Five years ago, this column had included interpretations of the raag Bhairavi presented by sitar players. In our final episode on the same raag, we will listen to tracks featuring other instrumental renditions of this raag.
The flexibility of Bhairavi allows performers to use all 12 notes. In fact, some even use them chromatically at times, which is uncommon in the Hindustani system. The use of 12 notes also allows performers to move away from the conventional framework of Bhairavi and introduce colours of other raags. This is when the prefix “Mishra” (literally mixed) is often added before Bhairavi. The tracks included in this episode incorporate shades of other raags as well.
We begin with an aalaap or introductory section by the sarod maestro Hafiz Ali Khan. A short passage of the drut gat or fast instrumental composition is included on this track. This is set to Teentaal, a rhythmic canvas of 16 time-units or matras.
The second track has an aalaap played by the illustrious rudra veena player Zia Mohiuddin Dagar.
Sarod exponent Shivkumar Sharma begins with an aalaap, moving on to a dhun or melody set to the six-matra Dadra. He brings the performance to a close with a gat set to Teentaal.