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Book 7: Chapter 39 – Styles of Singing


  1. Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music, said to be the oldest still in use in that musical tradition. Its name is derived from the words "dhruva" (fixed) and "pada" (words). The term may denote both the verse form of the poetry and the style in which it is sung.

  2. Khyal or Khayal is the modern genre of classical singing in North India. Its name comes from an Arabic word meaning "imagination". It is thought to have developed out of the Qawwalisinging style.

  3. Thumri is a common genre of semi-classical Indian music. Thumri arose in popularity during the 19th century in the Lucknow court of nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

  4. Dadra is a light classical style which is very similar to thumri. Although it resembles thumri it is much looser and allows more freedom for the artist.

  5. Holi is a major Hindu festival and marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop. A bonfire is lit in the main squares of the villages and colonies. People gather around the bonfire and celebrate the event with singing and dancing, which is symbolic of the victory of good over evil. Tribals of Gujarat celebrate Holi with great enthusiasm and also dance around the fire.

  6. A Bhajan is any type of Indian devotional song. It has no fixed form : it may be as simple as a mantraor kirtan or as sophisticated as the dhrupad or kriti with music based on classical ragas and talas.  

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