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 accents, which take time to learn.

The notations are :

RR MM GG, DD nn P D S R  G (Sam)

-R M PD Sn R S nn D PD, M P DD MM g RG,

SS RR g SS n D nn

P D  S R G, S R M G (RR MM GG etc)

The antara is very complex and I’ve found that a lot of musicians leave it out.

G S R M P D n P D M, P D S R GGR R S


SS RG SS n D nn P D S R G, S R MG (RR MM etc)

The key points of this composition is to stick to the rhythm. As the composition veers off  the main beat, the rhythm has to be tightly controlled. Fortunately, the composition does not veer off randomly, it still maintains the flow of the taal, so can be learnt after some practice.

Here’s a Youtube video of me playing this composition, recorded at a practice session in my room…

8 thoughts on “Raga Jhinjhoti- Continued

  1. Dear Rahul,
    First off, I just want to express gratitude at this page which is very helpful and well-maintained.
    I have been reading about and listening to the sarod for some time, but only received my first sarod via FedEx this morning. Very exciting! However, I now realize that my fingernails are not yet long enough to play the instrument comfortably. Also, the jabas I was sent have rather sharp edges. Should I sand them down?

    My main question is this: it is very difficult to play a shuddh rishabh on the sa string. I have the instrument tuned to c#, so the second string is c# and the main string is F#. For that matter, it is difficult to play tivra and shuddh ma on the main string, though for reasons I do not understand it is slightly less difficult than on the sa string. I believe the difficulty is because when getting close to the nut (I don’t know if that’s what it is called on the sarod, but the analogous part to a guitar nut) the string is bent more and the pitch rises. I am pushing the string all the way down to the metal on the neck. And there seems to be no way to play komal re on the sa string. Does this have to do with the action(height of the strings) and thus the bridge placement?

    Whatever advice or comments you have, I will be very appreciative of them. I also intend to get your book soon. I am a sitar player, fyi, so I am not totally new to Indian classical music.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.


    1. Hello Leopold-if you are having issues playing re on the sa string, pls check the action on your sarod. The distance between the string and the fret board should be around 1mm…
      Sorry, am traveling at the moment so pls excuse the brevity of my response…

      1. Rahul,
        Thanks very much for the response, even while you are traveling.
        My strings are quite a bit higher off the neckboard than 1mm – they are a little more than 1/4 to 5/16 in high. One solution seems to be to deepen the grooves in the bridge so that the strings sit lower. If I were to do that I would use a fine saw then sand the resulting groove smooth. The site Perfect Third has a chart on sarod anatomy (http://www.perfectthird.com/sarod_tuning.htm) and suggests “between 1/4″ and 3/8” on the “Ma” string above the fret plate where it meets the skin.” As in many aspects of Indian music, this is probably attributable to differing schools of thought on the subject (though I can not see how it would be possible to play re or pa near the nut with the action that high). Since it will of course be difficult to find a sarod repairman in Philadelphia, what would you advise? I do have experience with woodworking, but the bridge looks to be made of bone.

        Thank you again and safe travels.


  2. Hi Rahul

    First of all congratulations for working with so much clarity and precision on such a variety of raagas. I understand that my comment comes only on the bottom of the Jhinjhoti page, but I have found all your videos and comments extending upto the exploration Marwa to be of the highest pedigree of expertise and unbiased academic focus. A special mention to those lovely drut compositions played in Bihag. It was wonderful to hear Ustad Amjad Ali’s magnificent drut composition and I think your the first to have played the Rampur Sahaswan staple on the sarod. At any rate, I write specifically here for your opinion on this video. I have been following Ustadjis videos recently and I find that age has caught up drastically with him and he has toned down his playing and no longer/cannot play with the same dexterity and virtuosity he could even a decade back. His imagination needs a strong pen (technique) which is failing him with age. However this very recent exposition of Jhinjhoti caught my fancy as being extremely good and about as good as anything we have come to hear earlier. Could you give me your views on this…I would love to know

    1. Hello Krishnaroop
      Thanks for sharing the link. I’ve always enjoyed Ustadji’s performances, and am hopelessly biased in his favour !! After all, even the sarod that I play was given by him, and he is without a doubt the greatest sarodiya of our times as far as I’m concerned, having elevated the sound of the sarod to a level unmatched by anyone in the history of the instrument. His track record speaks for itself, and doesn’t require any commentary from his followers like me. Thanks again for your comments.Rahul

  3. Hi Rahul

    Thats the best answer I could have hoped for. 😀
    Looking forward to all your raaga explorations specially in such a vocalised context. Would love to hear your thoughts on raagas such as Chhayanat, Nat Bihag, Bihagda and Kamod which are rare or considered difficult on this instrument. Ustadji’s stellar album on his vocal inspirations remains unparalleled in this regard, his Chhayanat, Jogiya and Mishra Jangla being the highlights for me.
    If more instrumentalists tried to break away from the dara-diri bashing (as you put it) idiom of playing and moved toward adapting these very identifiable compositions, I suppose the preservation of our music and its propagation would be ensured.

    1. The ragas that you have mentioned are difficult because melodic improvisation opportunities are limited, so any “excursion” from the main melodic line runs the risk of confusing the raga with something else. Vocal music, fortunately, provides us with an inexhaustible supply of material to draw from, solving the problem to some extent.
      Anyway, I’m currently working on Nand Kalyan – another of these rather singular theme ragas, and will publish something shortly…

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