Nuances of Hindustani Classical Music

Front cover of the book
Great book for people interested in understanding and enjoying Hindustani classical music.

Hema Hirlekar has very skillfully distilled the essence of Hindustani classical music and has offered it to music lovers on a platter. A great read and excellent reference book whatever your level of knowledge or interest in Hindustani classical music.

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This book introduces Hindustani classical music in simple and lucid language. Such an exhaustive book in English has been written for the first time to my knowledge. While explaining the nuances of classical music it describes the journey of this music from Saam-Gaayan to Prabandha-Gaayan, through Dhrupad-Gaayan, to the present-day Khayal-Gaayan. The information is provided for Indian readers as well as interested foreigners. In fact this book is not just for the uninitiated music lovers but can be a great reference book even for the knowledgeable.   

The material in this book is presented in a concise yet comprehensive manner. The main subjects in the book—dhrupad-dhamar, khayal, raag development and expansion, and its nuances such as bandish, gat, upaj, rasa-aavishkar, taal, tihai – may at first glance seem a little difficult, but with the help of the book a learner could soon become a connoisseur.

An interesting take on many Raags makes this book something special. Times, moods, rasas of raags are described along with popular Hindi songs based on each raag. This is excellent for knowing a raag through association.

The ornaments described and some technical aspects used in raag elaboration are explained so wonderfully for easy understanding. Some anecdotes add a personal flavour. The last chapter describes how to listen to classical music which is really unique.

To buy the book

Buy the directly from Unicorn Books.


Nuances Of Hindustani Classical Music


Hema Hirlekar


Unicorn Books





This page was last updated on Tuesday, 14th September 2010.