Dagars & Dhrupad, A Notable Bonding

Mention the word Dhrupad and the one name that comes to mind is the Dagar family, that has been singularly responsible for popularising this classical form of music based on two ragas ? Bhairavi and Yaman Kalyan

music Updated: Mar 29, 2003 14:16 IST

Mention the word Dhrupad and the one name that comes to mind is the Dagar family, that has been singularly responsible for popularising this classical form of music based on just two ragas – Bhairavi and Yaman Kalyan.

Carrying forward the legacy is the 20th generation of Dagars – Ustad F. Wasifuddin, S. Nafeesuddin and S. Aneesuddin, of which the latter two will be performing for the first time in the Capital at the 19th Dhrupad Samaroh, starting today at the India Habitat Centre.

“Even as early as 1960, people would ask my grandfather Naseeruddin Dagar if Dhrupad was a dying art,” says Wasifuddin, “Despite the onslaught of westernisation, it has survived, and our family is a testimony to that.”

None of the children were, however, forced into the family tradition, the brothers are quick to point out.

“Though we started our training at the age of 7-8,” says Nafeesuddin, “in the beginning we were just made to sit in classes to test our patience. A Dhrupad concert can go on for five hours and patience is what is needed the most.”

It is only when the elders are convinced that the children are genuinely interested, are they initiated into the training, under the guru-shishya parampara.

“To give our audience a wider choice, since 1978 we have been organising the Dhrupad Samaroh, where we invite musicians from other gharanas,” says Wasifuddin, “it is a majestic style, and we will try to help popularise it.” So long as there are Dagars, there will be Dhrupad.

First Published: Mar 30, 2003 09:00 IST