Tansen is regarded as the originator of the Govahar Bani. As Tansen was a Gaud Brahmin the Bani came to be known as Gaudiya or Govahar Bani. This Bani is characterized by smooth glides almost linera in character. Its rhythm is slow and renders the feeling of relaxation and peace.
Raja Samokhan Singh is considered as the famous Beenkar. He belonged to Khandar. Thus the style of his dhrupad singing became popular as Khandahar Bani. This Bani is rich is variety. Its gait is majestic and it uses heavy and vigorous Gamakas, expensive of valour.
Dagur Bani is considered to be founded by Braj Chand. He belonged to a place called Dagur. Hence this style became famous by the name of Dagur Bani. Presently only the Dagur Bani has retained its style while other Banis have almost lost their existence. Dagur Bani focuses on delicately executed meendas with gamakas. It is marked by correct intonation, simplicity of execution, purity of design, and massiveness of structure. It is chiefly sung in medium speed with a judicious blending of Khandahar style.
Nauhar Bani became popular after the name of its founder's place of residence. Rajput Sri Chand belonged to Nauhar as such this style became popular by the name of Nauhar Bani. This Bani is characterized quick jerky passages employing a variety of gamakas. It usually moves in quick successions, moving as it were in slow curved lines accompanied by the judicious use of soft gamakas from the first line to its third or fourth note. Thus the Nauhar Bani with its jumpy Chhoots surprises the listeners at each of its movements.
Representatives of today's gharanas are said to manifest stylistic elements traceable to one of these four Banis. The style of the Agra Gharana for example is derived from the otherwise extinct Nauhar Bani and the family of Dhrupad singers and Beenkars known as Dagur, takes it name from the Dagur Bani. In most cases however the details of possible connections to particular Banis is less important than the fact that Banis at one time existed and thereby provided a conceptual link to verify the idea of stylistic ancestry.
(Last Updated on : 25-08-2011)
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