Raga guide 1

Many of us who are new to Hindustani classical music, and have just started to appreciate it, would want to know the basic structure of each Raga. Although classical music is a vast subject and cannot be understood by merely listening to music samples, it would be of immense help to many to have an insight on each Raga. In this series of 8-9 posts I will cover about 40-45 most sung Ragas. At the beginning of each song the vocalist, Subhra Guha of Agra Gharana, explains the basic structure of the Raga that is being sung. There are a few technical terms spoken by her during this briefing. Without delving into the technicalities, I will describe just these.

Each one of the several traditional Ragas is based on, or is a variation of, 10 basic Thaats, or musical scales or frameworks. The ten Thaats are Bilawal, Kalyan, Khamaj, Bhairav, Poorvi, Marwa, Kafi, Asavari, Bhairavi and Todi,. If one were to pick a Raga at random, it should be possible to find that it is based on one or the other of these Thaats.

Aroha presents the ascending scale of a Raga, whereas Avroha presents the descending scale. Pakad is the phrase of melody belonging to a Raga. It is the very essence of a Raga containing all its elements and individuality. It is something unique and not transferable to some other Raga.

Ragas are presented here in alphabetical order.

Subhra Guha – Raga Alahiya Bilawal (late morning) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Barwa (early evening) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Bhairavi (any time) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Bhankar (early morning) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Bhimpalasi (early afternoon) :  Download

.. basics of Indian Raga »

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