Dhrupad meaning 'refrain' is the oldest surviving style of music in the Hindustani musical tradition in India. Derived from dhruva-pada, it denotes both a form of poetry and a style of music in which the poetry is sung. Like all styles of Indian classical music, dhrupad is modal, with a single melodic line and no harmonic parts. The modes are called raga, and each raga is a complicated framework of melodic rules. What sets Dhrupad apart from other styles are long elaborate aalaps without any Pakhawaj accompaniment, with a slow and deliberate melodic development, gradually developing an accelerating rhythmic pulse. Apart from obvious differences in the form of the musical presentation, one may notice a wealth of micro-tonal ornamentations that move between or around the tones that are typical for Dhrupad. The composition is sung to the rhythmic accompaniment of a Pakhawaj and not tabla as in Khyal Gayaki.
Raga Bhairava is named after Lord Shiva, especially in his powerful form as a naked ascetic with matted locks and body smeared with ashes. Raga Bhairava makes use of Komal Rishabh and Komal Dhaivat. The raga itself is extremely vast and allows a huge number of note combinations and a great range of emotional qualities. This raga is usually performed in a devotional mood in the early morning hours. The vibrations of the notes in Bhairava are said to clear one's whole mind.
Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha, known as the Gundecha Brothers are the leading Dagarvani dhrupad singers, taught by Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. In fact, the Gundecha Brothers are now being regarded as a third force on par with the senior and junior Dagars. Keeping the 'Guru-Shishya parampara' alive, the Gundecha brothers also run a music school in the Dhrupad tradition.
The third brother, Akhilesh, is a pakhawaj player, taught by Shri Shrikant Mishra and Shri Raja Chatrapati Singh of Bijna. He has accompanied many Dhrupad Maestros like- Ustad Z. F. Dagar, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Pt. Siyaram Tiwari, Shrimati Asgari Bai, Dr. Ritwik Sanyal and Bahauddin Dagar. He has also played solo recitals in Tansen Festival-Gwalior, Haridas Sangeet Samaroh Mumbai, Dhrupad Samaroh Bhopal and many other festivals.