, respect, and humility in the student. This is readily apparent in the music.

The teacher is of a musical family implied by the guru-as-the-father (or mother) and is called a Gharana (from ghar, `house`). Another word, Khandan (family) is also heard, but it refers more to the bloodlines and inter-marriages of musical families. The Gharana system also includes the inherited musical style of a teacher including the selection of Raagas, and compositions within them, as well as the choices of how to expand the Raaga in performance. The Gharana system was especially powerful in the old days of aristocratic patronage, where geographic centrality in a Gharana was implicit. Many such Gharanas are known by their court names: Gwalior Gharana, Lucknow Gharana, Patiala Gharana, Rampur Gharana, Maihar Gharana and so on. Others are known by the founding personalities or place of origin: Alladiya Khan (a Khayal singer) Gharana, Imdad Khan (a sitar/surbahar player) Gharana, Kirana Gharana (a village) and so on. Though the old sense of the term Gharana is becoming quite scattered in contemporary urban classical music, the idea still plays an important part in a musician`s life and music, since the bulk of his training will have come through a single guru. He may acknowledge that a given composition he plays is from another Gharana, but he will still render it within the style he learned, using ornaments and expansions particular to his own training.

The student`s attitude, conceptions, and technical prowess is both the product and responsibility of the guru. Thus the Guru-Shishya relationship is not one to be taken lightly as it involves a great commitment from both sides.

(Last Updated on : 11/01/2011)
More Articles in North Indian Classical Music  (27)
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Music
Types of Qawwali
Types of Qawwali songs are categorised according to the singing forms and lyrics.
Punjabi MC
Punjabi MC is a pop singer of Indian origin who has established a distinct position for himself in the world of music. He is originally known as Rajinder Singh Rai.
Drone Music
Drone music is the base note that is provided in the performance of music. According to the principles of Yoga, the steady tone of the drone is said to influence the mind and bring about a state of concentration.
Snare Drum
Snare drum is a double headed cylindrical drum often seen in the symphony orchestra, jazz, and the world of popular music
P. Unnikrishnan
P. Unnikrishnan is one amongst the most sought after Carnatic classical vocalists. Apart from being a National Award winner for playback singing, he is also the life member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum on Indian Music
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Entertainment
Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music - Informative & researched article on Role of Guru in North Indian Classical Music
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.