There are 10 styles of singing & compositions.
1. Dhrupad- oldest & grandest form of Nibaddha Sangeet. Believed to be an elaboration of prabandha structure. Name derived from “dhruv” and “pada” (verse). Denotes both verse style of poetry and style in which it is sung. In structure, dhrupad has 2 parts, anibaddha section & the sanchari proper. The first is a free alaap. The dhrupad proper is a song in 4 parts: the asthayee, the antara, the sanchari & the abhoga. The instruments “been” and “Pakhwaj” were closely associated with the dhrupad. Alaap is largest portion of the performance. Dhrupad is in decline since 18th Century.
2. Khayal- Literally means “story thought”/ “imagination”. Scholars believe its roots in the ancient Indian rupaka alaps. 2 Types- Vilambit(slow) & Drut(fast) Khayal. Comparable to the vanis in Dhrupad, we have gharanas in Khayal. Khayal is also composed in a particular raga and tala & has a brief text. The Khayal texts range from praise of Kingsor seasons, description to the pranks of Lord Krishna, divine love & sorrow of separation. There are 6 mains gharanas in Khayal: Delhi, Patiala, Agra, Gwalior, Kirana, Atrawli-Jaipur. Gwalior-oldest gharana/ mother of all gharana.
3. Thumri- a) It is love song & hence textual beauty is very important.
b) 2 styles of singing- Poorab or Banaras(slow), Punjabi Style.
c) very lyrical in the structure & presentation.
d) believed to have been influenced by hori, kajri & dadra. e) 18th Century, Eastern UP(mainly Lucknow & Benaras). f) also called “lyric of Indian classical music”.
g) Love, separation & devotion. Various episodes of Lord Krishna & Radha. h) Usually performed as last item of Khayal concert.
i) 3 main gharanas of Thumri- Benaras, Lucknow & Patiala.
4. Dhamar-Hori- a) compositions similar to Dhrupad but chiefly associated with their festival. b) specifically in praise of Lord Krishna.
c) sung in Dhamar tale ( festivals Janmasthami, Ram Navami & Holi)
d) description of spring season & Radha Krishna love.
5. Tappa- a) consists of songs uttered in fast note patterns. b) difficult composition & needs practice.
c) late 8th Century AD from folk songs of camel drivers.
d) Tappa literally means “jump” in Persian.
e) Folklore of love+passion; written in Punjabi.
6. Dadra- a) bears a close resemblance to Thumri.
b) texts are as amorous as those of Thumri.
c) major difference as that of Dadras have more than one antara & are in dadra tala. d) Singers usually sing of dadra after a thumri.
7. Ragasogar- a) 8-12 ragas; lyrics indicate change of ragas.
b) musical passages in different ragas as 1 song composition.
c) depends on how smoothly the musical passages change along with the ragas.
8. Tarana- is a style consisting of peculiar syllables woven into rhythmical patterns as a song. It is usually sung in faster tempo.
9. Chaturang- denotes 4 colours as composition of a song in 4 parts: Fast Khayal, Tarana Sangam & “Paran” of Tabla or Pakhwaj.
10. Ghazal- a) mainly a poetic form than a musical form, but it is more song like than the thumri. b) described as “pride of Urdu poetry”.
c) originated in Iran in 10th Century AD.
d) never exceeds 12 Shers (couplets) and on average has 7 shers.
e) found an opportunity to grow & develop in India around 12th century AD when Mughal influences came to India & Persian gave way to Urdu as a language of poetry & literature.
f) developed and evolved in the courts of Golconda & Bijapur under patronage of Muslim
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