Umakant and Ramakant Gundecho, known as the Gundecho brothers are the leading Dagarvani
dhrupad singers, taught by Zia Faridduddin Dagar and Zia Mohiuddin Dagar.
In fact, the Gundecho brothers are now being regarded as a third force on par with the senior
and junior Dagars. Keeping the Guru-Shishya parampara alive, the Gundecha brothers also run a
music school in the Dhrupad tradition.
The third brother, Akhilesh, is a pakhawaj player, taught by Shri Shrikant Mishra and Shri
Raja Chatrapati Singh of Bijna. He has accompanied many Dhrupad Maestros like Ustad Z.F.
Dagar, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Pt. Siyaram Tiwari, Shrimati Asgari Bai, Dr. Ritwik Sanyal and
Bahauddin Dagar. He has also played solo recitals in Tansen Festival-Gwalior, Haridas Sangeet
Samaroh-Mumbai, Dhrupad Samaroh Bhopal many other festivals.
About Raga Bhairava
Raga Bhairava is named after Lord Shiva, especially in his powerful form as a naked ascetic
with matted locks and body smeared with ashes. Raga Bhairava makes use of Komal Rishabh and
Komal Dhaivat. This raga is extremely vast and allows a huge number of note combinations and
expression of great range of emotional qualities. This raga is usually performed in a
devotional mood in the early morning hours. The vibrations of the notes in Raga Bhairava are
said to clear one's whole mind.
Dhrupad meaning 'refrain' is the oldest surviving style of music in the Hindustani musical
tradition in India. Derived from dhruva-pada, it denotes both-a from of poetry and a style of
music in which the poetry is sung. Like all styles of Indian classical music, Dhrupad is
modal, with a single melodic line and no harmonic parts. The modes are called raga, and each
raga is a complicated framework of melodic rules. What sets Dhrupad apart from other styles
are long elaborate aalaps without any Pakhawaj accompaniment, with a slow and deliberate
melodic development, gradually developing an accelerating rhythmic pulse. Apart from obvious
differences in the from of the musical presentation, one may notice a wealth of microtonal
ornamentations that move between or around the tones that are typical for Dhrupad. The
composition is sung to the rhythmic accompaniment of a Pakhawaj and not tabla as in Khayal
Dhrupad Vocal: Umakant Gundcha, Ramakant Gundecha
Pakhawaj Accompaniment: Akhilesh Gundecha
Tanpura Accompaniment: Aruna Gundecha & Renu Gundecha
Recording, Editing and Mixing: P Goswami (AB Sound, Mumbai)
Photographs: Avinash Pasricha
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