Dhrupad and Dhamār, regarded as the oldest surviving genres of Hindustani or North Indian classical music, have a rich history dating back to at least the 15th century.
These versatile art forms gained immense popularity in both devotional settings and royal courts, flourishing under the patronage of kings, princes, priests, and the aristocracy.
Unlike some other classical genres like khayal, the centrality of lyrics in dhrupad has maintained its suitability for devotional purposes. Dhrupad is acknowledged as the progenitor of all other modern classical traditions in North India.
In Dhrupad and Dhamar performances, the accompaniment typically includes the tanpura for providing a drone, along with the pakhavaj or jorī to emphasise the rhythmic cycle.
Historically, the rabāb and the bīn were also employed as accompaniments for dhrupad, but this practice has waned over time, primarily due to the scarcity of skilled instrumentalists specialising in these instruments.