Dhrupad is the oldest surviving Indian music form. It boasts its origin from saama gaana.

Presently there are 3-4 gharanas or lineages out of which the dAgarvaani is well known. They have an unbroken lineage of dhrupad from Swami Haridas of vrindAvan who was the guru of legendary vocal singers like MiyA tAnsen and Sri Baiju BAwra.

A Brief History

Dhrupad is the most ancient form of Hindustani classical music. There are two interpretations for the word Dhrupad. One is that it is derived from dhruva, the steadfast evening star, and pada, meaning ‘poem’. The other is that the word druva means ‘fixed’ and pada ‘poem’ which makes it into a poem set to music. Its origins have been traced back to the recitation of the sama veda, one of the four sacred vedic scriptures. The form developed through the sama gaan, the chanted transmission of holy texts. Sometime during the first millenium A.D. the chanting evolved into the singing of chhanda and prabandha. The modern Dhrupad is said to have emerged out of the prabandha style of the 12th to 14th centuries. By the 11th century it had developed its perfect form. Dhrupad was and still is an act of worship during which the priest or musician surrenders to the Divine and invokes the rasa (mood) of the raga (musical mode). The intention is to put the listener into a state of inner peace and contemplation. Between the 12th and 16th centuries the language of the compositions changed from Sanskrit to Brijbhasha (the language spoken in the area of Brindavan) and about six centuries ago the music came under the patronage of the royal Moghul courts, where it was adapted for performance, thus evolving into a refined and sophisticated art form. The compositions became more secular though and were often praises of the emperors, whereas before they had been devotional and philosophical in nature. One of the patrons of Dhrupad was the Moghul ruler Man Singh Tomar of Gwalior who also practiced the art. It reached its peak during the time of the legendary court musician of Akbar, Tansen, and Swami Haridas, who is often thought to have been the teacher of Tansen. The most important schools of Dhrupad are the Dagar and Vishnupur.

Do we find any related mention or concept in sAma veda?

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