Sonic Saturday

This sultry summer, make your afternoons dreamy with raag Saarang

The association of these raags with this time of the day is evident even in some song-texts that describe the intensity of the sun’s heat.

One of the things that can provide relief in sultry summer afternoons is some hours of good music heard in shaded surroundings, which is obviously an impossible task for those with working hours through the day. But for the Hindustani music lover who may just be lucky enough to find some time, this would perhaps be the most appropriate moment to relish the variety of the raag Saarang. The Saarang family of raags is not specifically prescribed for summer, but it is prescribed for afternoon performances. The association of these raags with this time of the day is evident even in some song-texts that describe the intensity of the sun’s heat.

Over the next few weeks, we will hear different kinds of Saarang. Unfortunately, these raags are rarely heard in live concerts as most performances are held in the morning, evening or at night. There are occasions when morning concerts spill into afternoon hours, giving performers a chance to present some of these raags. But even if this is not so, they continue to form an integral part of a performer’s repertoire.

The main raag in this family is called Saarang or Vrindavani/Brindavani Saarang. Prescribed for noon, this raag has Rishabh or the second and Pancham or the fifth as dominant and sub-dominant tonal centres, respectively, in its melodic structure. Gandhaar the third and Dhaivat the sixth are omitted.

The first track features the charismatic Bhimsen Joshi, one of the chief exponents of the Kirana gharana. He sings a composition in Saarang set to a slow-paced Jhaptaal, a cycle of 10 matras or time-units, followed by a drut or fast-paced composition in the 16-matra Teentaal.

Play

Vilayat Hussein Khan, revered guru of the Agra gharana, sings a drut composition in Teentaal for a 78 rpm disc.

Play

The following are instrumental renditions of Saarang. The first is a shehnai recital by the inimitable Bismillah Khan, playing a composition in Saarang set to the 12-matra Ektaal.

Play

The final track features Hariprasad Chaurasia, the celebrated flautist. He plays an introductory aalaap, followed by a composition in Jhaptaal. The second composition is set to drut Teentaal, which ends with the jhala section.

Play
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:

Play

To know more about NEXA, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.