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Does centuries old Drupad need improvisation

By Radheshyam Tewari | PUBLISHED: 02, Aug 2015, 18:07 pm IST | UPDATED: 02, Aug 2015, 18:11 pm IST

Does centuries old Drupad need  improvisation Sunita Amin of Rajasthan, a new melodious voice in Dhrupad, residing in Jaipur is trying her best to shine in this limitless world of great classical hindustani music world of north India. In Dhrupad she regales in the Mughal style in which the veteran artiste of the Dagar family performs and teaches.

Dhrupad is the oldest surviving form of Hindustani Classical music and the families of Dagars, who have been singing for more than twenty generations are responsible more than any one else for keeping it alive.

Mrs Amin a student of the Dagar Gharana traditionally like a true disciple embodies the era that she is living and breathing. She is restless to improvise the style which had many benefits, but a most restricted style and discipline that forced this gharana of music to be limited to a small subsection of the Indian community. To a large extent it was limited to the palaces and dance halls.

Performance and practice of singing Dhrupad in temples still continues. Dhrupad as we know  is performed by a solo singer or a small number of singers in unison to the beat of the Pakhawaj or Mridang rather than the Tabla. The vocalist is usually accompanied by two Tanpura players sitting close behind, with the percussionist at the right of the vocalist. This setting has not been changed so far even after many centuries have been dissolved to the history.
Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music said to be the oldest, still in use in that musical tradition. Every thing is Dhrub (not changeable). Its name is derived from the words Dhruva and pada (verse),'My Guru  taught the strict discipline of this difficult Raga and once said   that Dhrupad starts with colors because art of painting and music is the basic element of nature and this is what I want to present. My quality of voice must create colorful journey to sublime.'

About her experiences during musical session at different places she said 'Stage fear some times makes you conscious while performing. Some times it breaks the concentration. Now I am free from all kinds of stage fears'.

God gifted musical sense, originality and a melodious voice are the supreme assets of Sunita Amin.