Learn Late Night Raag Basant

Raag Basant Specs:

Thaat: Purvi
Aarohi: S G M d r' S'
Amrohi: S' N d P M G M G r S
Vadi: S
Samvadi: M
Pakard: M d S', N d P, P M G M G, M G r S
Time: 3 am – 6 am (All Times in Spring Season)
Zaat: Audav – Sampuran

Before we get into the philosophy of Raag Basant or Raag Vasant as some like to call it; I want to quickly get done with the technicalities first. Few things to note in Basant; for one, r or Rikhab is not ever long drawn. And many times, when M is used two or three times within a few Sur, the last M is stretched a bit. For example, notice the Amrohi where M is used twice: S' N d P M G M G r S — The 2nd M will be stretched out a bit longer. Also, in rare cases, m is also used.

Something that I also didn’t know before was that Raag Basant is the 25th of 31 Raag mentioned in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib. This tells us not only that our Sikh friends have a deep relations with this Raag, but that it is a very integral part of our South Indian music tradition.

Historically, Raag Basant has been given the center stage due to certain music renditions of Hazrat Ameer Khusrau. For example, the first day of Basant is celebrated at the Burial Ground or Dargah of his master, Hazrat Nizamuddin every year for the past several centuries. However, Raag Basant itself hasn’t been originated from that point. It was around much before that. Although, Hazrat Ameer Khusrau made several changes to the execution of Raag Basant. The Sur remained the same, but the delicate use of r and elongated M were his amendments.

Another important thing to bring to my readers is that Raag Basant is NOT a joyous Raag in the least. When I looked around on the web for Raag Basant, I kept reading it’s descriptions as: Serene, Soothing, Full of Awe and Joy of Spring, and on and on….People STOP That right now! I think, a lot of people have lost the sense of listening to Raag and realizing the emotions that are drawn from them. They simply copy each other by saying the same old crap.

Here’s something that you should know. Raag Basant is very different from Raag Bahar. Yes, Raag Bahar is full of joy, playfulness, over-whelming contentment. But that is because Bahar is the time when new flowers emerge in the fields. It’s a time to rejoice! Basant on the other hand is when the new flower blooms in place of the old. There is enormous sadness felt for the withering old flower. There is no new unless the old is gone.

Raag Basant therefore goes hand in hand with Raag Bahar. On one hand, there is laughter and joy and on the other hand there is longing.

Basant Hai Aaya Rangila

Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champak Ban Phoole

Lo Phir Basant Aayi

Phagwa Brij Dekhan Ko Chalo by Rujul Pathak

Phagwa Brij Dekhan Ko Chalo by Padma Talwalkar

Phool Khile Bagiyan Main (Basant Portion) @ 2:35

Raga Basant by Meeta Pandit (Album:Tansen)

Piya Sang Khelo Holi by piya sang khelo holi

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