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Dhrupad, an ideal form
The instrumental tradition

The Goddess Sarasvati,
towards 1800,
the Sangram Singh

The instrumental tradition

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar
(1929 - 1990)

Raga Puriya Kalyan,

In this short segment, Bare Ustad explores the middle register of his instrument. The characteristic tone of his bin with its prolonged resonance, mingled with rich and harmonic sounds, lends itself wonderfully well to the unhurried unfolding of the alap he performed brilliantly.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 37 seconds, 295 Ko).

Asad Ali Khan
(born in 1937)

Raga Malkauns,
conclusion of the jod, beginning of the jhala
Sadiq Ali Khan was renowned and lauded by his contemporaries for his virtuosic style of playing the jod and the jhala. Here his son follows in the path of his father and provides a brilliant demonstration.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 43 seconds, 360 Ko).

Habid Hussain Khan

Raga Darbari Kanada,
conclusion of the alap

The highly nuanced and refined eloquence that emanates from this example bears witness to the great musicality of Habib Hussain Khan, who was also a reputed dhrupad singer. In this passage, we notice the perfect balance between those warm and multi-layered tones on a range spanning two and a half octaves.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 41 seconds, 341 Ko).

Sadiq Ali Khan

Raga Jhinjhoti,

In dhrupad, several segments together make up the jod. Some of them are differentiated by the use of techniques like the gamak. The latter are arresting effects produced here by sharp strikes with the metallic plectrum on the string, which is simultaneously stretched with quick back-and-forths on the frets.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 37 seconds, 312 Ko).

Dabir Khan

Raga Bhupali,

Dabir Khan was a versatile musician and heir to a distinguished tradition where the bin and the rabab rubbed shoulders. The short melodic phrases that wind up the alap here are unmistakably reminiscent of the slower but more abundant style of the rabab.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 38 seconds, 320 Ko).

Anant Bedekar

Raga Malkauns

Born in a family of music lovers, Anant Bedekar also played the sitar and the surbahar. His music, he said, was neither in the dhrupad nor in the khyal style. His expressive playing technique and the singular sound of his bin made him an original binkar at any rate, unjustly condemned to obscurity. In this segment, he plays on a massive instrument made in 1960 by Makanlal Roy in Calcutta.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 35 seconds, 300 Ko).

Hindraj Divekar
(born in 1954)

Raga Darbari Kanada,
composition in tintal

Binkar but also proficient on the sitar, Hindraj Divekar, belongs to a recent musical lineage, born in Maharashtra towards the end of the 19th century. Khyal had replaced the older dhrupad and bin playing had become reminiscent of that of the sitar. The composition, the bandish traditionally accompanied by a pakhavaj became a gat played with the tabla.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 34 seconds, 289 Ko).

Bindumadhav Pathak
(born in 1935)

Raga Ahir Bhairav,

Another binkar born in this khyal tradition, Bindumadhav Pathak used to play a bin, made in Miraj, the reputed centre for sitar and tanpura manufacture and whose tube was of bamboo. The clear tone of his bin is in harmony with this style the khyal baj which is easily recognisable in the few alap phrases we hear, adorned with surprising trills.

Listen to the musical segment (MP3, 39 seconds, 325 Ko).
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