Khayal

Music made a quick comeback during the reign of Muhammad Shah (1719-1748 A.D). Muhammad Shah made the best of all good things in life so much so that he was popularly known as Muhammad Shah 'Rangeela'. Among his court musicians were two famous musicians, Sadarang and Adarang. These two great musicians composed hundreds of songs sung to this day. They evolved the Khayal style of singing, which was considered more light and 'colourful' than the Dhrupad to the listeners.

In Urdu, the word ‘khayal’ means ‘imagination’which is indicative of the styles highly improvisational nature. It is generally an abstract and complete presentation of the rag. Taditionally, women sat in small chambers singing in the delicate style of khayal, which allowed them to explore a full range of material. However  during the 18th century men began to sing khayal. The collapse of the gender obstacle heralded the mass acceptance of the khayal in northern India.