Any formal performance of local-classical music commences with a Dhrupad, which functions as a sort of invocatory prelude. On first hearing, an Indo-Caribbean Dhrupad would seem to bear little resemblance to its classical Hindustani namesake, she former is a short song of around three or four minutes, preceded only by a few alap- like phrases and a doha, and with very little development of raga or tala. The composition self is sung not to the Dhrupad talas used in India, but to a metre which could be counted in either four or eight beats (and which is less bouncy and syncopated than Kaherva/Chaubola).

However, even in North India, Dhrupad is best understood as comprising a family of genres, which would include congregational Samaj-gayan, Pushtimarg Haveli Sangeet, and other temple-based relatives. These tend to share certain musical and textual features which are also common to Indo-Caribbean Dhrupad, which thus should be understood as a bona fide member of the Dhrupad family.