(Last Updated on : 18/10/2014)
Features of Dhrupad
(ancient type of classical singing of India) make apparent the sophistication, balance and refinement of North Indian style of Classical Music
. The term Dhrupad is derived from two words, Dhruva meaning 'structured, fixed or rigid' and Pada means 'word or syllable'. It belongs to the Gana category of classical music and as such manifests both the Anibaddha as well as the Nibaddha aspects of Gana. The main features of Dhrupad are as follows:
Usage of Svaras in Dhrupad:
The most distinctive quality of Dhrupad lies in the beauty and the elegance with which it uses the Svaras. The Raaga
is rendered here in its purest form. No mixing of other Raagas is permitted in Dhrupad as is the case with other more recent styles like Khayal
Tala or rhythm in Dhrupad:
Another characteristic feature typical to the Dhrupad is its Tala or rhythm. A Dhrupad singer is required, to have perfect control over the Tala. In earlier times, there were Dhrupads in which a singer had to follow a different Tala in each line. The first line for instance may be in Cautala which contained twelve Matras (beats) while the very next line may be in Jhapatala which contains ten Matras. Rendition of such a composition was obviously extremely difficult. Thus, it is seen that most of present day's Dhrupad singers select only those Dhrupads for demonstration which have a uniform Tala in all the lines.
Poetic and Literary Content in Dhrupad:
An outstanding characteristic of the Dhrupad is its poetic and literary content. This is perhaps the only musical form where the poetic qualities are held to be just as important as the melody. In Khayal, the poetic quality and the literary content are not nearly as important as in Dhrupad. The Dhrupad thus represents a unique balance of Svara, Tala and Pada.
Laya in Dhrupad:
Another attribute of Dhrupad lies in the complexity of its Laya
(tempo) which requires the singer to demonstrate a high degree of sophistication in changing the tempo. This feature of Dhrupad can be said to be its essence. It comes as a legacy from the Gitis
of even more ancient times.