I took DD out to a Gundecha brothers concert last night. They are masters of the Dhrupad style of singing and easily the best known names in the field. I have heard them on Youtube and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to hear them live. Also, with the DH not being in town, I decided DD and I would do something refined and cultured.
However, knowing DD, I was prepared and I carried the iPad and her Nintendo DS. That way if the program got too tedious she’d have something to do while listening to the music.
The concert was superb. The brothers started with an alaap in Rag Multani and sang 2 short compositions in the same rang. Then they did a short alaap in Rag Hamir and sang another composition in the same raag. We left right when they started to sing Raag Bhupali since it was 11:00 PM. I had a friend and her mother accompany me to the concert. The friend has a 2-year-old who was being watched by her husband. The concert was set to run for another hour or two and staying on till 1:00 AM was not an option for her or me, given that we had to drive back about a half hour at that time of night.
The concert included a conversational piece where the Gundecha brothers answered questions about the Dhrupad style of singing. The answers were illuminating and very interesting. I asked DD to pay close attention to the questions and answers so she could add to her knowledge of music.
One of the questions posed was about the importance of Tanpura in Indian Classical Music and the brothers explained why the Tanpura is essential to Indian Classical music and the only accompaniment used in the Dhrupad style of singing besides the Pakhawaj.
It wasn’t an answer I expected DD to fully understand, but I wanted her to know how important this 4 stringed instrument is, so I told her “Do you know the music box you use to set scales when you practise music? It is actually the Tanpura you are listening to on that music box?”
DD, who had been struggling to maintain an interested look on her face while longingly staring at the iPad in my purse says “Oh, so it is the Toonpura that’s being played when I sing the Sa Pa Sa?”
Miya Tansen, she will not be 😦
P.S: I tried hard to get a video of the Brothers singing Rag Multani, I couldn’t so I’m posting a link to them singing a Kabir Bhajan in Raag Charukesi. I love the raag and the rendition is superb, needless to say. Enjoy!!