26 May, 2011

Stray GEMS on classical music


  • Malgunji has many elements of Rageshri, Bageshri and a few subtle touches of Jaijaiwanti. It is popularly described as being a combination of Rageshri (in the ascent) and Bageshri ( in the descent). Any raag, however, defies such facile descriptions which should be taken as simple mnemonic devices which help to evoke the general atmosphere of the raag.
  • Rageshri is definitely a dominant feature of Malgunji, and Bageshri exists by virtue of the elusive Pancham and the gentle pathos of the komal Gandhar (flat third).
  • If traditionally Bageshri evokes feelings of separation from the lover, and Rageshri represents reunion, Malgunji depicts the initial realization of the reunion. The feeling is repeatedly reaffirmed, constantly made present, by the ascending thrust of the Rishab (lacking in both Bageshri and Rageshri) and the blissful lingering on the Madhyam - the vadi (dominant) of Malgunji, Rageshri and Bageshri. - John Campana


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Sa: SATYAM SANGEETAM SWARAM SADHO
Re: RANJITA RAGA ROOP RIT RAKHO
Ga: GYANI GANDHRVA KE GUN GAVO
Ma: MAN MANDIR ME MANTRA MILAO
Pa: PARMESH KE PARMESHISH PAVO
Dha: DHIRAJ DHINTA SE DHYAN DHARO
Ni: NATWAR NAAGAR NACHAT DEKHO
Sa: SATYAM SANGEETAM SWARAM SADHO
"AUM GANPATI SHREE HARI NARAYAN DEVI SARASWATI GURU DEV NAMO"
By Pt. Ravi Shankar Ji

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You can follow every note to its expression in a classical based song and match it with lyrics or even without the lyrics, to its expression. That's how tunes are created (or used to be created).

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Why do Sohini and Shivaranajani seem sisters? An example of how some sound alike songs can fool us. Classic example of Sohini is 'Jhoomti chali hawa' and lets say we pick up 'Laage na mora jiya' from Shivranjani. They sound much alike when we HUM them, don't they? But what is sounding alike is from absolutely two different scales, i.e. Sa of 'Jhoomti chali hawa' is actually Ga* of ' Laage na mora jiya' and when we compare two raags they must have the same Sa and that's where we are getting blind folded. If you pick up a harmonium or a key board and try to play these notes from the SAME sa; you will notice that these raags are miles apart. But still the question remains why they appear to be sisters. If you take Shivranjani's Sa, and play Raag Sohini From its Ga* (as if that were Sohini's Sa) you can practically overlap these notes, and that's why in spite of very different Raagas they still mimic some similarity when we hear them.

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