Raga guide 4

A Raga must evoke a particular emotion or create a certain mood. Each Raga has a specific name. It also has a character, which can be devotional, erotic, bold and valorous, or even tragic. Time of day, when it is best performed, is usually specified as a 3-hour interval. However the beauty of the Raga is not affected if it is performed at other times of the day. Some Ragas are related to seasons, for example, Raga Malhar. Ragas are not static. Some can be traced back to ancient or medieval times, others originated only a few centuries or even a few decades ago. However, all Ragas have undergone transformations over the centuries. Many of them have fallen into disuse.

Subhra Guha – Raga Hemkalyan (late evening) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Hindol (morning) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Jaijaivanti (late evening) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Jaunpuri (late morning) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Jhinjhoti (late evening) :  Download

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Raga guide 3

King Nanyadeva of Mithila (1097-1147) wrote that the variety of Ragas is infnite, and their individual features are hard to put into words. He wrote : “Just as the sweetness of sugar, treacle and candy cannot be separately described, but must be experienced for oneself.”

Subhra Guha – Raga Deshkar (late morning) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Gara (late night) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Gaud Malhar (anytime in rainy season) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Gaud Sarang (early afternoon) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Hameer (early night) :  Download

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Raga guide 2

Every Raga is associated with a particular time of day or a season of the year. Each time of the day (i.e. before dawn, morning, noon, late afternoon, early evening, late night) is associated with a definite emotion. The cycle of day and night as well as the cycle of the seasons are supposed to be analogous to the cycle of life. The explanation of the time associated with each Raga may be found in the nature of the notes that comprise it, or in historical anecdotes concerning the Raga.

Subhra Guha – Raga Bihag (night 10pm-12am) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Bilaskhani Todi (morning 8am-10am) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Brindavani Sarang (afternoon 12pm-2pm) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Chhayanat (late evening 8pm-10pm) :  Download

Subhra Guha – Raga Desh (late evening 8pm-10pm) :  Download

.. back to Raga Guide part 1 »


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 »