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A jugalbandi or jugalbandhi (Devanagari: जुगलबंदी, Urdu: جگلندئ‍) (Bengali: যুগলবন্ধী) is a performance in Indian classical music, especially the Hindustani classical music, that features a duet of two solo musicians.[1][2] The word jugalbandi means, literally, "entwined twins." The duet can be either vocal or instrumental.

Often, the musicians will play different instruments, as for example the famous duets between sitarist Ravi Shankar and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan, who played the format since the 1940s. More rarely, the musicians (either vocalists or instrumentalists) may be from different traditions (i.e. Carnatic and Hindustani). What defines jugalbandi is that the two soloists be on an equal footing. While any Indian music performance may feature two musicians, a performance can only be deemed a jugalbandi if neither is clearly the soloist and nor clearly the accompanist. In jugalbandi, both musicians act as lead players, and a playful competition exists between the two performers.


  1. ^ Gérard Béhague (1984). Performance practice: ethnomusicological perspectives. Greenwood Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-313-24160-4. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Latha Varadarajan (10 September 2010). The Domestic Abroad:Diasporas in International Relations. Oxford University Press. pp. 138–. ISBN 978-0-19-988987-7. Retrieved 14 July 2013.