Re-emergence of Dhrupad
Ramakant and Umakant Gundecha popularly known as Gundecha brothers, the world renowned exponents of Dhrupad form of music opened the evening concert of Kaushik Dhwani Institute of music with a soulful rendition in Raga Shivaranjani and concluded with the popular composition Jheeni Jheeni in Raga Charukeshi. They spoke about the re-emergence of Dhrupad form of music among the present generation. Says Umakant, “Dhrupad is the most ancient form of Indian music. For a long time this was the only form of music that was patronised in the royal courts before it lost its mass appeal in society.” Says Ramakant, “This form of music touches the soul of an individual. Some professionals have even left their jobs as doctors, engineers and software professionals to take up Dhrupad as a full time passion and maybe a profession. This is the very reason that even outside India, Dhrupad has become very popular,” he adds.
The brothers feel that learning music in college and university is good to be aware of the basics but not good enough to make a professional musician.
Says Umakant, “Can you show us any one musician who can say that he has not learnt under the Guru-Shishya Parampara. A performing artist cannot come out of a university or college. Nothing works more like Guru Shishya Parampara to master the Dhrupad form. We, at our institute teach the Dhrupad style of music on varied musical instruments like Rudra Veena, Saraswati Veena, VichitraVeena, Esraj, Silver Flute, Sitar, Sarod, Qanun (Turkish instrument), Hawaiian Guitar, Saxophone and Santoor.” Ramakant has a word of caution for the music community. “It is very important to understand that no one can be blamed for any form of music or musical instrument losing its popularity among the masses. It’s only the prime responsibility of the practitioners to ensure that the element of performance should reach to the minds of the listeners.”
The Gundecha brothers are very excited about a three day “Dhrupad Utsav” that is being organised by their institution in Hyderabad, in the second week of October. “There will be performances of Dhrupad music by the new emerging artists which includes our students from abroad. Listen to all forms of music, but also listen to Dhrupad” concludes Ramakant.