To continue with elements of Hindustani classical music lets talk about different vocal forms. Khayal is considered as one of the most important elements of classical music. It has also managed to replace the traditional style of singing Dhrupad. Compared to dhrupad, khayal is more of a free form style and it is also more flexible. Dhrupad is associated by pakhawaj and tanpura and performed by men. It is very traditional in nature and the lyrics used in dhrupad often consist of gallant themes. Medieval form of hindi is used in dhrupad lyrics and if you listen to it you will find these lyrics are dedicated to deity.
Tarana style of singing is very enjoyable and coveys feelings of happiness. Often perfomed at the end of a concert, tarana is a sheer delight. Dhamar is quite decorative in nature and one of the basic styles of singing. Khayal originated during the rule of Sharqui dynasty in 15th century. Hussain Shah Sharqui is credited to give shape and form to this classical singing style. The further popularity of khayal is ascribed to Mohammed Shah who ruled in 18th century. Usually, 4-8 lines of lyrics are used in khayal. These lines are set up with tunes. Khayal encourages improvisation and that’s why the performer uses few base lines for the purpose of improvisation. A more adorned form is called dhamar. The place of dhrupad has been taken by somewhat less austere and more free-form khayal. Nawab Wajid Ali Shah also known as the Nawab of Oudh is credited to encourage thumri which is basically an informal vocal form. There are several great vocalists in hindutani classical music the likes of which include, Bhimsen Joshi, Ajoy Chakraborty, Nagraj Havaldar, Mashkoor Ali Khan, Kishori Amonkar, Ulhas Kashalkar, Pandit Jasraj, Prabakar Karekar, Rashid Khan, Aslam Khan, Shruti Sadolikar, and Chandrasekhar Swami etc.