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Appendix S2: Ragas

 

From Chapter 11, we studied the properties and the rules on what makes a raga on a technical standpoint. In this chapter, we will learn some ragas which are commonly heard. We will also learn a song associated with it. Since there exists a huge collection of ragas sung and played, it will be difficult to cover each and everyone. Since we are learning about ragas just now, we will uncover two ragas here with two different songs.

 

RAGA DARBARI

 

Raga Darbari is a night raga which was invented by Miyan Tansen, one of the best musicians in the history of North Indian classical musicians. Here are the properties of the raga:

 

Aroha: S R g m P d n S

Avaroha: S d n P m P n g m R S

Jati: Sampurna-Sampurna

Vadi: g

Samvadi: d

Swarupa: S R g R S d n S

Prahar: 7th prahar (approximately 9 PM to 12 AM)

 

The song we will learn is Jaya Radha Madhava by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. When we learn full songs, we will learn lines piece by piece. We will learn the refrain first. The word for refrain in Indian music is called a sthayi or an asthayi. Before we go on to the actual learning of the song, I would like to educate you on the lyrics of the song to appreciate the bhajan and glorify Sri Sri Radha Madhava. Please click here for the lyrics and translation: Jaya Radha Madhava.

Here is the asthayi of Jaya Radha Madhava in the eight matra cycle known as kaherva.

 

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

R

-

S

R

S

R

P

ra

a

a

dha

ma

a

dha

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

m

g

-

g

-

g

g

m

va

a

a

a

a

a

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

R

R

-

S

n

d

n

R

 

kun

n

ja

bi

i

ha

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

-

-

-

-

 

S

S

i

i

i

i

 

 

ja

ya

 

 

Figure 12.1

 

Few new things introduced here. Notice that in the first avartan, or rhythmic cycle, we didnt start singing until matra 7. Matras 7 and 8 are known as upbeats, because they dont start at the beginning of the cycle. Matra 7 will be a very important matra as far as our words and beginning of melody is concerned. Practice playing and singing this part. If you have a friend or someone to play tabla or mridanga or keep time for you, have them to do that while you sing. Remember, keeping rhythm is very important.

 

Here is the first verse of the song, or the antara.

 

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

P

P

P

m

g

g

m

go

pi

ja

na

va

l

l

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

m

-

-

g

R

-

R

R

bha

a

a

a

a

a

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

g

g

-

R

S

n

d

n

 

gi

ri

va

ra

a

dha

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

P

-

-

-

S

-

S

S

ri

i

i

i

 

 

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

P

P

P

m

g

g

m

go

pi

ja

na

va

l

l

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

d

P

m

g

R

-

R

R

bha

a

a

a

a

a

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

R

R

R

S

n

d

n

R

 

gi

ri

va

ra

a

dha

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

-

-

-

S

-

S

S

ri

i

i

i

 

 

ja

ya

 

Figure 12.2

 

Next, we will look at the second verse of the song. The melody is exactly the same as the first verse. Since they are the same, it is still called the first antara. In music, the word verse does not necessary mean the same idea as the word verse used in lyrics. We will use the word verse for lyrical verses and the word antara for musical verses.

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

P

P

P

m

g

g

m

ya

so

o

da

nan

n

da

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

m

-

-

g

R

-

R

R

na

a

a

a

a

a

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

g

g

a

g

R

S

-

g

R

 

braja

ja

na

ran

n

ja

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

-

-

n

S

-

S

S

na

a

a

a

a

 

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

S

P

P

P

m

g

g

m

ya

so

o

da

nan

n

da

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

d

P

m

g

R

-

R

R

na

a

a

a

a

a

ja

ya

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

R

g

g

g

R

S

n

d

n

 

braja

ja

na

vran

n

ja

a

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

P

-

-

-

S

S

S

S

na

a

a

a

a

ya

mu

na

 

Figure 12.3


Here is the second antara. This is the last line of the song.

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

S

S

S

 

 

 

 

 

ya

mu

na

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

P

-

m

g

-

-

g

m

ti

i

ra

a

a

a

va

na

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

R

-

-

-

S

S

S

S

ca

a

a

a

ri

ya

mu

na

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

d

P

m

g

g

-

R

S

ti

i

ra

a

a

a

va

na

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

d

-

n

-

S

-

S

S

ca

a

a

a

ri

i

ja

ya

 

Figure 12.4

 

Thus the song is completed. In North Indian music, there arent too many fixed compositions and this is certainly not one either. If you noticed the fingering and the raga profile of this raga (Raga Darbari), you will notice that this is of the Asavari That. I have heard this song sung in a raga from either the Kafi or rarely the Khamaj That. Later on, you will learn more about improvisation, so do not worry about the other forms of the melody. Study this song in full and play it from memory, while keeping the tala and words in mind.

 

RAGA MALKAUNS

 

Raga Malkauns is a midnight raga from the Bhairavi That. The raga was originally conceived when Parvati sang the raga to pacify Lord Sivas anger. We will study a chant used in this raga. The chant is Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Before we look at the chant, lets look at the raga profile.

 

Aroha: S g m d n S

Avaroha: S n d n d m g m g S n S

Jati: Audava-Audava

Vadi: m

Samvadi: S

Swarupa: n S g m g S n S d n S

Prahar: 7th (9 PM to 12 AM)

 

Unlike Jaya Radha Madhava, this is a very simple chant. Notice how strong ma is in this raga. This is the asthayi in the sixteen matra cycle known as tintal.

 

X

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

m

-

d

m

g

S

S

g

n

n

S

g

g

m

m

-

o

om

na

mo

bha

ga

va

te

e

va

su

de

va

a

ya

a

 

 

Here is the antara.

X

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

m

-

d

n

S

S

S

S

n

n

d

n

d

-

m

-

o

om

na

mo

bha

ga

va

te

e

va

su

de

va

a

ya

a

 

Another slight subtle different on matra 7, but adds spice to the antara.

X

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

m

-

d

n

S

S

g

S

n

n

d

n

d

-

m

-

o

om

na

mo

bha

ga

va

te

e

va

su

de

va

a

ya

a

 

Since this is a simple chant, you may rearrange how many times you use the antaras in conjunction with the asthayi.

 

This is indeed a fun chapter in learning songs with different melodies, despite its complexities. If you are disheartened that there are only two songs, dont worry, we will learn more ragas throughout. Just learn these songs to perfection. Play and sing these songs accurately, as well as in proper tempo. Remember, building raga knowledge from this chapter is very important, but building tala knowledge from Chapter 9 and incorporating it here is just as important too.

UPDATED: June 18, 2009