Frequently asked questions
- What is Dhrupad music? How is it different from other forms of music?
Music in itself is a beautiful thing! Indian classical music, in particular, the Dhrupad style of music is considered as most healing and soothing. For most of us, our knowledge of Dhrupad music is limited to its text book definition: an amalgamation of the words Dhruva and Pada, containing Lom-Tom and using Pakhawaj in its compositions. But, that’s not the real meaning or essence of Dhrupad. Rather, these are just few aspects of Dhrupad music.
The true beauty of Dhrupad music is its purity. It is the most refined form of Swara, rhythm and particularly Naad (sound). ‘Swara’ itself consists of Swa + Ra where, in Sanskrit, Swa means self and Ra means light. If a Swara is placed properly in its position with respect to Tanpura then it creates massive energy or it shines in its true form! That’s the fundamental principle of Dhrupad music. This music is not just limited to the 12 notes or Swarsthans that make up each octave. There are infinite shades of notes (also known as micro notes) and placing a particular Swara in a Raag requires lots of understanding, practice and vision.
In short, learning and mastering Dhrupad music is a process of becoming 'Ashtavadhani’ (person capable of eight-fold concentration).
- Are there any prerequisites for learning Dhrupad music?
No. There are no prerequisites like age, prior knowledge or religious practices for learning Dhrupad music. All you require is dedication and devotion towards learning
Is there an ideal age to start learning Dhrupad music?
No. You can start learning Dhrupad music at any age! In fact, at Dhrupad Academy, you can find learners from all age groups.
Which instruments are suitable for playing Dhrupad music?
The essential elements of Indian classical music include control with minute Swarsthan, Meend, Gamak and Ghaseet. Any instrument which is capable of producing these essential elements can be used to perform Dhrupad music like the Rudraveena, Surbahar, Bansuri.
Can Dhrupad music be performed on the flute?
On a traditional flute, Dhrupad music can be performed only to a certain extent. The Sameer Flute, however, makes it possible to better render the Dhrupad style of music.
Can I pursue Dhrupad music while following a busy work schedule?
You can! The real beauty of the Gurukul style of learning is that it enables task-oriented methodology. Initially, 30 minutes a day are quite sufficient to learn/practise. If you regularly earmark time for learning, slowly through your dedication and practice, you’ll be able to successfully learn Dhrupad music.
What is the fee structure at Dhrupad Gurukul?
As Dhrupad Gurukul is based on the Gurukul style, we do not charge any tuition fees. However, all students pay a nominal maintenance fee to cover Gurukul or class administration expenses.
Does learning Dhrupad music help in playing or singing (performing) other genres of music?
Dhrupad music is considered as the mother of all music genres. So, once you have mastered it, adopting other music genres would be easy. However, this should not be your only objective of learning Dhrupad music.
How is the Dhrupad style of singing taught at Dhrupad Gurukul?
At the very beginning, we emphasize on voice culture. The focus is on improving the voice quality, its flexibility and the ability to sing at least 3 octaves. Thereafter, the focus shifts to the realization of Swarsthan and tuning ourselves with it. This is nothing but experiencing Naad Yoga. To achieve this feat, you have to learn each Raag for at least 2 – 3 years.
What method is followed for teaching the Dhrupad style on the flute?
At the outset, attention is given to the correct posture of sitting and holding the flute. This determines the level of your flute playing[S1] . Subsequently, we begin working on achieving and improving the Swarsthan and breath control, with the help of Merukhand (improvisation style using different permutations of Swars) and other essential tasks that are adopted on the flute. It may take up to 2 years to completely master this. After this, the beautiful journey towards Raag starts!
[S1]What does this mean?
Is it really possible to learn Dhrupad music online?
Yes. We are equipped with the latest technology and you will be provided high-definition audios/videos. Many international students from different countries have been learning through online facility / option.
Do I have to buy the flute before I start my lessons?
No. At Dhrupad Academy, we provide flutes to help you learn and practise. Cultivating your interest and ensuring your progress are important. Whenever you are comfortable with the flute you are learning with, you can buy the flute. We will definitely help you in selecting and buying a high-quality flute.
Is there an ‘ideal flute’ meant for beginners?
No. There is nothing like an ideal flute prescribed for beginners. You can choose a flute, which you will be comfortable playing, depending on the flexibility of your hands and your breathing capacity. We can help you in selecting a flute that is ideal for you!
What is the duration of the course?
The journey of learning music is endless! But, to master the basics/fundamentals you need at least 3 – 4 years. This really depends on your vision, practise and approach to learning.
Do you offer any crash courses for learning the Dhrupad style of music for either vocal or flute?
No. It is not possible to learn Dhrupad music or understand its essence in this manner.
Is it true that Dhrupad music is very tough to learn?
It totally depends on you! The desire to learn, a proper approach, dedication and devotion can make your learning experience easy and enjoyable.
Can female students learn the Dhrupad style of music (vocal or flute)?
Absolutely! In fact, we already have a sizeable number of female students who are learning both!