In North Indian classical music, the most common form of singing is called khayal, which means “imagination”; and dhrupad which means "fixed words". Other popular vocal forms include thumri, bhajans, and ghazhals. Depending on different flavours of musical style, musicians belong to gharanas, (literally houses). This is a tradition unique to the Hindustani classical system.

The Learning Journey

When one thinks of Indian classical music, one may get overwhelmed by the numerous names of raags. But surprisingly, we have been listening to these raags all along, through old hindi movie songs and even ad jingles! Raag Hameer was introduced to the masses by Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re. India’s national song Vande Maataram and the more recent ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ from the movie Swades, are both in Raag Des.

At E- learning school of arts and science, we believe that children should be exposed to classical music as early as possible. We therefore have a children’s special batch starting from age 4, where a unique way of introducing classical music to children has been curated. Here, names of raags, taal and maatra nuances are introduced through small poems. Along with simple alankaars, which are combinations of swaras, semi classical songs are taught to develop fondness for Hindustani music. For Beginners, development of voice and sur is the focus.

Students at the Intermediate level are made to learn chota khayals based on various raagas through which they acquire expertise in alap and tan. Here’s when they learn songs which are embellished with classical overtones.

As they progress into Advanced levels, students are trained to improvise on alaps with vocal ornamentation techniques like meend, khatka and murki. By this time, they are trained with the dexterity to express their imagination through bada khayals based on an assortment of raagas.