Prabandh- A Sacred Music tradition of the Medieval Period


Prabandh Period 

    In Indian Classical music history Prabandh period is considered as one of the prominent stages where the classical music form gets reforms and the changes in Vedic music and Jati Gayan to the new form of the music genre called the Prabandh- a structured singing tradition having four Dhatu and Six Aang. Udgrah, Melapak, Dhurv and Melapak are the four Dhatu, and Swar, Virud, Ten, Paad, Paat and Taal are the six Aang of Prabandh. The Prabandh style is illustrated in various Granthas (Books) of Indian Music History. Brihaddeshi is the first book where Prabadh was defined as a music style and describes as the systematic composition of melody with literature. Bharat Bhashya defines Prabandh as Desi Geetikaadhyay, Sangeetsameysar, Manasoulas, and Sangeetratnakar defines it as Prabandh and the component having Vastu and Roopak. The detail of Prabandh Vastu and Roopak is defined in the 4th unit- Prabandhadhayay of Sangeetratnakar. Prabandh style of music is a combination of divergent styles of Music and Literature largely confined with the Leela (Love and affection) of Radha- Krishan and their social life in Gokul and Vrindavan. Geet- Govind is one of the popular text and music styles widely spread in society. Geet-Govind is the most popular text written and composed by Jaidev in the 12th century.  

Prabandh is the kind of religious music genre where the religious aspect of Hinduism was written, composed, and sung. Prabandh period is obviously a byproduct of bhakti Andolan where numerous poets, singers, and composers contribute to the religious march started for preserving the Indian tradition musical genre started from Vedic period. The heritage of Indian music was reflected in Prabandh where Dhatu and Aang blend together to form the distinct pattern of singing style. The composition and singing having four Dhatu and six Aang were call Prabandh whereas three Dhatu and five Aang were called Roopak, and two Dhatu and three Aang were called Vastu. Moreover, Prabandh was subdivided into five categories according to the uses of Aang. Medini, Aanandani, Deepini, Bhawani and Tarawali are the jati of Praandh as per the uses of Aang. There were so many subdivisions in Prabandh where Language, Musical Notes, Rhythms, and other many components were considered as a part that raises the composition of Prabandh and its allied music tradition. Prabandh style is also considered as the last lineage of Vedic tradition nurtured in the 7th/8th century and matured in the 12th/ 13th century. Dhrupad-Dhamar style of Indian Classical music is supposed to be originated from the Dhruv of Prabandh style adding Paad and other Aang in the composition and structure.  



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