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Jaipur Gharana

Jaipur gharana is well-known for its penchant for rare raga-s as its staple fare. However in the majority of the cases these raga-s are rendered with great authority and sureness of touch. Also evident is a very detailed treatment indicating the assiduous thinking that has gone into the structuring of rags-elaboration. An aesthetically prudent decision makes the gharana rely mostly on a medium-tempo trital for most of its khayal compositions. As the attention of the listeners is sought to be drawn to the unusual raga-s from the repertoire, it is wise not to introduce novelty at the tala-end as well. Too much novelty is bound to tax audiences!

A consequence flowing naturally from the structure of rare raga-s is the complexity of phrases they are built on. It is, therefore, inevitable that the music made by the gharana is replete with intricate patterns. Its music moves more due to the high intellectual content than emotive quality. A corollary to the intricate alap-s is the weaving of tan-s of similar quality. The gharana impresses by a breathtaking display of designs executed with imagination and polish over large tonal spaces often encompassing at least two-and-a-half octaves.

With the importance attached to patterning in general, it is to be expected that the gharana would prefer the oft-repeated norm of using the vowel 'a' for elaborating melody. What is a bit surprising is the insistence on employing the vowel in all octaves, a feat known to require extensive training as well as long hours of practice.

It may be on account of its dhrupad-orientation but the gharana seems to concentrate on khayal alone. There does not appear to be any room for forms such as thumri, tarana, sadra, tapkhayal, and ashtapadi in its repertoire. However, in spite of its single-minded devotion to khayal, the gharana does not lack variety because of its amazingly large store of rare raga-s.

There is nothing in the vocalization or repertoire of the gharana which may restrict it to male voices. This is borne out by the wide following it has in all parts of the country.

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