The Dhrupad has its origins in the Sanskrit chanting of Vedic hymns and evolved into a musical performance of the royal courts of northern India, reaching its peak during the Mughal period (16th-18th centuries).

Due to its origins and vocal techniques from Yoga; the Dhrupad has a meditative aura and a contemplative, even impressionistic character. This music, which describes a wide spectrum of human emotions, also shows movements of vigor, dynamism and intense joy.

The specific vocal technique of Dhrupad which involves the use of a precise and elaborate method of a set of gestures or Mudras in order to control the resonances of the voice is derived from Vedic chanting itself. Dhrupad's tonal system, based on the use of micro-tones and the coloring of resonances, gives it a unique emotional intensity.

A Dhrupad concert is made up of two distinct parts.

The first called Aalap is an improvisation. Slow development of the chosen Raga, its elaboration is done by means of meaningless syllables which constitute an abstraction

aesthetics of the primordial aspects of language, phonation and discourse.

The solo song, accompanied by a fundamental drone emitted by the Tanpura begins with long and slow hypnotic phrases then gradually gains in intensity towards faster and more dynamic movements until the arrival of the second part. The sung poem or Dhrupad. Fixed form of which each section will be glossed in variations on the cycle given by the cylindrical drum with two sides the Pakhawaj."

The workshop aims to become familiar with the vocal techniques of Dhrupad which are based on practices derived from yoga on the one hand and the Vedic tradition of cantillation modes on the other.

The teaching will first apply to the fundamental practice of "akar", the long vowel "a" and its use in Dhrupad to develop the voice and then focus on the concept of variations in the resonance of the voice. in the body through the use of different positions and energy channels.

It will also focus on “mudras” or hand gestures to control sound as well as different aspects of the pronunciation of vowels and consonants in the Dhrupad; aspects of the implementation of the breath as well as the internal silent processes that take place during the change of position will also be discussed.

The practice begins each morning with the practice of the "kharaj", at the lower octave, and progresses throughout the day with the study of vocal techniques and exercises and melodic phrases from different ragas.

The purpose of this course is to give participants a solid foundation in the vocal technique and practice of Dhrupad and is based on the teachings of Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin who was renowned among the Dagar for his profound knowledge of the basics of Dhrupad.

This course also introduces the tonal system of the Dhrupad with the concepts of "grama" and "murcchana": scales composed of 22 "shrutis" or microtones, generated by the iterative process of moving the starting point or point of origin to the within a range; it will also be shown how the "shrutis" or microtones can be used in musical practice if a system is used which allows them to be colored by a change in resonance.

During this workshop we will look at the relationship between "shrutis", "grama" and "murcchana" and the concept of Ragas and how subtle changes of intervals are used in Dhrupad to create particular feelings and atmospheres according to different Ragas. .

We will also discuss the concept of “laya” or flow of time and its relation to “svaras” or Vedic notes and its role in the concept of “tala” or rhythmic cycles.

All concepts are introduced and taught through a current practice of vocal exercises.

Thus this seminar gives rise to an apprenticeship in singing which is not only fundamental to the practice of Dhrupad but also has a universal significance for the vocal discipline as such: thus, during systematic training, the methods and concepts taught can be used in a general way to apprehend the voice and its deployment and can be adapted to different genres of singing.

During this course, we will also look at the phases of evolution of Indian music from Vedic chanting and see how aspects of the cantillation of mantras from the Vedas are used in a very fundamental way in the Dhrupad, whether through the tonal system of “shrutis” or microtones and the system of “svaras” or Vedic notes as well as the change of resonance.


Open to everyone




Any questions ?

If you have any questions, please refer to the practical information !

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