Updated Jan 2023
I recently uploaded a video containing 8 compositions in Raag Pilu (Peelu)- or Mishra (mixed) Pilu to be more exact.
Here is the video:
Pilu is a “tune” based raag, which means the raag is instantly recognised by some key passages and not by note progression as such.
It’s usually seen as a vehicle for light classical music (a dessert item after the main course of raag) and not used in Dhrupad, Dhamaar or Khayal
Most compositions in Pilu are also in lighter taals such as Deepchandi, Keherva, Dadra, although I have played teentaal gats in this video
The compositions covered in this video are as follows with sources and notes: (all compositions are in 16 beat time cycle : Teentaal)
1. Pilu Jangla by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. This is an old traditional composition and note the use of chikari in place of notes
2. Pilu by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in his album “Music of Love”
3. Pilu Barwa: Barwa is an old affiliate of Pilu from the Kaafi thaat. A short composition with the signature P D N S progression which defines this raag.
4. One of the many compositions from Ustad Shahid Parvez. This is an unusual composition in that it goes up the octave. I have modified it from the original
5. This composition was created by Pt Buddhadev Dasgupta based on the Tagore Song “She din du jone” (that day we two). It takes the phrases and turns them into classical format
6. Pilu by Ustad Halim Jaffar Khan: Unique composition in that it starts from the lower octave Pa and has his distinctive style (Jaffarkhani baaj). Again, modified by me for sarod
7. Ustad Vilayat Khan’s composition which uses:
– no chikari in the sthayi 1st line
– one stroke chikari after each mini phrase in manjha (or Sthayi 2nd line)
– two stroke chikari after each phrase in the antara.
It’s a challenging composition to keep on top of as it completely veers off the main teental theka and has to be carefully executed.
8. An adaptation of a fast composition by Ustad Shahid Parvez.
Scholars such as Pt Ramashreya Jha have opined that as it is tune based, there is no particular restriction of the Aaroh and Avroh
Vadi: Komal Gandhar
Jaati is Vakra (complex)
Time: Any time after 12 noon
Octaves: Mainly played in lower and middle octaves
Related Raags: Kafi, Bhimpalasi, Patdeep, Bhairavi, Jangla,Kirvani, Shivranjini, Barwa
Original Post from 2012: Some links may not work
I was chatting to Sandipan, a fellow sarod player based in Sydney and we were discussing Shri Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (who has guided him) and his style. We got around to discussing some compositions and eventually onto Raga Pilu
Pilu (Piloo) is a light raga with a vast canvas to paint. Mishra Pilu allows tremendous scope for the artist to bring in melodic lines from other ragas.
Pilu belongs to the Kaafi thaat and uses both the Gandhars (Ga). However, in the Mishra (mixed) form, almost all notes are used.
One of the best Pilus on the sarod is by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. I’ve taken his Teental composition and changed it a bit, however the key characteristics remain, in particular, the ascending antara leading up to the upper Sa from the 9th and use of some ekhara phrases.
Following this, I also remembered a Deepchandi gat (14 beats) popular with sitar players – it has been played by sitar players including Ustad Shahid Parvez:
Then we have a Pilu in Madhaylay Deepchandi (which has been played by Tejendra da), however, I conclude the piece very differently to him, and have essentially simplified the ending…
– I’ll upload the notations shortly.