Learn Midnight Raag Kafi

Raag Kafi Specs:

Thaat: Kafi
Aarohi: S R g m P D n S'
Amrohi: S' n D P m g R S
Vadi: P
Samvadi: R
Pakard: S S R R g m m P; m P m g R; g R S;
Time: 9 pm – 12 am
Zaat: Sampuran – Sampuran


Raag Kafi or Raga Kaafi is one of those 10 Basic Raag that we talk about. It’s the flagship of it’s Thaat Family Kafi. It’s widely used in Tappa, Thumri, Dadra, Qawwali, etc… and it’s got a sweet but mildly serious tone. Its prowess comes in full color when showing emotions of: Playful Restlessness, Active and Joyful, and Loving Tender Affections. In short, it reigns supreme over folk music genres, much like Raag Khamaj.

It’s very commonly regarded as the night time Bhairavi. At times, rarely, both g, G, n, N are used. But do pay special attention to how in Amrohi, Sargam pretty much terminates on R. If there’s anything you need to remember about Kafi, it’s the default Raag for Thumri and other Semi-Classical compositions.

Due to changes in music, what we now know as Raag Kafi is basically Raag Mishra Kafi. Kafi in it’s purest sense is hardly ever played anymore. Also keep in mind that like Mishra Kafi, there are plenty of other equally nice forms of Kafi including: Zila Kafi, Shudh Kafi, Bangal Kafi, Sindhi Kafi among others. This isn’t even including other Raag that are part of Thaat Kafi Family. I’m just talking about various forms of Raag Kafi itself.

As far as I know, Raag Kafi is not an ancient Raag but something that came about around 400yrs ago. The earliest mentions of Raag Kafi come from areas around Kathmandu and North Bihar. It found it’s place in the palaces and royal courts. And honestly I don’t have a lot of detailed history to offer for Kafi. I will tell you this however, start with your Pakad and try to gauge the mood of Kafi from the Pakad.


Ae duniya Kya Tum Se Kahin Ja Chher Na

Bairan Neend Na Aaye

Biraj Mein Holi Khelat Nandlal

Ek sitam aur meri jaan abhi

Ghairon Pe Karam Apno Pe Sitam

Ghayal Hiraniya

Hina Ki Khushboo Mehak

Ishq Ki Garmiye Jazbaat Kise Pesh

Jalte Hain Arman

Tumhara Pyar Chahiye Mujhe Jeene Ke Liye

Pyar Bhare Do Sharmile Nain

Rim Jhim Rim Jhim Paray Phuaar

Sun Wanjali Di Mithri Taan by Humera Arshad

Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan by Sajan Patel

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