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dhrupad music

Dhrupad is the search of the ultimate, the search for a true sound, the eternal sound, the sound of the cosmos. - Pandit Umakant Gundecha

Right to left: Pandit Umakant  Gundecha, Pandit Ramakant Gundecha & Pandit Akhilesh Gundecha

Read a poignant interview of the Gundecha Brothers HERE

Prathama Nada is honored and happy to slowly expand into a space for yearlong practice of Dhrupad music, affiliated with the Dhrupad Music Institute of America (DMIA)'s  Seattle Chapter. Also visit Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal, India.

Dhrupad is... really about going deep into the essence of everything, including oneself. You can see yourself through Dhrupad. - Pandit Ramakant Gundecha

Dhrupad is an ancient form of Indian classical music, tracing its origins to chanting of the Sama Veda. The word Dhrupad is derived from Dhruva, the steadfast North Star (Polaris) and pada meaning poetry, or more generally, form or path. Like other forms of Indian classical (Hindustani and Carnatic) music, it is expressed via the Raga system. Dhrupad places strong emphasis on pitch, on accurate approach, on rendering and placement of every note, and on the relationship between notes. Dhrupad also emphasizes original voice, mastery of breath and alignment of body energy centers, all in an effort to bring about the total harmonic sphere of every musical sound created. Its practice fine-tunes the mind and body, and this influence extends verily into daily life. Philosophically, and spiritually, Dhrupad is considered a Nada Yoga - using the body as the instrument for sound - ultimately, to be in union with the expansive, silent Self. 

Our practice in Dhrupad and Raga singing as a complex art form is in its very basic and incipient foundations, and the principal intention of our practice is Yoga - alignment in Self through sound. Overarching guidance Dhrupad singing was, for some time, received from Dhrupad singers and master teachers, the Gundecha Brothers, students and proponents of the Dagar tradition. Since 2019, training was continued their senior disciple Smt Amita Sinha Mahapatra, and also via collaborations with their disciple Sushri Anjana Iyer. For a few years students received opportunities or direct immersive learning with the Gundecha Brothers during their annual visit to the Seattle area. On a regular basis, students receive basic instruction and facilitation of ongoing practice with Shahana in weekly sessions (conducted both 1:1 and in small groups, depending on the student).


At Prathama Nada our vision is to awaken the natural music in every human being. In this approach, Raga may be understood as a natural harmonic pattern in Nature and Dhrupad a natural state of the attuned human body, emanating vibrations of creation. As a facilitator for practice of this musical form, Shahana is able to 'transmit' what has been remembered in her, and adults and very young children alike, quickly become attuned. All students find a powerful centeredness in Self and life through musical association with her - they automatically align with their unique North Star. Students who wish to advance in the art form itself can build their foundations here and continue studying with more qualified teachers.

Currently sessions are done in person or via skype / facetime. Please contact us for any personal queries.

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