DMS 2018 Workshop and UK concerts

2018 Workshop

Please find details of our 2018 workshop with Pt. Uday Bhalwalkar Ji and concerts below:

Dates: Sun 5th August - Fri 10th August 2018

Location: Oaklands College, Hatfield Road, St Albans, Herts, AL4 0XS

BOOKING CLOSED! If you have already emailed us we will honour your booking.

Participants are free to find alternative accommodation or commute if they wish. Please note the morning Kharaj session will start at 6:30am and there will also be some sessions in the early evening e.g. master class etc.

This year Pt. Uday Bhalwalkar Ji  will be assisted by Shri Chintan Upadhyay, Shri Sagar Morankar, Shri Kirit Singh, and Shri Pratap Awad (Pakhawaj).

2018 Concerts

London - Saturday 11th August 2018 @ 6:30pm in Golders Green Unitarian Church, 31 Hoop Lane, London, NW11 8BS. £15 (Concessions £10). 

TICKETS ON THE DOOR or email us to reserve at

DMS 2018 Workshop poster.jpg
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2017 Events

Our annual workshop took place from Sun 30 July - Fri 4 August 2017 at Oaklands College, St Albans. It was the largest ever with 35 participants. Udayji was assisted by his senior students Chintan Upadhyaya and Prassanna Vishwanathan and accompanied by Pratap Awad. Please see our Gallery Pages for a report.

Pakhawaj workshop with Pratap Awad - London 2016

Dear Dhrupad lovers,

We are happy to announce a Pakhawaj workshop with renowned artist Pratap Awad.

Dates: Monday 1st - Thursday 4th August             Time: 7pm-9pm

Venue - Venue: Indian YMCA London, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, UK W1T 6AQ

Donation - TBC

This workshop is for percussion players, as well as for vocalists and instrumentalists who would like to learn Dhrupad taals and improve their understanding of, and ability to perform to rhythm. 

Pratap Awad- Born in a musical family of the Varkari sect of Maharashtra, Pratap took to Pakhawaj at age 10, learning the bhajan accompaniment style. Later he was selected by Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Bahauddin Dagar to study classical pakhawaj at their Gurukul in Ambe Jogai. Subsequently he moved to Pune and has been receiving advanced training from Pandit Uday Bhawalkar. He has accompanied several senior Dhrupad artists in India as well as overseas and also performed in solo concerts. He is a graded artist of AIR.

Workshop to cover:

-Beat, and taal

-Drum-alphabets of Pakhawaj and Important bols (syllables) of Pakhawaj

-Practice of different laya (tempo)

-Theka (arrangement of bols) of  Pakhawaj taals - Choutaal, Dhamar, Teevra, Sultaal, Aditaal

To register your interest and for further information please email us at

Look forward to seeing you there!

Dhrupad Music Society


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Event -

Dhrupad – Ek Vichar - An Article by Pt Uday Bhawalkar

Dhrupad – Ek Vichar

The direction given by my Gurus and my own experiences has prompted me to share my thoughts about Dhrupad in this article.

The music of India was, in the past, broadly classified into two streams, Margee (Rag-Sangeet) and Desi sangeet. Dhrupad is a musical form prevalent since the early evolutionary stages of Indian classical music (Margee sangeet) and derives from the sound of Omkar, considered to be the origin of nad (sound). Lord Shiva, believed to be the first Dhrupad musician, also inspired many rishis (saints) and munis(ascetics) to follow suit. Some well known Dhrupadiyas (Dhrupad musicians) are Swami Haridas, Baiju Bawra, Tansen, Nayak gopal, Nayak Bakshu.

Through the ages, Indian classical music has always been a path for seekers of Self Realization. Dhrupad is deeply rooted in this tradition of introspection. It diverges in its thought process and presentation from other forms of classical music, while the concepts of swar (note), raag, taal, niyam, spontaneity and expression are identical. Indian culture has been embraced in multitudinous ways resulting in numerous musical traditions. Consequently it would be unsuitable to confine Dhrupad to a strict definition. The variety lent to the genre by the manifold gharanas has enriched it.

Vocal and instrumental Dhrupad musicians, have invariably leaned on the subtle detail and sensitivity of the Tanpura and Pakhawaj. Vocal rendition has developed hand in hand with Dhrupad on the Veena. An instrument unique in its capacity to produce subtle microtones, it has been largely relied upon in understanding the concepts of meend (slide between notes), ghumara (resonance), shruti (particular shade of a note) and swarasthaans. So central is the Veena to Dhrupad, that the vocalist is sometimes referred to as the GatraVeena (the Body Veena).

Dhrupad singers and Veena players have thrived in a symbiotic relationship, inspiring as well as complementing each other’s creativity. Vocal and instrumental presentation is very similar and both use the multi dimensional medium of Aalap and Bandish (composition).

Dhrupad aalap is sung by combining sound syllables such as Aa, Ra, Na, Naa, Ree, Noom, Tey, Ta, systematically to produce a meaningful dialogue with the notes of the Raag. These syllables come from Vedic chants and lend great beauty and structure to aalap phrases. The aalap expresses the texture of the swar (note) and its many feelings (ras and bhav) paves the way for the journey from swar to nad.

The exclusive use of aakar (producing an “Aa” sound while singing) and sargam (singing notes by their names: Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa,

Dha, Nee) is avoided. Aalap calls for a subtle and delicate treatment of notes in the raag, while also allowing them complete freedom of expression. Different shades of the raag manifest in the renditions of the jod and jhala following the aalap.

These constructs, usually faster in pace, deliver a perspective on the raag and note usage, distinct from the aalap. The same notes as used before, appeal to different sensibilities. However the increased pace is not the only defining idea behind the jod and jhala.

Dhrupad compositions are traditionally set to one of Chautal (12 beats), Dhamar (14 beats), Jhaptal (10 beats), Sooltal (10 beats) or Tevra (7 beats) taals (rhythmic cycles). The predominant themes are Bhakti (devotion), Shringar (love) or descriptions of sangeet shastra. Performance of the bandish, comprises largely of spontaneous improvisations within the taal framework, called upaj.

Upaj gives the musician plenty of scope to creatively paint the mood of the Raag and composition using the lyrics, notes and rhythm. It is hence not limited to doubling or tripling the rhythm, or even just finishing on the sam (first beat of the taal).

Dhrupad gharanas are known as ‘banis’, from the Sanskrit word for speech - vani, and refer to the style of performance. Most Khayal gharanas have been parented by Dhrupad musicians.

Over the last century Khayal has largely represented the classical music of Northern India. A misconception I have often come across is the idea that Dhrupad is a rigid genre that limits scope for the individual’s creativity. While any art, inclusive of its rules will always be an oceanic domain that none can conquer, it is the genius of the artist that pushes the limits of this universe. Hence, considering any artform to be rigid is passing a parochial judgement on it. That Dhrupad is something other than classical music, is fallacious. Other such misguided ideas include:

* It is a masculine art form and cannot be practiced by women.

* The mood of all Dhrupad compositions is limited to courageous overtones (Veer ras).

* Dhrupad performance is primarily about the playing with complicated rhythms. This technique maybe part of a performance. It may also be characteristic of some gharanas, however it cannot be applied to the genre as a whole.

* Raags Kafi, Khamaj, Bhairavi etc. are not part of this genre.

* It is limited to certain raags

* Dhrupad aalap is only sung using the syllables Nom and Tom.

* The syllables Te, Ta, Ra, Na, Ree, Na etc. derive from the tradition of Tarana.

* Every Dhrupad composition is required to have four parts, the Sthayi, Antara, Abhog and Sanchari.

* Dhrupad literature (sahitya) covers a narrow range of subjects.

The aim of this article is to bring light to the understanding of Dhrupad music. Dhrupad is verily a royal path, delving deep into the study of the swar (note) and Raags. The endeavor, on this illimitable journey, is to understand the strength behind the swar and its multiple facets and to recognize its divinity.

Uday Bhawalkar


Don't forget - UK 2016 Dhrupad Workshops Announced With Pt Uday Bhawalkar + Baithak Concerts- Click here for more details


UK 2016 Dhrupad workshops announced with Pt Uday Bhawalkar + Baithak concerts

Dear Dhrupad friends,
We are happy to announce that the 2016 Dhrupad workshop with Pt. Uday Bhawalkar will be taking place on:

Date: Monday 1st – Friday 5th August 2016. 

Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm  (apart from last day which finishes after lunch).

Venue: Indian YMCA London, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, UK W1T 6AQ
If you need accommodation, then the Indian YMCA is the obvious choice! Please visit their website for further details and
Cost of workshop:  £250 donation

General format  - In the workshops Udayji takes one main raga which he slowly covers from alaap to composition. Alongside this there tends to be another composition in different raga, explanation and recitation of the associated taals, morning vocal warm up exercises,  raga palta (practising different patterns) and interactive discussions.

The workshop is open to all levels from beginners to advanced.

As you know, this venture is solely funded by us as a student community with no other recourse to funds.  As such, I would be most grateful if you could make a donation of this amount once you have received confirmation of your reservation – bank details will be included with the confirmation.
We are also attempting to widen our distribution list, so please let me know of others (and their email) who would be interested in this workshop and we will add them to our list.
Please email us at  as soon as you can to reserve your place. First come, first serve with limited space.
Uday-ji would prefer the class size to be max 18.  However, if the confirmed interest exceeds this number, we will consider having two groups and bring along one of Uday-ji’s senior students. Both groups would receive tuition from Uday-ji and him/her  each day.  If we have enough interest to go down this route, we will discuss the format in detail with Uday-ji and communicate this with you.

Facebook event page - Dhrupad workshop with Pt Uday Bhawalkar 2016 (London)
Events being planned as part of Uday-ji’s 2016 visit (full details to follow):

Please email  if you are interested and we will send you cost and other details

Event -

  •  A one-day vocal workshop with Udayji  in Leicester on Saturday 6th August. 

 Please email  if you are interested and we will send you cost and other details

Facebook event page - One day Dhrupad workshop with Pt Uday Bhawalkar 2016 (Leicester)

  • A baithak/house concert on 5th or 6th August in Leicester

Facebook event page - Dhrupad baithak with Pt Uday Bhawalkar 2016 (Leicester)

Future workshops

Looking ahead to next year and beyond, we are considering a residential summer school in Leicester in 2017, alternating every other year with day workshop week in London. Your thoughts on these proposals are most welcome.
Your support is hugely appreciated and I hope to hear from you soon.  Please also visit our website ( and Facebook page for announcements.

Naad Utsav 2016 - Udayji's Surprise 50th birthday event

As some of you are aware on the 21st Feb 2016 a surprise event was organised by Udayji's students and family for Udayji's 50th Birthday. It was a grand success, both an emotionally and spiritually enriching experience for all who were present.

Visit our website and facebook to see pictures of the event.

A huge thank you to all that helped make the event a success.

Dhrupad Music Society


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Launch of Dhrupad Music Society & 2016 Workshop with Pt. Uday Bhawalkarji

Launch of Dhrupad Music Society

The Dhrupad Music Society is a not-for-profit charity with the aim to spread awareness, interest and education in Dhrupad, a unique and ancient form of Indian classical music.

Since 2000 there have been annual Dhrupad workshops in the UK with Pandit Uday Bhawalkar. These were originally set up and run by the Asian Music Circuit (AMC). In 2015, when the AMC's interest moved elsewhere, a group of dedicated students set up the Dhrupad Music Society to continue and develop this great tradition.

Visit the site for more information about dhrupad and past workshops.

Fellow dhrupad lovers, we are excited to announce that the next workshop with Pt Uday Bhalwalkarji is currently being planned for around the 31 July to 6 August 2016 - final dates and venue to be confirmed. Please stay tuned for updates.

If you are interested in attending please do get in touch with us at