Dr. Vikas KAshalkar


The concept of gharana is unique to North Indian classical music. The term is derived from ghar, or house. There are many gharanas that originate in the Indian subcontinent, such as (but not limited to): Delhi Gharana / Qawwal Bacchon Ka Gharana, Gwalior Gharana, Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, Agra Gharana, Kirana Gharana, and Patiala Gharana. The names of these gharanas are derived of the places of origin, respectively. 

Gwalior Gharana

The Gwalior Gharana is one of the oldest khayal gharanas in North Indian classical music. It is considered to be an off-shoot of the Delhi Gharana (which in turn is considered to be the oldest khayal gharana). The rest of the other gharanas are considered to be off-shoots of the Gwalior gharana. This gharana was founded by the two brothers, Ustads Nathhan Khan and Nathhan Pir Baksh. Gwalior Gharana boasts of its vast repertoire of over 500 raags. This gharana utilizes the use of alankar (melodic ornamentation) and raag vistar (melodic expansion) to enhance the performance of each raag. Unlike other gharanas, Gwalior gayaki seldom uses sargams, choosing to utilize taans to explore the raag.

Agra Gharana

The Agra Gharana was founded as a dhrupad gharana, and eventually molded into a khayal gharana, notably using dhrupad elements in its gayaki. This gharana was founded by a dhrupad vocalist of the 19th century, Ghhagge Khudabaksh who introduced the khayal style of the Gwalior Gharana into the existing dhrupad elements of Agra vocalists of the time. Vocalists of this tradition generally sing in lower scales and octaves, compared to other vocalists belonging to other traditions. Vocalists belonging to this tradition specialize in taansbol-taans and laykari. This gharana boasts many traditional as well as self-composed bandishes. Vocalists of this gharana are not only capable of singing khayal, but also sing thumri, tappa, tarana, and hori

Jaipur-atrauli Gharana

The Jaipur-Atrauli gharana is a relatively young school of music, founded in the late 19th century. Like the Gwalior and Agra schools of music, this gharana evolved from dhrupad and formed its own khayal tradition. Vocalists of the Jaipur Gharana specialize in the vilambit, or slow-tempo, khayal. They are also masters of layakari, but treat it differently than other traditions. They utilize gamak and meend in their taans more often than other traditions.