Janmadin ki shubhkamnaye – Pandit Dalchand Sharma JI

11 04 2012

Pandit Dalchand Sharma

Today we are celebrating the birthday of the Great Pakhawaj Maestro of our time – Pandit Dalchand Sharma Ji.

Pandit ji is in Benaras now and will be performing in three days festival – Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh.

We pray to Thakur Srinath Ji for your long and healthy life so that you continue to serve Nathdwara tradition of Pakhawaj and take it to higher levels of recognition.

Pandit Dalchand Sharma Ji’s upcoming programs – October ’11

12 10 2011

Following are the upcoming events where Pandit Dalchand Sharma Ji will perform in Oct’11.

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Sri Ali Zaki Haidar

Oct 13 to 16 -

- Routes to India – at Geneva, Switzerland. Pandit Ji will perform with Sri Paul Grant (Tabla) & Sri Ali Zaki Haidar (Rudra Veena)

Oct 17th, 7 PM onwards

- Haveli Sangeet – at India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – Pandit Ji will accompany Acharya Gokulotsav Goswami Maharaj on Haveli Sangeet

Oct 23rd – 7 PM onwards

- Sangeet Vibhuti – Organized by SA MA PA Society at India Islamic Center, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Pandit Ji will accompany Pt. Phalguni Mitra (Dhrupad vocal)


Sangeet Gharanas – Origin

5 09 2010

In my upcoming posts, I’ll present more on the Gharanas of the Hindustani classical music. I’ll talk about how and why the gharans were formed, why and what is the importance of Gharanas and its development.

Indian music has seen various ups and downs since the primitive times. It’s a long journey which has impacted the music tradition with changing times. If we look at it from historic point of view, then the rise and fall downs of various kingdoms and royal family has impacted the lives and music of the musicians.
An artist is a human being and therefore is a social animal too and the impact of the society in which he moves is clearly visible on his art.
In the course of developement of music, the impact of sacred traditions from the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the stability of the hindu kings, extravagance and support to art of the Mughals, devotion of the saints, hard and disciplined life style of Marathas, colourful lifestyles of kingdoms, ignorance of British and freedom struggle is clearly visible on the present state of our music traditions.
Its evident from history that whatever an artist has learned or received over the ages, he has carefully presented it further to the society, this is how the gharans are nourished since ages and with the change in time, the impact is further visible.

Origin of Gharanas -
There is no fixed and firm evidence available which defines a set time of the origin of the gharans, however the various books published in this regard tells us that the Gharans came into existence only around two or three centuries back.
If we look at the dhrupad tradition, there were four different vanis present, before dhurpad, there were bharat mat, shiv mat, hanumant mat & narad mat existed which are synonyms of gharanas only, therefore it’s not correct to think that Gharanas originated only two or three centuries ago.

To be Contd….

Great Pakhawaj Maestros

8 11 2009

I was reading about the other gharanas and maestros of Pakhawaj and I think it will be another topic of interest for the readers, especially the instances which are ‘supernatural’ and are also recorded at various sources. For example, Kudau Singh Maharaj throwing pakhawaj in the air while playing and producing thaap on it or again Kudau Singh Maharaj controlling a mad elephant by playing pakahwaj.

There are numerous such instances in the history of Pakhawaj which are beyond our understanding and logical approach. The explanation of such instances are either with the pakhawaj player or with the Lord himself.

There is one such instance which is recorded in the pothi of Pt. Cheda Ram Ji of Mathura. Kudau Singh Ji was appointed as the pakhawaj player of the Datia Darbar. During this period another pakahwaji, Babu Jodha Singh Ji went to Datia and challenged Kudau Singh Ji. The competition went on for seven days and it was difficult to take a decision because Babu Jodha Singh Ji also was a brilliant pakahwaj player.  Therefore to save his reputation, on seventh day, Kudau Singh Ji prayed to Goddess Kali for help who was very kind on him. Goddess inspired him to play a magnificent chakkardar paran which had three dha in it. Kudau Singh Ji while playing this paran in the darbar, threw up the pakhawaj in the air after stroking two dha and third dha resonated automatically while the pakhawaj was still in the air. Babu Jodha Singh Ji tried to play this paran but obviously could not do so and got defeated.

According to Acharya Brihaspati and Hakim Mohammad Karam Emam, this instance happened at the Lucknow Darbar and not Datia however this is sure that this instance sure did happen but how? Is it not supernatural?

Pakhawaj Today

12 10 2009

There are questions which keeps on ringing in my mind over and over again…what will happen to pakhawaj after say fifty years? Will it be able to survive? If yes, then will it remain in its the pure form? Certainly no one knows the future for sure.

I was recently reading an interview of Vidushi Kishori Amonkar Ji, she mentioned that ‘she has no expectations from any of her disciples if they would be able to carry her legacy forward, she does not see that passion and patience required to master the delicate art of Indian classical music in the present generation’ I’m sure, like her, many other artists and gurus are also worried. There are hardly any takers of this knowledge, if there are any, they either lack time or patience or both.

I was also surprised to see the number of videos available on youtube and other similar websites post by “pakahwaj players”…only few of them carry any quality or knowledge. There are people who are struggling to produce a clear “thaap” or “dha” or are either playing tabla compositions or bols on pakhawaj. There is a lot of work to be done to bring forward the real talented artists, popularize this instrument and above all…keep it alive and resonating for years to come….Jai ho!

Concert at Geneva

1 10 2009

Here are few pics from the last year concert at Geneva. Pandit Dalchand Sharma Ji has accompanied Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab (Rudra Veena)

Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Audience at the concert

Audience at the concert

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab
Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Pandit Dalchand Sharma and Ustad Asad Ali Khan Sahab

Nathdwara Parampara – Speciality

19 09 2009


Following are few points which are unique and are special in the playing style of Sri Nathdwara Gharana and which gives this Gharana a separate identity.

– As per Pandit Dalchand Sharma Ji, melody and tone clarity is given a lot importance. I’m not allowed to play anything extra till the time I master the thaap. Its the most difficult part to master for a pakhawaj student.

– Instead of tit, kita or kiti is used more prominately in this gharana. For example – dha kit tak, ta kit tak, kita tak thun thun, kradhet tit kind of bols are used effectively and frequently

– The style is different from the Nana Panse Gharana (which is soft and soothing) but similar to that of Kudao Singh Gharana (which is full of energy and forceful).

– One can also observe the system of playing ta on left and ka played on right hand which appears to be different from other paramparas.

– ta, din, thu, na, kita, tak, ga-di-ga-na are used for the preliminary practices. Here is a small exercise that I’ve learnt from Pandit Ji

ta ta ta ta thun thun thun thun |    din din din din na na na na | etc.

The use of dhin naka is very prominent and important and is the special feature of this gharana. Its used more than its used in any other gharanas.

Please note that the bols or strokes mentioned in the post are pakahwaj bols, please refer to few of the videos added on this blog to listen to the samples.

Nathdwara Gharana & Parampara

8 09 2009


Sri Nathdwara Pakhawaj Parampara

Pakhawaj tradition in Jaipur is centuries old and as described in the ‘Mridang Sagar’ by Pt. Ghanshyam Das Ji, this parampara started in Amer city of Rajasthan by Pt. Tulsidas Ji.

This parampara was developed in Jaipur and since last two centuries has flourished in Sri Nathdwara.

There were several excellent pakhawaj player in Pt. Tulsidas’s family lineage such as Sri Har Bhagat, Sri Chabeel Das, Sri Fakir Das etc. however Pt. Roop Ram Ji from the fifth generation of this family gave this parampara a new signature.

Pt. Roop Ram Ji (birth A.D. 1735) a resident of Amer, came to Jodhpur from Jaipur and served the Jaipur court. He was proficient with hundreds of parans played with Tandav and Raamlila. Around A.D. 1803, Pt. Roop Ram Ji came to Sri Nathdwara along with his young son Sri Vallabhdas Ji and started serving SriNath Ji under the direction of Sri 108 Bade Giridhari Ji Maharaj. Since then his parampara became famous as Nathdwara parampara.

Pt. Roop Ram Ji was a good friend of Pahad Singh Ji (from Bhagwan Das parampara of Akbar court) of Jodhpur darbar. He instructed his son Sri Vallabhdas to learn pakhawaj from Pahad Singh Ji. This is how Sri Vallabhdas Ji completed his pakhawaj learning under Sri Pahad Singh Ji with great efforts.

Sri Vallabhdas Ji had three sons, Sri Chaturbhuj, Sri Shankarlal & Sri Khemalal. Sri Khemalal Ji, based on his experiences and discussions with other musicians, started writing the famous book ‘Mridang Sagar’. Mridang Sagar is a compilation of big taal chakras, matra bheds etc. which were gathered from a lot of old scriptures and also some of his new compositions. Due to untimely demise of Khemalal Ji, the book Mridang Sagar remained incomplete till many years till his nephew and son of Sri Shankar Lal ji, Sri Ghanshyam Das Ji completed it and published it based on his learning from his father.

Sri Purshottam Das Ji was the son of Sri Ghanshyam Das Ji and the eldest member of Nathdwara Parampara. He was an excellent pakhawaj player and was considered amongst the best players of the country. Since he was five years old, he was able to recite and play various taals in traditional ways. Sri Ghanshyam Das Ji used to take little Purshottam along to the temple while playing for the Lord. When he was just nine, his father left for the heavenly abode and he was burdened to carry the parampara. He successfully managed to carry it on his shoulders and served at Sri Nathdwara Temple following his ancestors for many years. Later he joined Bhartiya Kala Kendra and Kathak Kendra at Delhi and finally came back to Sri Nathdwara and left his body there.

He had no son but he trained and developed many good  disciples including Sri Prakash Chandra, Sri Shyamlal and Sri Ramkrishna (Nathdwara), Sri Durgalal, Maharaj Chatrapati Singh, Sri Harikrishna Bahera, Pt. Totaram Sharma etc. (The list is long so please forgive me if I’ve missed on any names).

In my next posts, I’ll write more about the pakhawaj playing style of Nathdwara Parampara.

Pakhawaj Solo by Pandit Dalchand Sharma

6 09 2009

Sensational “dhuma kita ka baaj”, the very essence of Nathdwara Gharana.

In my next posts, I’ll write more about the Nathdwara Gharana and the style of pakahwaj playing.

Acharya Gokulotsav Goswami Maharaj and Pandit Dalchand Sharma

5 09 2009

It was a mesmerizing evening with Acharya Gokulotsav Maharaj and Pandit Dalchand Sharma on 4th Sep at India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

I had the good fortune to attend the program and listen to the scholarly authoritative and beautiful recital by Goswami Ji and equally beautiful pakhawaj recital by Pandit Dalchand Ji.

Goswami Ji began the event with singing bada khayal, a self composed composition in Raag Shuddha Kalyan in vilambit ek taal and later in Tri taal (accompanied by Sh. Vinod Lele on tabla and Vinay Mishra on Harmonium), followed by another composition in Raag Gayand Malhar (also known as Miyan ki Malhar).

After Khayal singing, Goswami Ji invited Pandit Dalchand Ji on stage for pakhawaj accompaniment for Haveli Sangeet. He started with a traditional ‘pad‘ by Baiju in taal choutaal and then the his famous “Saaranga Nayani” in which the variation of Raagas and Taals were extremely difficult but at the same time equally beautiful. Pandit Ji demonstrated his outstanding command over pakhawaj and maintained the composition despite the frequent variation in taals.

Later Pandit Ji told me that the show was pure extempore and he did not get chance to practice with Goswami Ji even once. It shows his authority over the taal & laya & also his understanding of the intricacies of Dhrupad & Haveli Sangeet.

I’ve attached few pics that I’ve clicked during the show, hope you’ll enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed clicking them.





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