Appreciating Hindustani Music

By Prof. Lakshmi Sreeram, Prof. Srijan Deshpande   |   IIT Madras, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal
Learners enrolled: 1584
Hindustani Music includes the three vibrant genres of Dhrupad, Khayal and Instrumental Music which this course explores with a focus on Khayal. The course is primarily concerned with contemporary practice while also drawing upon historical and textual scholarship to place the music in perspective. The course has benefitted from inputs from highly regarded musicians, musicologists and scholars and will include live demonstration and guided listening of recorded music.



Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 21 Feb 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 21 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Hindustani Music - A World of Colour, Romance and History
Classical or Shastriya – What’s in a Name!
Dhrupad, Khayal and Instrumental Music – A Bird’s-eye View
Hindustani Music as Raga Sangeet
The Textual Tradition
Swara and Shruti: Tone and Microtone
Swara and Shruti in the Textual Tradition

Week 2:
Tanpura – The King of Overtones
Entering the World of Raga – Raga and Swara
The World of Raga – 2:  Strong and Weak Notes
The World of Raga – 3: Ornament
The World of Raga – 4: Paths of a Raga
Raga and Time Association

Week 3:
Raga Lakshana or Features of Raga
Defining Raga
Classification of Ragas – the Mela or Thaat System
Classification of Ragas – the Raagaanga System
Classification of Ragas – the Raga Ragini system

Week 4:
Extending the Raga Corpus – Winds from the South
Extending the Raga Corpus – Jod Ragas
Principles of Time in Hindustani Music – Tala and Laya
Some Aspects of Tala and a Few Important Tala-s
Tabla as Keeper of Tala in Khayal
Khayal-A Compositional Form
Some Contemporary Composers of Khayal

Week 5
The Vilambit Khayal
Improvisation in Khayal: Elements of Raga Vistaar.
The Eight limbs or Ashtaanga of Khayal and the nature of Tabla accompaniment.
A Typical Khayal Presentation
Raga Profiles as Captured in Bandish-es – Guest Lecture by Pt Satyasheel Deshpande

Week 6:
Gharanas of Hindustani Music – Introduction
Gharanas of Hindustani Music – Early Masters
Gharanas of Hindustani Music – Twentieth Century masters
Gharanas of Hindustani Music – Guest lecture demonstration by Pt. Satyasheel Deshpande.
Melodic accompaniment in Khayal
The Harmonium as a solo and accompanying instrument-Guest Lecture by Pt. Vyasmurti Katti

Week 7:
Dhrupad: style and structure, aalaap, compositional forms, song texts - Guest Lectures by Dr Ritwik Sanyal
The Enchanting World of Thumri

Week 8:
Instrumental Music – an Introduction
The Sarod: A Lecture demonstration by Pt Suresh Vyas
The Sitar: A Lecture demonstration by Dr Supriya Shah
The Art of Tabla: Guest Lectures by Dr Aneesh Pradhan
Bhakthande and Paluskar - The 20th Century Reformers of Hindustani Music.
Hindustani Music in a World of Click-baits and a Million Views

Books and references

  •  Music Contexts: A Concise Dictionary of Hindustani Music by Ashok Ranade, Bibliophile South Asia, 2006
  •  Keywords and Concepts: Hindustani Classical Music by Ashok Ranade, Promilla, 2012
  • Music In India: The Classical Traditions – Bonnie C. Wade, Manohar Publishers and Distributors, revised edition 2021
  • Lost world of Hindustani Music by Kumar Prasad Mukherjee, Penguin India, 2006 Sources on the internet:
  • https://www.swarganga.org/ - for brief discussions on a range of topics in Hindustani Music.
  • www.parrikar.org – contains curated raga clips and raga descriptions
  • Category:Hindustani music terminology - Wikipedia
  • https://mohannadkarni.org that includes concert reviews, musician profiles
  • Pillars of Hindustani music : Devadhara, Bī. Āra : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
  • Microsoft Word - Richard Widdess - Raga March 06.doc (soas.ac.uk)
  • For guided listening:
    • Aneesh Pradhan's articles on Scroll.in: Aneesh Pradhan | Scroll.in
    • Curated exhibits on Google Arts and Culture: Archive of Indian Music, Bangalore, India — Google Arts & Culture and Baithak Foundation, Pune, India — Google Arts & Culture

Instructor bio

Prof. Lakshmi Sreeram

IIT Madras

Dr. Lakshmi Sreeram: Initiated into Khayal by Smt. Madhubala Chawla under whose guidance she passed with a first class the Visharad exam of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Dr. Lakshmi Sreeram has been trained by masters like Pt. Vasantrao Kulkarni and Pt. Babanrao Haldankar.  She continues her learning from the acclaimed vocalist and musicologist Pt. Satyasheel Deshpande.  Lakshmi has given critically acclaimed performances at leading festivals and music venues.

Dr. Lakshmi has taught elective courses at IIT Madras on Appreciating Carnatic and Hindustani Music and has put together a widely subscribed and well appreciated course on Carnatic Music for NPTEL in 2015.  Lakshmi is a researcher and writer for leading media publications like The Hindu, Firstpost etc. She received the Fulbright Scholarship for 2019-2020 to study improvisation in Jazz at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.  Since her return she continues to write and research into the principles of Raga Sangeet, exploring parallels in language theories of the Sanskrit tradition.

Prof. Srijan Deshpande

Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal
Srijan Deshpande is a performer and researcher of Hindustani Khayal music. He is pursuing a doctoral research project at the Manipal Centre for Humanities, in which he is attempting to construct a rigorous account of Pt. Kumar Gandharva's musical alterity in the context of the twentieth-century tradition of the Khayal. Srijan has previously taught vocal music at the Vishwashanti Sangeet-Kala Academy, Pune; FLAME University, Pune; and Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad. He continues to receive training in the genre from Pt. Satyasheel Deshpande.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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