Dhrupad

Dhrupad (Hindi: ध्रुपद) is a vocal genre in Hindustani (North Indian Classical) music, said to be the oldest still in use in that musical tradition. Its name is derived from the words "dhruva" (fixed) and "pada" (words). The term may denote both the verse form of the poetry and the style in which it is sung.

Abul Fazl, courtier and chronicler at the court of the Emperor Akbar, defines the dhrupad verse form in his Ain-e-Akbari as "four rhyming lines, each of indefinite prosodic length." Thematic matter ranges from the religious and spiritual (mostly in praise of Hindu deities) to royal panegyrics, musicology and romance. In Dhrupad, words are set to a fixed repeating pattern. Dhrupad compositions are generally delivered in a slow tempo and use little ornamentation; occasionally, rhythmic variations are added and songs are presented in double, triple or even quadruple tempos.