Raga Analysis Class - 17th July 2015
Aparajita Lahiri Brahmachari,As a student and devotee of music, I always had an interest regarding the huge variety of Ragas, each of unique in type. Having learnt music for more than 23 years gives a fair and prominently distinct idea of the fact that behind the majesty of Hindustani classical music lies a the power of Raga and its various dimensions. There are ragas known to depict each and every mood and season.
At ITC Sangeet Research Academy, utmost importance is given to the Raga system of Indian Classical Music and the Raga Analysis class is one of those time when the scholars and Gurus of the Academy sit together and discuss the particulars of a single Raga, how it should be rendered, what the different routes within the framework of the Raga are or what the criterions are behind establishing a Raga during performance.
Being a Senior Scholar of this Academy, I, along with my 2 scholar friends, were given the responsibility of organising this time's Raga Analysis class by our Executive Director and our respected Gurus.The Raga decided was Malhar and a few different types in the Malhar group.
The first question that came to my mind was what the actual phrase of Raga Malhar should be like? "What is the essence of Malhar?", "Is there any Raga called Shuddha Malhar?".I along with Debasmita requested our Gurus to explain the track of Malhar, Shudh Malhar and Megh / Megh Malhar.
Guru Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty firstly mentioned that if we want to know or sing or play Raga Malhar we would need to know about Raga Darbari because both Ragas use the same phrases (R P, M P g M R S) and this very phrase is what denotes the difference between both the Ragas. A question posed by Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty was,"What is a phrase or why are there even phrases in Ragas?" Sankumay Debnath, a scholar, was asked to begin an alaap of Raga Megh and was asked to established the Raga in one phrase. N S N P, P R. This was the phrase sung by Sankumay and he was asked to build on the same phrase through different routes.
Guru Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar said there are Ragas of the same swara/notes like Bhupali/ Deshkar, Megh/Madhmad Sarang, Puriya/Marwa/Sohini. "These Ragas have the same notes but become different through different rendition of the same notes. "Swar, swar sangati, badhat, meend, murki etc are all the terms that have fixed meaning and the same affects each and every Raga and makes it different", said Pandit Kashalkar.
On Megh and Megh Malhar it was said that there is no such difference between the two Ragas. Megh is recited with Malhar ang which is R M P, P MgR S. Between M and R there is usage of komal Gandhar which is rendered through meend. Some artists use clear komal Gandhar saying that Megh Malhar and some artists sing M R S with meend which is called Megh. The following is a frequently used phrase of Raga Megh and important one as well.
n S R M P n S, S n S P N M P R M S R n S