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Summer at Cornish
2014 Courses

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Instrumental Indian Classical Music - Dhrupad Instrumental Weekday Workshop

May 27 — 29, 2014 , T W Th, 4:00 pm — 9:00 pm
Kerry Hall Poncho, 710 East Roy St, Seattle, WA

This course is currently full. If you have any questions, please contact us. Make sure to specify which course you're writing about.

  • Ages
    12 +
  • Housing
    Not Available
  • Scholarships
    Not Available


What to Bring It's suggested that students bring their own instruments - percussion (pakhawaj, tabla, for example), other (sitar, surbahar, veena, and so on) but we will have several available for use in the event that a student does not have an instrument to bring. Percussionists will get a chance to enhance their playing, and try out pakhawaj taals on their instrument. Vocalists, and other instrumentalists will practice performing to pakhawaj taals.


Cornish College of the Arts is pleased to offer two three day workshops in Dhrupad - Vocal and Pakhawaj, in collaboration with Dhrupad Music Institute of America (DMIA). These workshops are taught by the internationally renowned Gundecha Brothers, and are a part of DMIA’s Dhrupad Days 2014 http://dhrupad.com. Please visit that page for information about other events and activities that are a part of Dhrupad Days 2014.

The Gundecha Brothers will be performing at Cornish College Playhouse on May 30th, a culmination of the festival’s Dhrupad activities.

We invite you to join the courses, DMIA activities, stay for the performances, and if traveling from outside Seattle, partake in the wonderful tourist opportunities the city offers.

This workshop is taught by Akhilesh Gundecha, who is the percussionist (Pakhawaj accompanist) for the Gundecha Brothers.

Course Description
Dhrupad is an ancient style of Indian classical music. The nature of Dhrupad is spiritual; seeking not to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and contemplation in the listener. The word Dhrupad is derived from “Dhruva”, the steadfast North Star (Polaris) and “pada” meaning poetry. It is a form of music that traces its origin to chanting of the ancient text of Sama Veda. From this early chanting, millennia ago, Dhrupad evolved into the sophisticated classical form of music, that it is today. Its steadfast, precise, unhurried and improvisational nature is attracting audiences all over the world.

The Pakhawaj, is an ancient percussion instrument, and is used to provide rhythmic accompaniment for dhrupad vocal and instrumental music. The Pakhawaj has a low, mellow tone, rich in harmonics.

The beats of the Pakhawaj have a language and framework, and within that framework elaborate and complex improvisation is possible.

This workshop covers concepts of rhythm on the pakhawaj - taal, laya, bol, theka, and provides practical training for all instrumentalists and vocalists.

It’s suggested that students bring their own instruments - percussion (pakhawaj, tabla, for example), other (sitar, surbahar, veena, and so on) but we will have several available for use in the event that a student does not have an instrument to bring. Percussionists will get a chance to enhance their playing, and try out pakhawaj taals on their instrument. Vocalists, and other instrumentalists will practice performing to pakhawaj taals.

Who should enroll?
Students ages 12 and older. Students of Indian heritage are especially encouraged to attend, as are those with little or no prior knowledge of Indian music. Professional musicians from all areas of music are also encouraged to attend, as well as percussionists, vocalists and instrumental players.

Daily Schedule
Weekday Workshop:
May 27, May 28, May 29: 4-9 pm with 1/2 hour break

Course content includes:
What is beat, what is taal
Drum-alphabets of pakhawaj
Practice of different laya (tempo)
Theka (arrangement of bols) of pakhawaj taals - Choutaal, Dhamar, Teevra, Sultaal, Aditaal
Important bols (syllables) of pakhawaj

Where to stay?
For guests coming from outside of the Seattle area, there are several lodging options and guests should make their own arrangements well in advance. Please find a list of options below.

1) The Silver Cloud Hotel on Broadway (Short bus ride to the workshop location) - http://www.silvercloud.com/seattlebroadway or 800.590.1801

2) The Bacon Mansion Bed and Breakfast (Within walking distance to the workshop location) - http://www.baconmansion.com or 800.240.1864

3) 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast (Short bus ride to the workshop location) - http://www.11thavenueinn.com or 206.720.7161

The Capitol Hill Neighborhood has several bed and breakfasts in almost any price range. You can use http://www.airbnb.com to search for these accommodations.

Rupesh Kotecha

Contact Akhilesh

Akhilesh Gundecha
Instructor

The Gundecha Brothers are the most active performers of the ancient Indian musical vocal genre known as Dhrupad on the world musical scene today. They have made numerous international tours visiting more than 25 countries around the globe and have recorded more than three dozen CDs from various national and international music labels. In 2012, Umakant and Ramakant, both vocalists and the elder of the three brothers, received from the government of India the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor of India, for their contribution to Indian classical music. Together with Akhilesh, the youngest brother and a performer on the barrel drum known as pakhawaj, they operate the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal, India, a unique musical academy patterned on the ancient guru-shishya (teacher-disciple) tradition of education, with students from more than 20 countries, as well as from various parts of India, participating. Born in Ujjain in central India, the brothers were initiated into music by their parents. All three received conventional university educations while also studying music. Umakant and Ramakant learned from the renowned Dhrupad vocalist Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, and also with the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (the distinguished performer of rudra veena) at the Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal. Akhilesh, the youngest brother, studied the pakhawaj with the prominent percussionists Pandit Shrikant Mishra and Raja Chhatrapati Singh JuDeo, and in addition to his brothers, has accompanied almost all of the major Dhrupad vocalists and instrumentalists of India. All of the brothers appear regularly on local and national radio and television.

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