NEW DELHI – Eminent classical singer Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar of Dhrupad tradition of Indian classical music has died at the age of 78.

Dagar is survived by his wife and two sons. He died in a Pune hospital late on Sunday evening following prolonged illness, according to Indian Express.

Born in Rajhastan, Sayeeduddin Dagar was part of the illustrious Dagar family of musicians. He had shifted to Maharashtra and was residing in Pune for the last few years.

Being the youngest of the famous seven ‘Dagar Bandhus’, he dedicated his life to keeping the Dhrupad tradition alive. Born in Alwar, Rajasthan on April 29, 1939, he started his musical journey at the age of six.

Dhrupad – a Sanskrit portmanteau of Dhruva (immovable) and Pad (verse) has its roots since ancient times, mentioned as early as the 3rd Century B.C. in the Natyashastra.

The contribution of the Dagar family through 20 generations of Dhrupad exponents is all the more remarkable given the slow death of this form following Independence and the extinction of a musically informed aristocracy, when the milieu of royal court patronage had all but vanished, The Hindu reported.