Thursday, December 9, 2021

Briefs on Hindustani musical instruments


The classification of instruments: Around 3000 BC, the Chinese are known to have classified musical instruments based on the material from which they were made. Stone, wood, leather, bamboo, copper, silk etc. This classification reflected the crafts that were involved in making/ repairing/ maintaining them. 

Around 200 BC, the Natyashastra written by Bharata classified them in the basis of the principle of sound production. (i) Tata = string activation instruments (ii) Susheera = wind activated instruments (iii) Ghana = activated by vibration of solid materials (iv) Avanaddha = activated by vibration of leather cladding. In the 17th century, scholars recognized the emergence of new instruments, and introduced a fifth category: Tat-avanaddha = activated by vibration of strings, and also supported by a leather cladding. 

In the 20th century, organologists (scholars who study musical instruments) adopted the Natyashastra framework and classified instruments into (i) Chordophones = string instruments (ii) Aerophones = wind instruments (iii) Ideophones = solid resonators (iv) Membranophones = membrane clad instruments, and (v) Electrophones = electrically activated resonators. 

Bansuri (Transverse bamboo flute): The emergence of the Bansuri as a major instrument in Hindustani music is entirely a 20th century phenomenon. Until the arrival of Pannalal Ghosh (1911-1960), there existed a multitude of bamboo flutes in India, none of which was suitable for performing Raga-based Hindustani music in the post-amplification acoustic environment. After extensive experimentation, Ghosh designed the Classical Bansuri which remains, to this day, the standard design for classical music performance. As a flautist, Ghosh brought to the instrument his training in various genres under the redoubtable Guru, Allauddin Khan. The rich repertoire he performed on the Bansuri ensured  a durable future  in Hindustani music for the instrument.

Harmonium : A member of the keyboard based family of free-reed aerophones. Although such instruments have existed in India and other parts of Asia for centuries, Christian missionaries probably introduced the Harmonium to India in the eighteenth century, as accompaniment for choirs in Churches. The original import was a platform mounted pedal-primed version which was later replaced with a portable hand-pumped variant with 37 keys to suit Indian requirements. Despite the incompatibility of its tempered scale with Indian intonation practices, the instrument is now the most widely used melodic accompaniment to all genres of vocal music (other than dhrupad/dhamàra) and has replaced the Sarangi in this role. Attempts to establish it as a solo instrument have met with only limited success.

Indian classical guitar/Hindustani slide guitar : The Indian classical guitar/Hindustani slide guitar is an adaptation of the Western F-Hole guitar, modified to meet the requirements of Hindustani [north Indian] art music. The instrument was introduced to Hindustani music in the 1960s by Pandit Brijbhushan Kabra,  a disciple of the Sarod maestro, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. In terms of technique of melodic execution, the Indian classical guitar and the Hawaiian guitar are both heirs to the ancient Indian fretless stick-zithers, the Ekatantri Veena, the Ghoshaka, and the Vichitra Veena. 

According to some accounts, the technique of these ancient instruments traveled to Hawaii with one Gabriel Davion, kidnapped from India to Honolulu by a sea captain in the nineteenth century. The technique gave birth to the Hawaiian guitar, which returned to India before Second World War through the recordings of American guitarists, Sol Hoopii and Joe Kaipo. The instrument was first adopted by bands in Calcutta, entered film music thereafter, and finally entered classical music  in the 1960s. 

 Jala Taranga : The word is derived from Sanskrit jala = water + taranga = waves. The term describes an ancient Indian polychord of the struck variety, consisting of 12/15 china-clay bowls of different sizes, which are tuned to a ràga-scale by filling them with appropriate quantities of water. Sound activation is done by beating the cups with sticks akin to sticks used for drums used in popular Western music. The instrument receives mention in musicological texts only from the late seventeenth century and is now nearly extinct, appearing occasionally in orchestral ensembles.

Kashta Taranga : The word is derived from Sanskrit kashta = wood + taranga = waves. The term describes an ancient polychord of the struck variety, an Indian version of a xylophone. Sound activation is done by impacting wooden strips of different sizes with sticks with rounded heads. The instrument is nearly extinct, now encountered occasionally in orchestral ensembles.

 Kinnari/Kinnari Veena : The word kinnari is an adjective derived from the Sanskrit kinnara, meaning a category of celestial being. Kinnara also denotes a community of professional musicians. The word kinnari may be construed either as an adjective derived from kinnara, or translated as as female kinnara. In the present context, it refers to an ancient instrument, a member of the fretted stick-zither family, which is considered the ancestor of the Rudra Veena. Kinnari Veena were of two varieties: the Brihat [great/major] kinnari which had three gourds (chamber resonators), and the laghu [small/minor] kinnari, which had only two. The laghu kinnari is believed to be the direct parent of the Rudra Veena.

Nagàrà/ Nakkara : The nagàrà belongs to the family of indigenous kettle-drums used as rhythmic accompaniment to the Shehnai. The shell of these drums was originally formed on a potter's wheel, but later cast in metal -- mainly copper or a copper alloy. The drums come in pairs of pan-like vessels, covered with a membrane of goat skin. Though their sound is atonal, one is a bass drum, while the other - the smaller - is a treble drum. They are struck with sticks.

Different sizes of Nagara pairs are known to be in use, the choice being dictated by the need for the volume of the output. In addition to their role as accompaniment to the Shehnai, they have also enjoyed an independent adrenalin-pumping and heralding function in military ceremonies of the feudal era, either on their own, or in conjunction with other ceremonial instruments. Though played with sticks, the nagàrà has evolved a sophisticated idiom, which has also influenced the idiom of the Tabla, an instrument of far superior musical capability.

Pakhàwaj : [also called Mrudanga]: The name derives from the Sanskrit : Paksha = sides + vàdya = a musical instrument, which dates back to the pre-Christian era, with its origins shrouded in mythology. The pakhàwaj, a horizontal two-faced tapering cylindrical drum, was the principal percussion instrument of the Hindustani [North Indian] art music tradition, until the advent of the tablà. Both sides of the Pakhawaj are covered with goat-skin and tuned, at each performance, by laying, in the centre of each face, a fresh paste of wheat-flour. This coating regulates its acoustic output. The instrument emits an atonal, bass sound. It remains, to this day, the standard rhythmic accompaniment to performances of the dhrupad/dhamàra genre, but has no presence in the modern genres of art music. 

Other two-faced barrel drums descended from the pakhàwaj are, however, still used in popular and folk music. The pakhàwaj of the Hindustani [north Indian] tradition corresponds to the mrudangam in the Carnatic [south Indian] tradition, though the two differ in construction and design, and substantially in idiom.

Rabab : The Rabab is an instrument of the short-necked fretless lute family, played by plucking. It has a carved wooden body, with the lower half covered by goat-skin, and the upper half with a wooden finger board. It uses catgut strings and is plucked with a triangular plectrum. The Rabab came to India from two sources. The first Rabab, a larger instrument, came from Persia with conquering armies around the eleventh century. The second, a smaller instrument of similar construction, came from Afghanistan with soldiers in the employ of early Moguls. 

The Persian Rabab became a significant performer of the dhrupad genre during the Mogul period, while the Afghan Rabab participated in the evolution of post-dhrupad genres during the nineteenth century. Though no longer performed in Hindustani music, the two Rababs are significant because they are the ancestors of the contemporary sarod, and have had a lasting influence on its idiom.

Rudra Veena : [Also called Been]. A member of the fretted stick-zither family of plucked instruments. A revered instrument with strong mythological and mystical associations. Evolved around the thirteenth century when frets were added to a fretless predecessor. The instrument is associated with the mediaeval dhrupad/dhamàr genre of music. It was originally used as accompaniment to vocal performances, but later acquired its independent performing domain.  The Rudra Veena has been the principal inspiration -acoustic as well as stylistic - for the evolution of the plucked instruments performed in contemporary Hindustani [north Indian] art music. 

As dhrupad receded from centre-stage of art music, the Rudra Veena surrendered its place to modern instruments which were ergonomically more efficient, and could adapt themselves to the contemporary acoustic and stylistic environment. The Dhrupad revival, which began in the 1960s, gave the instrument a fresh lease of life on the concert platform.  

Santoor: A member of the box-polychord family of struck instruments, and related to the hammered dulcimer/cimbalom family of instruments found in several parts of Asia and Europe. Originated most likely in India as Shtatantri Shata = 100 + Tantri = strings +  Veena = a stringed instrument] or in Persia as Santoor [san/sad = 100 + toor= strings]. It was traditionally performed only in the Kashmir valley in India as accompaniment for religious chants of the Islamic Sufi sects. In the latter half of the twentieth century, it was re-engineered and elevated to the concert platform as a solo instrument by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.

Sarangi : A member of the short-necked lute family of bowed instruments. An instrument of considerable antiquity and almost certainly of Indian origin. For centuries, the instrument (known by several names, and in several forms) has been used by bards and roving minstrels for accompanying themselves. It entered art music around the seventeenth century, and has been an accompaniment to the modern genres of vocal music – Thumree and the allied romanticist genres, Tappa, and the mainstream Khayàl

Though once also accepted as an accompanist also to Dhrupad vocalism, the Sarangi has lost favour with Dhrupad establishment in recent years. The Sarangi is also emerging as a solo instrument, and acquiring an international following. The number of Sarangi exponents is, however, shrinking since the emergence of the harmonium as the dominant accompaniment to almost all genres of vocal music.

Sarasvati Veena : The name derives from Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of learning and the fine arts, whose iconographic representation invariably shows her holding a long-necked fretted lute. The term Sarasvati Veena refers to the fretted lute popular in Carnatic [south Indian] tradition of art music. At one stage, the Hindustani [north Indian] Rudra Veena (organologically, a stick-zither) was also occasionally called a Sarasvati Veena. However, the two instruments are now clearly distinguished by their respective names and association with different deities. The two instruments differ in design and construction, but have near-identical histories, and are of comparable antiquity. Both started as accompaniment to vocal music, and later also acquired solo performance status.

Sarod : A member of the short-necked fretless lute family of plucked instruments. The Sarod has two identifiable ancestors - a Persian instrument called Rabab which came to India around the eleventh century, and the Kàbuli [Afghan] Rabab, which came to India around the thirteenth century. The art of the Rabab received great support from the Mogul court [fifteenth-eighteenth centuries]. The present physical form of the Sarod evolved from the Rabab in the early years of the twentieth century, but gave birth to two different designs of the instrument, attributable broadly to its two distinct ancestors.

Shankha: Shankha is Sanskrit for a large conch shell. It is a horn, which cannot produce any melody and emits only a single tone unique to its acoustic properties. It is generally blown either as an offering to God accompanying the signing of prayers and drums, or at the beginning and end of religious ceremonies. Mythological references also associate the instrument with the declaration of war in the battlefield.

Shehnai: The word probably derives from Persian Shah = king + nai = pipe. The instrument played in India is, however, almost certainly of Indian origin. The instrument belongs to the oboe family of beating-reed aerophones. The Carnatic tradition hosts a near-identical instrument, Nagaswaram, which is also primarily a ceremonial instrument. Both enjoy the status of the most preferred instrument at religious ceremonies and public celebrations. As such, this family could be the single most widely heard instrument in India. 

In its traditional role, the Shehnai addresses involuntary audiences of indeterminate aesthetic cultivation. Consequently, its traditional repertoire has been dominated by regional and folk genres of music. In the latter half of the twentieth century, Bismillah Khan elevated the instrument to the art music platform. The instrument is heading for extinction, as its traditional ceremonial clientele moves towards pre-recorded music, brass-bands and orchestral ensembles, and the film/popular music industry (once its major client) goes electronic.

Sitar : A member of the long-necked fretted lute family of plucked instruments. The theory crediting its evolution from a Persian instrument called “Sehtar” [lit: three strings] in the thirteenth century by Ameer Khusro, now stand discredited. Instruments of this variety have existed all over India for centuries before Ameer Khusro. Recent research attributes the systematic development of the instrument to Fakir Khusro Khan [eighteenth century], the brother of Niamat Khan Sadarang, a landmark figure in the evolution of the khayàl genre of vocalism. In three centuries since its entry into the mainstream, the Sitar has become the most popular instrument performed in Hindustani music.  

Sur-Shehnai : A member of the beating-reed Oboe family of instruments. It is used as a drone accompaniment to a Shehnai recital, either along with a Tanpura or even exclusively. In design and construction, it is identical to the Shehnai, the only difference being it has only one hole punched into its stem for delivering a single svara/tone/pitch, which is the tonic to which the lead-Shehnai player's instrument is tuned.

Surbahar: A member of the long-necked fretted lute family of plucked instruments. The Surbahar is a bass-Sitar, near-identical in construction to the Sitar, though enlarged to scale. The invention of the Surbahar, around 1825, is attributed variously to Sahebdad Khan, (great grandfather of the 20th century Sitar maestro, Vilayat Khan), and to a lesser-known sitàrist, Ghulam Mohammed. Scholarly opinion favors the latter attribution. 

In the early years of the Sitar’s evolution, Sitàrists conceived the Surbahar as a specialist instrument for presenting the prefatory àlàp-jod-jhàlà movements, derived from the idiom of the rudra veena [Been]. Twenitieth century improvements in the acoustic and melodic capabilities of the Sitar have driven the Surbahar towards extinction.

Sur Singar : Sursingar is a member of the short-necked fretless lute family of plucked instruments. It represents a short-lived late-nineteenth century attempt at driving the acoustic and melodic capabilities of the Afghan Rabab closer to that of the rudra veena. The most significant version of the instrument was a quaint hybrid -- it grafted a Surbahar-style chamber-resonator at the bottom, to a Rabab-style fingerboard, along with a rudra veena type chamber-resonator at the top. It was a cumbersome instrument to play and was suited, like the Surbahar, only for prefatory movements. Mid-20th century re-engineering of the Sarod for superior melodic delivery, robbed the Sursingar of its relevance.

Swaramandal : The instrument is a member of the harp family and belongs to the box-polychord variety of plucked instruments. Its origins are traced to an ancient Indian instrument, the Mattakokila (Sanskrit for an inebriated Cuckoo), used for accompanying the chanting of vedic hymns. It is now used primarily as an accompaniment to vocal renditions of the khayàla and Thumree genres. Unlike the Sarangi or the harmonium, on which melody is executed, the Swaramandal is only strummed intermittently as a filler of silences. The strumming is done bi-directionally with grown finger nails, or guitar-style metallic or plastic picks. 

The instrument is not a replacement for a Tanpura, and may be used either in addition to a melodic accompaniment, or exclusively. The Swaramandal is, however, not as universally used for vocal accompaniment as is the Tanpura. For some inexplicable reason, Swaramandal accompaniment is much more popular among Pakistani vocalists than Indian vocalists. Attempts at establishing it as a solo instrument for formal Raga rendition have been isolated and futile. 

Tabla: The Tabla is a pair of vertical drums, of which the treble drum is struck with the right hand, and the bass drum is struck with the left hand. Even though the name resembles that of a Persian drum called “Tabl’”, the instrument is considered to be of Indian origin. It could have evolved from one of the many vertical drum-pairs of different sizes and constructions, performed since ancient times in different parts of the country.  

The Tabla gained prominence during the 15th century at the dawn of the modern era in Hindustani music. The Khayal was emerging as a challenger to Dhrupad supremacy, followed later by lighter vocal genres like the Thumree. Soon thereafter, the sprightly Sitar eroded the turf of the ponderous Rudra Veena in instrumental music. Hindustani music now needed a percussion partner of greater agility, delicate playing technique, and softer output than the ancient Pakhawaj. A sophisticated Tabla idiom emerged at the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah II (1719-1748), which was also host to the launch of the Sitar, and the maturation of Khayal vocalism. The Tabla steadily enlarged its role thereafter to finally replace the Pakhawaj.

Tabla Tarang : The term is derived by linking two words : Tabla = the treble drum of the Tabla  pair + taranga = waves. The word describes a polychord of the struck variety, consisting of 12-15 treble drums, each tuned to a different tone/svara of the ràga scale. It is the only Indian instrument to deploy a percussion instrument, or a part of it, to produce melody. Unlike other struck polychords, the tabla tarang is struck with the bare hands rather than mallets or sticks. The instrument has been heard only rarely – either in film or orchestral music -- but is otherwise extinct.

Tanpura : The word derives from Hindi tàna =  a musical phrase/melodic line + Sanskrit Poorak = filler/supplement. This etymology defines its function in Hindustani music. It supplements the aural experience and supports the musician's creative effort.  It performs primarily a drone function as standard accompaniment to vocal music, but is optional in instrumental music. The instrument is a member of the long-necked family of fretless plucked lutes, and acquired a significant presence in Hindustani music from the seventeenth century. Its design may have been inspired by a Persian instrument, called the "Tambour".  The instrument has four, five, or six strings tuned to the middle octave and lower-octave tonic chosen by the musician, along with supplementary strings tuned to corresponding/dominant pitches as permitted by ràga grammar. 

Unlike the Swaramandal, which is strummed only intermittently, the Tanpura is plucked continuously during a performance. However, like the Swaramandal, the Tanpura does not execute melody. Both are designed for a tonally blurred acoustic output, which shapes the acoustic ambience. The Tanpura is, however, valued more for its psycho-acoustic influence on the creative processes of the musician, than for the enrichment of the aural experience for listeners.

Vàna Veena : A member of the box-polychord variety of struck instruments. It is an Indian instrument with a hundred strings, whose description in ancient texts matches descriptions of the Shatatantri Veena and the contemporary Santoor.

Vichitra Veena : A member of the fretless stick-zither family, on which melody is executed by sliding a piece of rounded glass, akin to a paper-weight, along the strings. This instrument is a successor to the ancient ekatantri veena, and a precursor of the Hawaiian slide- guitar. The vichitra veena of the Hindustani [north Indian] tradition is identical to the gottuvadyam of the Carnatic [south Indian] tradition, now renamed chitra veena.

Violin: The Violin entered Hindustani music in the 1930s, almost a century after Baluswamy Dikshitar (1786-1858) had discovered its value as an accompanist to vocal music in the Carnatic tradition. The value of a fretless and bowed instrument for accompanying vocal music had, by then, already been established in Hindustani music by the Sarangi. 

At a time when the Harmonium was pushing the Sarangi off centre stage,  influential leaders of the Hindustani music renaissance – Allauddin Khan, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Gajananrao Joshi and SN Ratanjankar – saw merit in introducing the violin to Hindustani music. The instrument has, however, followed different paths in the two traditions. The violin has evolved into a major accompanist as well as a soloist in the Carnatic tradition, while it has remained primarily a solo instrument in the Hindustani tradition.

 (c) Deepak S. Raja, December 2021


Sunday, December 5, 2021

The enigma called “taseer”

I often discussed with Ustad Vilayat Khan the music of famous pre-independence musicians, whom I had not heard personally, but he would have certainly heard. In one of those conversations, the topic drifted towards early 20th century Rudra Veena music.

I had heard a few available recordings of Ustad Dabeer Khan, and thought his music was unrefined compared to the music of recent Beenkars like Ustad Zia Mohideen Dagar and Asad Ali Khan Saheb. Ustad Vilayat Khan chided me by saying – “Your ears have not matured enough yet to appreciate his music. Observe the “taseer” in his music.” I pleaded ignorance and asked him to explain. He said – “Taseer has no definition. When your ears are ready, you will experience it.” The enigma of “taseer” has intrigued me since then.

Taseer is a Perso-Arabic abstract noun, derived from “Asar” = impact/ the ability to elicit an emotional response. Music is, indeed, intended to elicit an emotional response. So, Taseer can seem like a fairly routine reference to respectable musicianship.  In the Hindustani music world, however, the attribution of “Taseer” is a rare honour, bestowed on very few musicians – generally, not more than a handful in each generation. The possession of “Taseer” is, it seems, the highest compliment a musician can pay to another musician. This suggests that the term has come to denote a quality, which words cannot describe, and strictly musical features cannot explain.  

During an interview given a few days before his demise, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan (Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's father), was asked about the famed “Taseer” of his music, the Ustad said – “Taseer is from God. After one has acquired learning (the taleem) diligently, and put in endless hard work, one has to add prayer to it, offering one’s achievements to the Maker.Then, He blesses him [the musician] with Taseer.” (The interview appeared in the souvenir of the Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Music Festival of 1975).

(c) Deepak S. Raja. December 2021


Saturday, December 4, 2021

What is music?


Attempts at defining music generally begin with “Structured/ organised Sound”, and end up questioning this definition. A universally acceptable definition may not yet exist. Scholars have, however, devised a workable description, which enables them to pursue their study of musical activity. A brief look at the issues is interesting.

It is argued that “Structure” cannot be part of an acceptable definition because the perception of structure is subjective. The same group of sounds may appear “structured” to some and randomly placed to others. Some also argue that music must be “pleasant” to qualify as music. This view raises the same problem. There is no music that will please everyone in the world. Pleasantness is subjective and hence an imprecise criterion.

Another objection cites sounds in nature – chirping birds, cascading waterfalls. They are structured and pleasant. Can they be considered music? The implication is that music needs to arise from a human intention to communicate. Music, then, becomes music only when there exists is a shared notion of “musicality” between the music maker and the listener. 

This discussion allows us to infer that “musicality” is defined by communicative intent and the existence of a listener.  The emerging modern view suggests that any set of sounds, which engages anyone as “music”, qualifies as music. In short: If you think something is music, it is music. And, if you think it is not music, it is noise. 

Once the issue of “engagement” enters the argument, the context becomes relevant. Sounds that may engage listeners as music in a certain context, may either fail to engage, or be considered “unmusical” in a different context. Music, then, functions a lot like a language which forges a link only between those who understand its “meaning” (communicative intent), which is itself dependent on a specific  context.

Neuro-sciences support the similarity between music and a language because the Broca’s region in the human brain processes both – language as well as music. And yet, music differs from a language in an important respect. A language has words, which represent the information, ideas, or feelings they wish to convey. Music, on the other hand, is a specialist language for communicating emotions, though it is still not clear how exactly it works. That is why a “dictionary” to aid the interpretation of music is not a foreseeable possibility. 

This view does not answer all the issues involved in defining music. It does, however, permit musicologists to study this mysterious area of human experience through musical features and related social contexts.

As a working definition, music is regarded as (a) a combination of sounds and silences (b) produced by humans and/or inanimate objects, incorporating elements of (c)  pitch (melody or harmony), (d) rhythm (tempo, cadence, meter), (e) dynamics (loudness/ volume), (f) and timbre/ texture.

Having defined music thus, we are obliged to also consider the notion of “engagement” critically. Does the engagement of the listener need to possess an “intentionality” which we consider an essential attribute of music-making? Two categories of music prevalent in contemporary society require this question to be addressed – even if controversially.

 (i)    Advertising music: Do we engage with the musical component of advertising/ commercial messages as music? The answer is “no”. Do we even engage intentionally/ consciously with advertising itself? The answer again is “no”. We merely accept advertising in the media as a part of the ecosystem which subsidizes our access to the media. But, does the musical component of advertising influence our behavior? The answer is “yes”, because it would not exist if it did not influence us. Therefore, even if we “engage” only unconsciously/ incidentally with advertising and its musical component, it needs to be recognized as “music” because it satisfies our definition, and has a well-defined social function.

(ii)  Ambient music: Commercial establishments like hotels and shopping malls expose us to music whose presence we are not expected to even notice as music, let alone “engage” with it. We can assume that this category of music is known to persuade us to spend more time and/or money within the host establishment. It is a form of “advertising”, but different because it works subliminally. There is “intentionality” in the transmission of the music, but none in its reception. This music also needs to be recognized as “music”, because it fulfils our definition and performs a well-defined social function.

On these considerations, and specific to the Indian context, it is possible to distinguish between musical endeavours characteristic of different social contexts. (a) Primitive/ tribal music (b) folk music (c) devotional music (d) ceremonial music (e ) martial music (f) popular music (g) advertising music (h) ambient music (i) classical/ art music (j) semi-classical music.

While being useful for scholarly explorations, these categories are all expressions of a single, but complex, culture. Collectively, and separately, they respond to social and economic changes, and also influence each other. Consequently, it is not even certain that this classification will remain relevant for all times to come.

(c) Deepak S. Raja December 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dhrupad Today


For the 1999 annual issue of the Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, I had co-edited a survey of the Dhrupad genre of Hindustani music The survey, published under the title “Perspectives on Dhrupad”, attempted to document the status of the medieval genre at the stage when there was considerable difference of opinion on the level of vitality the art-form exhibited. The volume is, unfortunately, out of print; but copies do exist with members of the society, and in important libraries.


Around the time of independence, Dhrupad was described as “dead”, “extinct”, a “museum piece”, and later, "experiencing a revival".  These descriptions were appropriate for the vocal as well as the associated Rudra Veena arts of Dhrupad, though the validity may have differed slightly between the two. Dhrupad, in its totality, seemed trapped in a downward spiral of uninspiring musicianship, shrinking audiences, failure to attract fresh talent, and a shortage of great teachers. The genre took several decades thereafter to escape from its entrapment 

Perceptions and even the reality had begun to change in the 1960s, after the Senior Dagar Brothers – Nasir Aminuddin and Nasir Moinuddin – introduced the genre to European audiences under the aegis of UNESCO. This development was accompanied by the arousal of serious interest amongst Western scholars and musicians in the medieval genre. By the 1980s, growing international interest in Dhrupad began to attract fresh talent to the genre from within India and abroad.


Some of this talent sought Dhrupad training through the traditional system of personalized apprenticeship.  Aspirants also acquired the option of institutionalized training in the Dagar vocal tradition at the Dhrupad Kendra at Bhopal, or study the Darbhanga vocal tradition at the Vrija Kala Gurukula at Vrindavan. The teaching of instrumental music in the Dhrupad idiom, albeit relatively minor in scale, has remained under personalized apprenticeship.


By the 1990s, when the Indian Musicological Society commissioned the survey, a young generation of credible Dhrupad vocalists of Indian as well as foreign origin was emerging on the concert platform. The semblance of a revival of the vocal art of Dhrupad was evident.  The art of the Rudra Veena was, however, still thinly populated by maestros of the pre-independence generation, who had won acclaim abroad, enjoyed a presence on the domestic scene, but had yet to groom credible heirs. Considering the totality, conditions were appropriate at that time for examining the resilience required of the Dhrupad genre to ensure a durable revival for itself.


Every musical genre incorporates a set of aesthetic assumptions – assumptions about what appeals to audiences. These assumptions determine the unique relationship the genre exhibits between melody, rhythm, and poetry. A genre can be considered resilient if it can find newer audiences constantly/repeatedly/ periodically without jeopardizing its characteristic melody-rhythm-poetry configuration. In essence, as long as the DNA of the genre are intact, a regeneration/ resurrection becomes possible. 


In the Epilogue to the above mentioned volume, the Editors observed that, by then, (end of the 20th century), young Indian vocalists of respectable musicianship had emerged on the Hindustani concert platform, and also begun to accumulate a following amongst audiences cultivated in the Carnatic tradition. Their music appeared to cater to the nostalgia of senior music lovers who had not heard quality Dhrupad for a long time, while also seeming to be more accessible to relatively younger and uninitiated audiences. Despite this, their overall presence on the domestic concert platform was still marginal due to the ample availability of quality musicianship in the rival modern genres.


The situation in Europe, and partially also in the US, was different. Owing to their longer exposure to Dhrupad compared to the modern genres, and to its simpler architecture, trans-culturally sensitive Western audiences had adopted the genre enthusiastically by then. Several Western nationals had, by then, also acquired respectable performing competence in Dhrupad under the guidance of respected Indian Gurus.


These trends created an interesting situation. Indian Dhrupad exponents could, at that stage, shape reputations on the Indian stage, without commensurate financial rewards for their accomplishments. Their livelihoods, however, had begun to be sustained largely by European and American audiences and students. Dhrupad exponents of foreign origin gained a marginal acceptance in the Indian market, but without satisfactory rewards.


Hindustani music has gone through several major transformations over the last two millennia as a result of cross-cultural influences. But, Dhrupad seemed like a unique case of an Indian  genre which was pronounced dead in India, experienced a shaky revival at home, and become popular enough with foreign audiences to become financially dependent on them. Dhrupad, as it appeared to the Editors of the 1999 survey, presented itself as one of the enigmas of cultural anthropology.


Two decades later


I am now revisiting Dhrupad, as a genre, in 2021 -- more than 20 years after the aforesaid survey was published. As expected, the state of the art-form today is different. After all, no matter how we look at it, 20 years is almost an entire generation.


The resilience of the genre is no longer questioned. Its fortunes  no longer seem to dependent predominantly on vocal music. The Rudra Veena, though a late starter, now shares the Dhrupad space respectably. While continuing its penetration of Western audiences, the genre has also acquired a significant presence on the Indian concert platform. Dhrupad is now an international genre featuring Indian as well as foreign-born musicians, addressing Indian as well as foreign-born audiences.


While all this is true of Dhrupad, it is also largely true of Hindustani music in general – including Khayal and Thumree vocalism, and instrumental music not explicitly associated with the Dhrupad genre.


It is perhaps time to examine where Dhrupad stands today in terms of its share-of-mind in relation to the totality of Hindustani music. “Share-of-mind” is a marketing concept, because it is connected to a brand’s share of visibility and, ultimately, to its share of the market for the product. Obviously then, “Share-of-mind” is also a quantitative concept. Unless we have a measure of the universe of the product category in which a brand competes, and can also quantify each brand by the same measure, a relative position cannot be determined for a brand. Is such a quantification possible for Dhrupad as a “brand” and also for the totality of Hindustani music as a “product category”?


I have attempted such a quantification using simple computations, using publicly accessible viewership information on YouTube.


YouTube data as research material


YouTube data is being increasingly used globally for musicological research; but its value is still controversial. I have conducted and published fairly substantive studies using YouTube data, while also detailing and acknowledging the major limitations to their value. In defense of its utility I have argued that YouTube is increasingly becoming the dominant repository of recorded Hindustani music and is progressively becoming “representative” of the universe whose characteristics we are trying to capture. I have also argued that, a scientifically rigorous study would be near-impossible to undertake and finance for a global cultural phenomenon. Considering such impossibility, YouTube data is better than nothing.


I relate this perspective to my experience as a media analyst in the advertising agency business. I started my career in 1969 before even the rudiments of audience research surfaced on the Indian media scene. Marketers still had to sell their goods, and advertising money had to be spent. Waiting for “reliable” data was not an option; some rationally defensible  quantifications had to be made in order to apportion advertising funds tactically between different markets and media. It was necessary to take the view that it is not the quality of the data that would determine the efficiency of your decisions, but how judiciously you analyze and interpret that data for decision-making.


Relying on this reasoning, I have devised a simple “audience measurement” ratio for recordings on YouTube. It is not “perfect” or “scientific” in a rigorously defensible sense. I have therefore decided to call it an “Audience Engagement Factor”. It is not intended to be interpreted literally as a measure, but contextually as an “Order of Magnitude”.


The arithmetic is simple. The videos covered for this study were uploaded at different time 

distances from the date on which we are logging their total viewership. Each video has thus had a different time-span over which to accumulate viewers – or be forgotten or ignored. So, the aggregate viewership of all considered videos has to be adjusted for these differences in order to obtain a standardized measure of audience engagement. The resultant number is computed as “Views per month”. However, it is safest to regard it as an unrefined “Audience Engagement Factor”.


With this framework, it is possible to compute the AEF for the genre in its entirety, for each musician, and/or for each segment of the sample we wish to evaluate. The application of this approach to the subject of the present study provides insights to the subject.


The sample for the study (Refer Table 1 at the end of the study)


For this study, I selected 19 Dhrupad vocalists, and 12 Rudra Veena exponents, whose recordings exist on YouTube. By seniority, the sample of vocalists ranges from Ustad Allahbande Rahimuddin Dagar born in 1900 to Ms. Pelva Naik born in 1986. The sample of Rudra Veena exponents ranges from Ustad Sadiq Ali Khan born in 1893 to Ms. Madhuwanti Mohan, born (approximately) in 1990. The vocal music and Rudra Veena samples need to be analyzed collectively, and also separately because, based on  earlier studies and our knowledge of their respective trajectories, we can expect them to exhibit different patterns.


I have excluded Pakhawaj solo recordings from this study because that segment of music straddles the concert platform as well as religious practice. Several percussionists straddle both segments, while some are active only in one of the two segments. In addition, Pakhawaj solo renditions occasionally feature Tala-s outside the orbit of the Dhrupad genre. The inclusion of Pakhawaj solo recordings in this study would have, therefore, created some dissonance.


We are auditing recordings of musicians born over a period of more than a 100 years, and measuring their ability to engage present-day audiences, as measured in April 2021. So, the known phenomena of aesthetic and technological obsolescence have to be taken into account. We are also looking at a sample which straddles Dhrupad across the stages of decline, revival, and assumed buoyancy.


Considering both these realities, I consider it useful to segment the sample of musicians into three distinct generations, using 30 years as the defining separator. The 30-year separator for generational analysis is supported by the megacycles econometric model of Nikolai Kondratiev and the socio-cultural commentaries of Jose Ortega Y Gassett (Man and Crisis). I have discussed both these theoretical constructs in my earlier writings. The sample of musicians is, therefore, segmented into (i) The survivor generation: born: 1900-1930 (ii) The revivalist generation: born: 1930-1960 (iii) The beneficiary generation: born: 1960-1990.


The unsegmented/ composite AEF for the total sample of 31 Dhrupad musicians (vocalists as well as Rudra Veena exponents) constitutes the primary, though tentative, result of this study. It attempts to address the question: Where does Dhrupad stand today in relation to the totality of Hindustani music in terms of its “Share-of-mind”? But, for a numerically neat answer, I need a comparable yardstick for the Hindustani music universe.


This reference point  is available from a similar AEF study I did to assess the audience-rating of 97 major/ popular/ frequently performed Raga-s across all genres of vocal music (Dhrupad, Khayal, Thumri) and all instruments including Rudra Veena. The study covered every recording of a significant musician available on YouTube in April 2020. The results of the study are published under the “Ragascape Studies” title on my blog: The study covered over 18000 recordings. The results of the study provide the benchmark against which Dhrupad’s “Share-of-mind” can be assessed.


Dhrupad’s “Share-of-mind” (Refer Table 2)


The overall Audience Engagement Factor for Dhrupad as a genre amongst contemporary YouTube audiences for Hindustani music suggests a share of about 35%. This is creditable considering that, just two generations ago, the genre could have interested archeologists more than musicians or musicologists. Unfortunately, the country-wise dispersion of audiences is not available publicly on YouTube. Considering the history of the genre, and the fact that foreign Dhrupad enthusiasts have fewer opportunities to hear live concerts, the international viewership of available online recordings could be a substantial component of this number. 

These numbers have, however, to be interpreted as indicative rather than authoritative -- as crude estimates -- because they are derived from the results of two different studies and could therefore suffer from inestimable infirmities. We may accept that, even if the reality they attempt to measure is close to 25% (and not 35%), the magnitude would be considered creditable. Knowledgeable  concert hosts, with whom I have sought to check out this estimate, however, believe that Dhrupad's current "Share-of-market" does not exceed 10%. They believe that Dhrupad is still a marginalized genre. Understandably, its practitioners are more anxious about accumulating audiences than practitioners of the mainstream modern genres. This results in the mediaeval genre being grossly over-represented on YouTube. 


The segment results indicate that the Rudra Veena may claim a higher share (44%) of the instrumental music space in Hindustani music than Dhrupad vocalism appears to claim (37%) in the vocal music space. Here too, the reality may differ substantially from the indication available from the numbers. However, instrumental Dhrupad music claiming a higher share than vocal music is perhaps realistic because that happens to be the general pattern in the totality of audience engagement  in Hindustani music. 

 The Obsolescence Factor (Refer Graph 3)


In my earlier studies of Hindustani music using YouTube viewership data, I have found that recordings of recent music systematically and consistently exhibit higher AEF ratings compared to recordings of older music. The obsolescence factor is easily understood, both, in its aesthetic and technological, dimensions.


Music is a dynamic and evolving art-form responding constantly to audience tastes. Living and recent musicians produce music that relates more effortlessly to contemporary audiences than those of the past and those who have departed. Living musicians have the additional advantage of visibility through various media. Secondly, developments in recording technology have enabled each generation of musicians to produce recordings increasingly pleasant to the ear, and acoustically more acceptable to contemporary audiences. The existence of the obsolescence phenomenon has been demonstrated in several of my earlier studies.


Since this essay concerns itself with Dhrupad as a genre, the antiquity/ recency of the music is considered in its entirety – encompassing both, the vocal as well as the Rudra Veena manifestations, of the art. The calibration of the recordings is done in relation to the year of the musician’s birth.

I do not propose to reveal the individual Audience Engagement Factors computed for each musician by name because (i) such information can be misinterpreted or misused and (ii) rating individual musicians is not the purpose of this study.


The plot of Audience Engagement Factors of the sample musicians against their years of birth

suggests a very low correlation. The co-efficient of correlation is a meagre 0.311, with a negligible R-square of 0.096. This inference has several implications:


Since there is no real escape from technological obsolescence, the real growth in Audience Engagement is attributable primarily to the evolution of the art through the generations. And, since this rate itself looks modest, it appears to suggest a sluggish rate of evolution for the art itself.


The linear time-series graph, however, shows a buoyancy factor in the few ratings above the near-flat trend line. It suggests that Dhrupad’s present share-of-mind is supported by outstanding musicianship identified by only five high points out of the 31 plotted on the graph. The more general indication is that the genre itself does not benefit visibly from the contribution of the Beneficiary generation.

The picture does not improve substantially if we test the obsolescence factor as an exponential function of recency/ antiquity on the time scale. The graph plots the Natural Log of AEF ratings against the year of birth. (Refer Graph 3B). 

The coefficient of correlation improves notionally to 0.35 and the R-square measure rises to 0.12. The only difference we notice between the two graphs is that the log-linear AEF ratings are more evenly distributed on the two sides of the trend line. 

It is observed that very few of the data points above the trend line belong to the Beneficiary generation. It appears that the vast majority of the influentials in the Dhrupad world, even today, are musicians of the earlier generations. The implication of the log-linear function is, therefore, not particularly complimentary to the Beneficiary generation in terms of keeping alive the Dhrupad genre and relating it meaningfully to its own generation of audiences.  

It appears reasonable to suggest that contemporary Dhrupad exponents – whether vocalists or instrumentalists – cannot expect to ride the crest of a Dhrupad revival which itself does not look particularly strong. 


The obsolescence dimension is better understood by scrutinizing the generational analysis of Audience Engagement Factors.


The Generational Factor (Refer Table 4)


In the vocal as well as instrumental music segments, the generational analysis shows that contemporary interest in the music of the Survivor generation is negligible. This is to be expected because (i) very few contemporary music lovers would be aware of the important musicians of that generation (ii) the recordings of that era are unsatisfying in comparison with  modern recordings and (iii) archives of that era are almost all in the audio format, which engages audiences less than the video format. The small visible viewership of these vintage recordings could probably be limited to serious students of Dhrupad music or to a  geriatric  generation of present-day listeners. Our attention may therefore focus on the audience ratings of the Revivalist and Beneficiary generations.  


In the vocal segment of Dhrupad, the audience ratings of the Revivalist generation and the Beneficiary generation are almost on par. This suggests that this segment has attracted quality talent, and the transmission of the art has taken place. However, one must be reminded that, in a vibrant art-form, a degree of obsolescence is desirable and expected, but is found missing in the present study. 

The stagnation of audience engagement between the Revivalist generation and the Beneficiary generation here is not an optimistic sign. The numbers suggest that there is no substantial difference between the music of the Beneficiary generation (as a group) and that of its predecessor generation. Another way of looking at the results could be that emerging Dhrupad vocalists are, by and large, performing music relevant to their parents' generation --a lot of which is still alive -- more than their own. Exceptional musicianship does, however, appear to achieve contemporary relevance, as it will tend to do in any genre. 


A confident musicianship was evident in the interview I did with the Dhrupad vocalist, Ramakant Gundecha (Interviewed on September 2, 1998):


“I do not subscribe to the theory that the shortage of competent Dhrupad performers or its novelty for a majority of the audiences can explain what we have been able to achieve. Nobody invites a poor musician to perform, no matter how rare his style of singing is. Audiences do not come specifically to hear Khayal or Dhrupad. They come to hear classical music. You either qualify as a classical musician, or you don’t. This is as true for us it was for the pioneers of the Dhrupad revival in modern times – Ustad Nasir Aminuddin and Nasir Moinuddin Dagar, better known as the Senior Dagar Brothers.” (Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, 1999).


The situation in the Rudra Veena segment appears less reassuring. There is a significant drop of 38% in audience ratings from the Revivalist generation to the Beneficiary generation. This suggests an inability to attract quality talent, an inadequate transmission of the art, and  a stagnation -- perhaps even a regression -- of the musical product.


This broad inference can be refined by looking at the audience ratings of the vocal and instrumental manifestations of Dhrupad across the major gharana-s (stylistic lineages).


Stylistic Lineages (Refer Table 5)


The vocal tradition of Dhrupad features two main stylistic lineages. (i) The Dagar lineage which practices the Dagur Bani style, (ii) The Darbhanga/ Bettiyah lineages which practice the Khandar Bani style. The Rudra Veena has been represented, in recent years, by practitioners of the Dagar lineage and several other lineages, including the renowned Jaipur Beenkar lineage.


In the Rudra Veena segment, the Audience Engagement Factor of musicians of the Dagar 

tradition are ahead of the others by 30%. In the vocal music segment, Dagar musicians lead the Darbhanga/ Bettiya group by over 250%. These magnitudes, established over three generations of musicians, suggest that the Dagar lineage has been more successful than the others in attracting quality talent, and more serious about the transmission of their art.


The strength of the Dagar lineage may be supported by the evidence that, over three generations, its vocalists and Rudra Veena exponents have acquired and matured a substantially larger repertoire of Raga-s than its rival styles. (Refer Table 6)


This table suggests the need to explore farther the relationship between the Raga repertoires of musicians and their Audience Engagement Factors, as measured.


AEFs and Raga Repertoires (Refer Table 7)


In the vocal music segment, the Beneficiary generation appears to be collectively performing a

fewer numbers of Raga-s than its predecessor generation, but maintaining its Audience Engagement Factor on par despite the smaller repertoire. This phenomenon suggests the contribution of musicianship, and the delivery of an esthetically relevant musical product for contemporary audiences.


The comparable figures for Rudra Veena exponents of the two generations show a different picture. The Beneficiary generation appears to be performing a much larger number of Raga-s than the earlier generation has done, but reports a much lower Audience Engagement Factor. It appears that contemporary audiences continue to gravitate to the recorded music of an earlier generation for music that satisfies. This suggests an emerging musicianship deficit, and the relative inability of  the Beneficiary generation to engage constructively with contemporary audiences.


To be fair, serious musicians of the Beneficiary generation have given considerable thought to the modernization of the Rudra Veena idiom. In an interview with me on November 9, 2002, the Rudra Veena maestro, Bahauddin Dagar told me:


In the rendition of the Pada and the tar-parans, the Veena does have a small problem because of unidirectional strokes. I pluck with my bare fingers; but even if I wore a mizrab (wire plectrum) as other Veena players do, I will not get the clear separation between the composition and the improvisations as effectively as the sitarist achieves with bi-directional strokes. I have tried playing Masit Khani (Sitar/ Sarod) compositions; it does not work. Also, the stroke density is too high for the Veena. Our instrument is meant for delivering the maximum musical value with the minimum number of strokes.” (Commentary on a CD recorded for India Archive Music, New York)

From these indications, it appears that the vocal manifestation of the Dhrupad genre could be more amenable to modernization than its instrumental facet.

In support of this perspective, I quote here from an interview I did with the Dhrupad vocalist, Uday Bhawalkar on October 2, 1998:


After my performances, people often tell me that my music sounds different from that of my Ustads. Our training has given us the basic equipment, and allowed our individuality and creativity to express itself. In the Dhrupad tradition, this may be happening for the first time; and it is necessary.” (Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, 1999).


Musicianship, as a comprehensive grip on all facets of a genre, is a universal issue affecting all genres of music at any stage of evolution. Individuality and creativity, shaping the evolutionary path of a genre are, as Uday Bhawalkar points out, especially important for a genre like Dhrupad that has apparently resisted change for centuries. In the totality that we call musicianship, Dhrupad practitioners may need to consider issues related to the responsiveness of audiences to the Raga spectrum they collectively present. This subject has been briefly discussed above, but deserves detailed scrutiny.


Raga Repertoire and Audience Engagement (Refer Table 8)


For this study, I have audited 712 Dhrupad recordings covering 103 Raga-s performed by 31 selected musicians.  I computed the Audience Engagement Factor for each Raga across all musicians and recordings. For each Raga, I also counted the number of times each Raga appeared in the sample of recordings. This gave me two different rankings of the 103 Raga-s – one based on the AEF and one based on the frequency of occurrence in a recording.


I decided to compare the top-20 Raga-s on each of these rankings to examine the relationship between the two. The comparison is shown in Table 8.

 The indication available from this juxtaposition is that the Raga-s most frequently performed by Dhrupad musicians do not enjoy the commensurate Audience Engagement Factor. Let us now consider this finding in greater detail.


Yaman is number 1 on the frequency list, but comes at number 5 on the AEF ranking. Bhairavi is number 2 on the frequency ranking, but does not feature anywhere in the top-20 ranking on the AEF. Malkauns is number 3 on the frequency table, but features nowhere on the AEF list of top-20. Miya-ki-Todi is fourth on the frequency listing, but, again, features nowhere on the AEF ranking. Chandrakauns is at number 5 on the frequency table, but once again, does not feature on the top-20 AEF listing.


Now let us look at the issue from the opposite angle. Purvi ranks first on AEF, but does not feature on the frequency listing. Bhairav features number 2 on the AEF ranking, but does not feature on the frequency listing. Shankara ranks number 3 on the AEF listing, but does not feature on the frequency listing. Pancham Kosh ranks 4th on the AEF ranking, but does not feature on the frequency listing.

In plain English, collectively Dhrupad exponents are performing, ad nauseum, Raga-s which their audiences have heard many times, and are now of little interest to them. In the process, they appear to be neglecting the Raga-s not heard often -- or not at all-- and in hearing which there can be considerably higher interest.


What does this suggest? This suggests that a kind of Raga-fatigue may have set in with respect to Raga-s performed very frequently – within the Dhrupad world and even outside of it --  and audiences could be receptive to a greater variety of melodic experience in Dhrupad than they appear currently to be getting.


This situation suggests two possibilities: (i) Their grooming in the art is deficient or (ii) they have adopted a restricted concert repertoire as a conscious strategy. Neither of these possibilities requires any comment. On available evidence, the repertoire does appear to be an issue. But, the larger issue appears to be musicianship. 

A vast Raga repertoire is, admittedly, not an essential component of musicianship. With specific reference to Dhrupad, however, the evidence presented here  suggests that it is positively correlated with higher levels of audience engagement. There is perhaps some logic behind this indication. When a dormant musical genre is attempting to regain its presence on the music-scape, a larger repertoire helps to accumulate and retain audiences.

An interesting reference point for this argument is the emergence of instrumental music – initially Sitar and Sarod – as a challenger to the supremacy of vocal music during the 1940s. The challenge was, of course, facilitated by the arrival of amplification which enabled instruments to reach larger audiences with more refined melody. But, even the musicianship of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt. Nikhil Bannerjee required their ample armory of Raga-s to create a large following. Over the next 50 years, as the markets and the acoustic environment evolved, the vastness of repertoire ceased to matter, and musicianship became the prime driver of popularity and stature in both, instrumental and vocal, music. 

More recently, some of the biggest names in Hindustani music, like Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Ustad Vilayat Khan, could build formidable careers performing just about 12-15 Raga-s throughout their entire careers. This precedent is interesting, because (i) the context is entirely different, (ii) Dhrupad in its revivalist phase is affected by the collective conduct of all its exponents as much as by individual factors (iii) the luminaries I mention were not reviving a genre threatened with extinction and, finally (iv) they were musicians of a caliber born once in a hundred years. Raga-fatigue/ repertoire enhancement seems like a significant issue for the Dhrupad world, perhaps manageable  only through the cultivation of outstanding musicianship.


The most important indication from this study may be that Audience Engagement is stagnant in the vocal music segment, and shrinking in the Rudra Veena segment. At this stage of its evolution, the Dhrupad revival could be floundering in some important respects -- primarily, a musicianship deficit.

In the present context, the deficit points towards a few possibilities which may be particularly relevant. Firstly, the shortage of great Guru-s has worsened dramatically in the last few decades. Secondly, the yardstick of musicianship may have weakened because the number of practitioners is still not large enough to engender a degree of competition amongst them. And, finally, the average discernment profile of Dhrupad audiences could have been diluted by a faster growth of the Dhrupad constituency outside India than within India.


Precisely these concerns may have prompted Uday Bhawalkar to make the following observation. (Interviewed by me on October 2, 1998).


“It is true that … Dhrupad is emerging is emerging as an attractive novelty for a large number of music lovers. However, making any kind of career in classical music is not a bed of roses, and Dhrupad is not a guarantee of a comfortable life”. (Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, 1999).


 (c) Deepak S. Raja. April 2021