Chapter 4 – Go Further, Learn Raag

If music is food for soul, Raga are the ingredients. How spicy is your Raag?
If music is food for soul, Raga are the ingredients. How spicy is your Raag?

Post Introductions:

Now that we have gone through Chapters 1, 2, and 3 together; I think we’re ready to Go Further, Learn Raag. In the last Chapter, we were introduced to our first Raag. I selected Raag Aiman for you to learn because it’s a very full Raag with all seven Sur, and easy to remember because all Sur other than Atal are Tayvar. As said in the last Chapters, we are NOT trying to master any Raag in this series. We simply want to become self sufficient and to know enough to be able to understand the basics of HCM as well be able to dwell into further reading and research on our own without any hand holding.

Don’t worry about hefty reading on this one…I’ll try to keep it pretty brief on this Chapter.

Go Further, Learn Raag

But knowing about a single Raag is not enough. We need to Go Further, Learn Raag. Would you want to eat the same food everyday? Or do the same work task everyday? What about watch the same episode of The Simpsons everyday? Well, why would Raag be any different. Spice up your music like your mum spices up the Nihari. Man…I’m getting so hungry now….anyways 🙂

Raag Bhairavi

Now, let’s take the next step and know a thing or two about Raag Bhairavi. Now from Raag Aiman to Raag Bhairavi, no Sur remains the same except S and P. All Tayvar Sur of Raag Aiman are flattened to Komal. Here’s the basic specs for Raag Bhairavi:

Thaat: Bhairavi
Arohi: S r g m P d n S'
Amrohi: S' n d P m g r S
Vadi: m
Sam Vadi: S
Wakht: 1 (6 am – 9 am) / Sunrise
g S r S ; g m P ; d m d n S' ; r' S' d P g m r S;
Zaat: Sampuran-Sampuran

Note: I’m going to do a lot less baby sitting in explaining the stats above and how to read them. If you have really digested the introduction to Raag Aiman well enough, this should be no different.

The stats above should give you a basic idea of the Raag. It will NOT give you understanding of it’s mood, emotions, nuances, and all those creative things. This is just a snapshot of the Raag and what else involved in it. But know this, this Raag is EXTREMELY vast. The depth of Raag Bhairavi is no joking matter. You can literally create several hundred different melodies using Raag Bhairavi and still have room for more variations.

For further detailed reading on Raag Bhairavi, look up Raag Bhairavi‘s own separate post under Raag Guides.

Raag Bilaval

Raag Bilaval is known to be a very mild Raag. It’s used in many many songs and doesn’t come off as a serious sadness laden Raag in any way. Here are the stats:

Thaat: Bilaval
Arohi: S GR GP DN S'
Amrohi: S'N DP---DnDP---mG mR S
Vadi: D
Sam Vadi: G
Wakht: 2 (9 am – 12 pm)
Zaat: Shadav-Sampuran

If you reviewed Raag Bilaval’s stats carefully, I bet you have some questions. Of course I don’t know what you’re going to ask me. So I’m simply going to have presume….

You may have noticed some spaces between Sur, like you’ve been seeing in Raag Aiman and Raag Bhairavi. However, this time, there are some Sur without spaces, and some have --- marks between them. What can they mean? Simply means to sing the joint Sur quickly without any pause in between. And take normal pauses when you spaces. However, for the --- marks, take a bit longer pause. With these marks, we’re trying to embellish our Raag more rhythmically, and not like a set machine like pattern.

Second thing you may have noticed may be the Arohi, Amrohi and Zaat. Well you should have noticed that in Arohi, is not just a simply S to S' affair any more. The Sur in Arohi are going back and forth a bit and missing the m Sur. Amrohi has all the Sur but still goes back and forth. This is where Zaat of the Raag explains the missing m in Arohi by classifying the Raag as Shadav in Arohi and Sampuran in Amrohi.

I hope you understand that the sequence in which we are going, the Raag Aiman starts off as the simplest of the three Raag. Raag Bhairavi following similar suit but with Komal Sur. And finally, Raag Bilaval making our lives a bit more complex. Each of these Raag go up in complexity and as a beginner, it’s best to learn these three since they will wander in your life many many times.

Again, for further detailed reading on Raag Bilaval, look up Raag Bilaval’s own separate post in the Music Guide section. That’s it for this Chapter folks…wasn’t that just easy peasy?

Now that you’ve already read all previous chapters in sequence as well as the above information, ask yourself if you’ve really been able to digest all the information thrown at you. If the answer is “No”, simply go back and read again slowly. However, if the answer is a resounding “Yes”, you have multiple venues you can take. Don’t hesitate to Go Further, Learn Raag from the Raag Guide section.

See you next time, stay sharp.