Raga Maru Bihag (Maru Behag): A digression

A little while ago, I was listening to Pt Budhaditya Mukherjee’s recital of the popular raga: Maru Bihag. This raga is a complex one – and is credited to Ustad Alladiya Khan for its invention. Growing up in Varanasi, Maru Bihag was a popular raga used in light classical music- thumris in particular.

Leaving aside academic discussion of its structure -here’s what I feel about this raag -it’s a romantic raga with a bit of longing but also a “here and now” feel to it. So, its longing does not last, when you come back to the Shuddha Re. You feel back in control. It also uses two Madhyams and is fertile ground for improvisation. Therein lies the trap for the sarod player. The more the degrees of freedom, the greater the risk of technical error.

Here’s a vilambit gat composed by me (inspired by numerous artists- the chalan is very common and not unique). The drut version will come later.

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The notation is here

Notation of Maru Bihag on Sarod -Vilambit Teental

As always, a one take recording on the Zoom with Mr. E. Tabla in sangat.