CHAT The Gundecha Brothers on tradition and the future. ANJANA RAJAN
T he Bhopal-based Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha, illustrious exponents of the Dagar tradition of Dhrupad music, in conversation.
Why are there fewer women Dhrupad singers than men?
Because there is a myth that Dhrupad is meant for male singers. We want to break it. Also because of the family tradition; Dagar family did not teach their female members. In the past, Dhrupad singers did not make enough efforts to pass it on to the next generation. Now the scene is changing.
There was a time when Dhrupad was considered a waning tradition. What is your view of the state of the field?
We are proud of our teachers for the present state of Dhrupad. Today we can see Dhrupad in the mainstream of Indian classical music. We are confident of seeing a bright future.
How would you assess your gurus' and your own contribution in popularising Dhrupad?
We do not think that it is our job to assess our contribution. But full credit goes to our great teachers, Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar.
You are products of a modern education system but also of a musical guru sishya parampara. However, the demands of the current education system and society in general seem to be much greater on students today.
Almost all the students, are doing Dhrupad full time (vocation). We think only then it is meaningful. Such professional training can be given only through guru-sishya parampara based on careful listening of music. No normal music school can achieve that with their present format.