Raga Bihag: An uplifting melody

A most pleasing and enjoyable raga, Bihag is at once a very popular and common raga. On the sarod, practically everyone has played this at some time or the other. Associated ragas include: Maru Bihag, Nat Bihag, Hem Bihag and Pat Bihag (I heard the last one once, and have no idea of the repertoire…. will find out if I get the time)…. Bihag, also … Continue reading Raga Bihag: An uplifting melody

Raga Improvisation & Expansion

(Picture above: my hometown of Varanasi, India, famous for Indian classical music, especially tabla) Ever wondered what musicians play after the main composition and how it’s structured? Especially in the slow (vilambit) part of the composition, there are a number of devices and pathways available to the artist. As a short example, I start with a very standard composition in slow 16 beat cycle in … Continue reading Raga Improvisation & Expansion

Playing Indian Classical Music on non traditional instruments

For some time now, I have been asked whether it’s a good idea to play Indian Classical music on western instruments. I myself used to play Indian Classical Music on the guitar, so here are my thoughts on the subject. So, the question is: should I play Indian classical music on the guitar/piano/cello/harmonica/french horn/saxophone etc? The answer is : It depends (on what you want) … Continue reading Playing Indian Classical Music on non traditional instruments

Raga Jhinjhoti- Continued

Here is the first video of Raga Jhinjhoti – a fast (drut) composition in 16 beat (teentaal) followed by a variant of the same composition set to the same taal. This composition is from the Shahjahanpur Sarod Gharana, and was developed by Abdullah Khan or Mohammad Amir Khan… Originally meant for the sarod, this has been adapted on other instruments. The composition has several rhythmic … Continue reading Raga Jhinjhoti- Continued

Beautiful Ragas from the Khamaj Garden- Raga Jhinjhoti

Recently I played at the Independence day function for a local association, and ended up playing Raga Desh. Which made me think of other ragas which are related to Desh. In this category lies the beautiful raga Jhinjhoti. For some reason, Bengalis often call this raga Jhijhit…. not quite sure why…. Here’s a brief introduction to Jhinjhoti as I’ve leant it… Raga Jhinjhoti Thaat (Parent): … Continue reading Beautiful Ragas from the Khamaj Garden- Raga Jhinjhoti

Raga Bageshri- Conclusion

Here is my last post on Raga Bageshri – a gat in Rupak Taal (7 beats) to round off the full series: Vilambit, Madhyalaya and Drut… I learnt this composition from Ustad Shahid Parvez – he also showed a different style of taankari- using phrases. As always, I’ve ended up experimenting with tihais etc – more of a concert thing… The notation is fairly simple … Continue reading Raga Bageshri- Conclusion

Bageshri- Drut Teentaal – Some compositions

I’ve been a bit late with my posts – but here the latest one covering off more material in Bageshri –¬† this time some select compositions in Drut Teentaal…(Bageshri is such a “big” raga, one could spend years on it..) I’ve recorded a video showing 7 compositions in Drut Teentaal, some never played on the sarod (e.g. sitar heritage) but all unique in some ways: … Continue reading Bageshri- Drut Teentaal – Some compositions

Raga Marwa – An evening mood

For some time now, I’ve been “besotted” by Raga Marwa. Raga Marwa is a unique raga in many respects and its characteristics can take a while to understand. The Raga goes like this Notes of Raga Marwa: Family (Thaat): Marwa Ascending (Aarohan): N r G m D N S Descending (Avrohan): S N D m G r S Characteristic phrase (Pakad) : N(lower) D (lower) … Continue reading Raga Marwa – An evening mood

Bageshri – Drut Ektaal – Notes from a practice session

In this post, I have published a video showing a recording of a practice session featuring a Drut Ektaal composition in Bageshri – which I believe has never been played before on the sarod (so I get to be first ???).Anyway, frivolities aside, I’m not quite sure why this masterpiece of vocal music¬† (called Apni Garaj Pakar Leeni Baiyan Mori) hasn’t been played more on … Continue reading Bageshri – Drut Ektaal – Notes from a practice session