Providing relief from the intense heat of summer, the rains bring the hope of rejuvenation and fertility to flora and fauna. Not surprisingly, the monsoon is celebrated through music in India. For those associated with Hindustani music, the onset of monsoon conjures up aural images of raags from the Malhar family. There are several Malhar varieties, but one of the most recognisable is Mia ki Malhar. It is believed to have been composed by Mia Tansen, the sixteenth-century musician from Akbar’s court.

Renowned vocalist Bhimsen Joshi’s dramatic delineation of the raag is recorded in a documentary produced in 1971 with support from the New York State Department of Education. His taans delivered at great speed recreate the sound and fury of torrential rain.

In a constant search for innovation, musicians have also made some deviations from established raags. Some deviations are subtle, but others are of a more obvious kind, such as bringing together two raags to form a compound raag. The new creations display characteristics of the original raags but also have an identity of their own. Here, the scholar-musician Ram Ashreya Jha "Ramrang" presents raag Tilak Malhar that incorporates elements from raags Mia ki Malhar and Tilak Kamod.