Benaras Gharana

Benaras thumri is usually equated to the bol banav thumri. In this kind of thumri, words of the song-text are treated with musical embellishments to bring out the meaning of the text. The gharana borrows many features of folk songs of the areas adjoining Uttar Pradesh. For example, the doubling of tempo after initial elaboration and the playing of special tabla compositions known as laggi are ascribed to the impact of the folk tradition on the Benaras thumri.

The Benaras thumri is sung in tala-s, such as deepchandi, dadra, and addha, which are also commonly used by other gharana-s. However, the Benaras treatment is full of poise and restraint, and the tempo is slightly slower. The raga-s too are common to many gharana-s but the treatment in the Benaras school is more serious in keeping with the general tenor of music made.

Thumri-singers of the gharana are not inclined to include ada in their presentations. In fact, their singing does not include indications of spaces created for this kind of mildly overt eroticism through abhinaya as is done in the Lucknow gharana.

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