A Comprehensive Guide to CBSE Class 12 Hindustani Vocal Music Syllabus and Exam Tips

Hindustani Vocal Music is a rich and ancient tradition that has been passed down through generations, and this examination is your chance to explore its intricacies and showcase your talent. In this blog post, we will comprehensively cover the CBSE Class 12 Hindustani Vocal Music syllabus and provide valuable tips to help you succeed in both the theory and practical exams.

CBSE Hindustani Music Vocal (code – 034) is a scoring subject. Every year more and more students are taking this exam. One can take this subject in English or Hindi, but it is recommended to take this subject in Hindi as most of the resources and terminologies are in Hindi language. But if student wants the same can be taken in English.

A total of 100 marks can be scored in the subject. The subject is divided into two components Theory (30 Marks) and Practical (70 Marks).

Theory Syllabus

Theory paper (total 30 Marks) is very easy to score in as the syllabus is small and the set of questions that can appear in exam are limited and predictable. The theoretical syllabus is divided into 5 Units. Each Unit accounts for 6 marks.

Unit SyllabusMarks Tips
1Brief study of Alankar, Kan, Meend, Khatka, Murki, Gamak, Gram, Murchhana, Alap,Tana6Memorizing these definitions will help you easily score 6 marks. Kan, Murki, Gram and Murchana are the most important definitions out of these and
2Historical development of Time Theory of Ragas6This question appears in almost every exam. IIf you memorize this topic, then six marks are very easy to score.
33.1 Detailed study of Sangeet Ratnakar and Sangeet Parijat

3.2 Life sketch and Contribution of Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Krishna Rao, Shankar Pandit
63.1 Question on Sangeet Ratnakar and Sangeet Parijat appear in almost every exam. This is an important topic which needs to be prepared.

3.2 Life sketches also appear in almost every exam. The most important life sketches from exam point of view are those of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Faiyaz Khan
44.1 Description of Prescribed Talas along with Tala Notation with Theka, Dugun, Tigun and Chaugun Jhaptala Rupak Dhamar

4.2 Tuning of Tanpura
64.1 Understanding Tala is required to answer questions on Ragas and for the practical exams.
 For answering direct questions on taal, Rupak and Dhamar Taal are the most important ones and hence their theory must be prepared well.

4.2 Almost every year there is a question on Tuning of tanpura. There fore it is important to learn the process of tuning the process of tanpura. This is also an important question from Practical exam point of view
55.1 Critical study of Prescribed Ragas along with recognizing Ragas from phrases of Swaras and elaborating them excluding Raga Shuddha Sarang

5.2 Writing in Notation the Compositions of Prescribed Ragas. · Bhairav · Bageshri · Malkaun
6This Unit is probably the one that requires a bit of efforts in preparation. The prescribed Ragas that need to be prepared are – Bhairav, Bageshri and Malkauns.
Out of these Raag Parichay (overview)  of Raag Bageshri and Raag Malkauns is most important.
Other question that comes from this section is swarlipi of prescribed raagas in different taals . Most important taals for swarlipi are Dhamaar, Drut and Vilambit. For e.g. you can be asked to write Swarlipi for Raag Bhairav in Vilambit taal.
CBSE Hindustani Classical Music Theory Syllabus

If you are interested in getting notes for definitions in Unit 1 of Theory, you can enter your contact details below and we will send it via email.

Practical Syllabus

1One Vilambit Khayal with simple elaborations and few Tanas in any two of the three prescribed Ragas.
2One Drut Khayal with simple elaborations and few tanas in the following Prescribed Ragas-Bhairav, Bageshri, and Malkauns.
3One Tarana and one Dhamar with dugun andchaugun in any one of the prescribed Ragas.
4Ability to recognize the Ragas from the Phrases of swaras rendered by the examiner.
5Recitation of the Thekas of Jhaptala, Rupak, and Dhamar with Dugun and Chaugun, keeping tala with hand beats.
6Tuning of Tanpura
CBSE Hindustani Classical Music Practical Syllabus

Tips For Practical Exams

The best person to prepare you for Practicals would be your teacher. If you don’t have a good teacher at school, you can take help from YouTube videos. The challenge of learning from YouTube Videos is that the content is spread out non sequentially in different videos.

Also in my humble opinion most of CBSE vocal focused channels focus only on scoring and not learning. While this may be workable approach for scoring in exams, it fall shorts in terms of gaining knowledge for exams. But given the shortage of resources you may find YouTube videos to be your best bet.

Below are some of the tips for preparing well for the practical exams:

  1. Practicals are taken by an external examiner i.e. someone outside your school. Therefore it is important to cast good impression on the examiner since he has very short time to judge you. Be well groomed with good clean clothes and confident attitude. The best way to appear confident is to prepare well.
  2. Make sure you to regular Riyaz of Raagas in different Taal
  3. Make sure you go over theoretical notes (especially definitions and raag Parichay) since the examiner may ask some questions from your theory syllabus and it will help in tackling other practical related questions.
  4. The prescribed Ragas (Bhairav, Bageshri, and Malkauns) are same as those for Theory paper. Most of the questions will be centred around Taal,  Raag Parichay (aaroh, avroh, pakad etc) and Raag Bandish related to the Prescribed Raagas.
  5. In Tala be sure to prepare the thekas and handbeat of all taalas
  6. Be well versed with Raag Parichay of all the prescribed Raagas
  7. Tuning of Tanpura is easy scoring section. Be sure to prepare this well

About Aditi Jha

I am a trained Classical Singer and Visharad. I have been teaching singing for many years now.

Below are some of the Resources from my Youtube Channel MusicWithAditi (132,000 subscribers and counting) that you can use in your preparation. Check out the channel for a lot more

Do you have any questions about CBSE Hindustani Classical Music Vocal ?

In case you have any questions on any topic related to CBSE Hindustani Classical Music Vocal feel free to email me your questions using the form below

You can download the syllabus from CBSE site by clicking here

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