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Discover and Appreciate Dhrupad: An Ancient,Timeless Musical Tradition

Discover and Appreciate Dhrupad: An Ancient,Timeless Musical Tradition

Enroll in the INDICA Course to explore and gain a deep appreciation for Dhrupad, one of the world’s most ancient and enduring musical systems. This course offers valuable knowledge on the history and development of this art form, as well as insights into its philosophy and aesthetic principles. Immerse yourself in the music itself and learn to truly appreciate its beauty through this engaging and immersive experience.

15 Hours
Date & Time

17 June 2023 - 26 August 2023

6:00 PM IST-7:30 PM IST

Every Saturday


Course Fee: ₹3500
Enrollment Manual
Medium of Instruction
One year from the end date of the course
Online through INDICA Courses Portal
Contact Details



Dhrupad, originating from the Sama Vedic traditions, stands as one of the oldest surviving musical traditions worldwide. Renowned musicians like Tansen, who belonged to Akbar’s court, and his contemporaries elevated Dhrupad to its pinnacle during the 15th and 16th centuries. Throughout its extensive history, spanning from temples to princely courts and eventually concert stages, Dhrupad endured at the fringes of artistic and cultural discourse, as well as patronage, for many centuries.

Engaging with Dhrupad offers a profoundly meditative experience, imbued with dynamism and awakening. Its core essence lies in a profound focus on the fundamental elements of sound, fostering a comprehensive coordination between the body, breath, and mind to cultivate a powerful means of musical expression. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Dhrupad stalwarts in training and performance, as well as the ease of global outreach in the past half-century, Dhrupad is currently experiencing a remarkable international revival.

This resurgence is attributed, in part, to the universal nature of Dhrupad as a science of sound, which transcends cultural and language barriers and offers limitless possibilities to students and listeners from around the world, not just within India. Additionally, Dhrupad’s applications in mindfulness and meditation, known as naad-yog or the yoga of sound, resonate with contemporary concerns, attracting learners from various backgrounds and professions worldwide.

The course at hand serves as an introduction to the exploration and appreciation of this ancient musical system, providing an opportunity to delve into the captivating world of Dhrupad – in particular the Dagar lineage of Dhrupad.

Course Objectives

This course aims to cultivate your appreciation for Dhrupad music while providing insights into its philosophy and aesthetic. You will engage in guided listening sessions featuring carefully selected audios of renowned Dhrupad maestros. In addition, there will be discussions exploring various aspects of this art form, complemented by suggested readings. By the end of the course, you will have developed a profound understanding and admiration for Dhrupad music.

Course Outcomes

You will have a better understanding of:

  • The history and evolution of Dhrupad music, along with an overview of its current state and forms
  • The philosophy of Dhrupad music, and what makes it a Yogic practice
  • Fundamental principles of Indian music in general, like Rāga and Tāl
  • The various components of a Dhrupad rendition
  • Overall appreciation of the art form itself

While this course does not primarily aim to teach you how to sing, there might be occasional opportunities for some light singing exercises to enhance your understanding of the principles being studied. However, the main focus of the course will be on developing your understanding and appreciation of Dhrupad. By immersing yourself in this art form, the course will facilitate the cultivation of a deep appreciation for its beauty and intricacies.

Course Syllabus

Theory Modules

  • Introduction, history and evolution of Dhrupad until the present day
  • The Dhrupad gharānās and bānīs – what are they?
  • Treatment of voice in Dhrupad/ the human instrument
  • Philosophy of Dhrupad
  • Important instruments of Dhrupad (Rudra Veena & Pakhawaj)
  • Understanding Rāga and Tāla – unique features of Indian music
  • The compositions and poetry of Dhrupad

Practical modules

  • Few simple melodic practices and exercises
  • Few simple rhythmic practices and exercises
  • Introduction to improvisation
  • Singing a simple Dhrupad composition

Course includes

  • Live sessions
  • Access to class recordings (for asynchronous participation)
  • Certificate of Completion

Sajan Sankaran

Sajan Sankaran was introduced to Indic knowledge systems through the Chinmaya Mission in his childhood, and his journey on the path of yoga has been deepened since 2004 through HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar & the Art of Living Foundation. He is also a trained yoga instructor from the S- VYASA Yoga University. While doing his B.Tech from IIT Bombay, he discovered a deep connection with the Dhrupad music tradition, which seemed to be a direct application of the principles of Yoga. He felt an urge to learn it in detail, & to his good fortune, he was accepted as a full time disciple of renowned Dhrupad Gurus – the Gundecha Brothers. He spent the larger part of 8 years as a resident student of their Bhopal Gurukul. He now performs and teaches Dhrupad actively, and works on various other artistic and academic projects. He has toured US & Europe on artistic and academic projects, and also has published papers in major journals including Springer-Nature. He is a partner at the Delhi based Naadyatra Foundation, and has been an integral part of its activities since 2018. He is also an associated with the Bengaluru based theater collective, Still Space Theatre. While Sajan continues his Dhrupad training through regular visits to the Gurukul, he started ‘Svara Yog’ to formally bring his two core areas of interest (Dhrupad and Yoga) onto a common ground, deepen his own engagement with it, and also share it with others.