Dhrupad is an old style of singing, traditionally performed by male singers.
It is performed with a tambura and a pakhawaj as instrumental accompaniments.
The lyrics, some of which were written in Sanskrit centuries ago, are presently often sung in brajbhasha, a medieval form of North and East Indian languages that was spoken in Eastern India.
The rudra veena, an ancient string instrument, is used in instrumental music in dhrupad.
Dhrupad music is primarily devotional in theme and content.
It contains recitals in praise of particular deities. Dhrupad compositions begin with a relatively long and acyclic alap, where the syllables of the following mantra is recited:
A lighter form of dhrupad, called dhamar, is sung primarily during the festival ofHoli.
Dhrupad was the main form of northern Indian classical music until two centuries ago, when it gave way to the somewhat less austere khyal, a more free-form style of singing.