In the concluding episode of the series on the Saarang family of raags, we will listen to three rarely heard varieties. Like all Saarang varieties, these are also prescribed for performance in the afternoon.
The first is called Mia ki Saarang or Mia ka Saarang. Believed to be the creation of Mia Tansen, the famed jewel in the court of Akbar, the 16th-century Mughal Emperor, this raag incorporates elements from Mia ki Malhar and Saarang. But being a variety of Saarang, a constant focus is kept on the Saarang angle.
A live concert recording features Agra gharana maestro Latafat Hussein Khan singing a composition in vilambit or slow Ektaal, a cycle of 12 matras or time-units. He follows it with his own composition with his pseudonym Premdas in the song-text. This drut or fast composition is set to the 16-matra Teentaal. He concludes with another composition in the same taal.
Latafat Hussein Khan’s eldest brother Khadim Hussein Khan, the renowned Agra gharana vocalist and respected guru, sings Dhulia Saarang, a variety that belongs to the Agra repertoire. This raag incorporates elements of Desh and Saarang. He sings a vilambit composition set to Ektaal.
The last variety is a creation of the renowned vocalist Chidanand Nagarkar. Called Ambika Saarang, this raag displays shades of the more popular Saraswati, but it differs with the inclusion of the shuddha Nishad, or the sharp seventh, and the shuddha Madhyam, or natural fourth.
Scholar-musician KG Ginde, also a disciple of Nagarkar’s guru SN Ratanjankar, sings a madhya laya or medium-paced composition set to Teentaal.