Bahauddin Mohiuddin Dagar

The instrument

The rudra veena originated around the 13th century according to some. A mangal vadya, it was played on auspicious occasions. It slowly graduated to become a solo instrument over time.

The music

My family practises the “sadharani geeti” in the dhrupad genre. This style emphasises detailed alap and the finer nuances of the raga. It believes that the raga has a swaroop independent of the ascending and descending notes and this is where the alap is very important.

Each note has seven shades. Even the sa is chalayman or movable. This in itself creates a million possibilities to explore the raga. We use syllables like ri, na, tey ta, and nom, giving way for abstraction to blend into the music. All these syllables and ideas are placed in a specific way to enhance the nuances, the tonality and the depth of the raga, while still allowing the artist to bring in his individuality. The rudra veena has been in our family for the last three generations and has incorporated unimaginable nuances and in a sense has refined and cultivated this art form.