With today’s episode, we bring to an end our series on Hindustani raags that use two varieties of the same swara chromatically. This episode does not pertain to one particular raag. In fact, it points to the fact that the presentation of forms like raagmala/raagsagar and thumri-dadra or dhuns often include a display of chromatic sequencing of the swara.
In the case of the raagmala/raagsagar, literally meaning a garland of raags/ocean of raags, a form that we have discussed over two previous episodes, a performer at times exploits this chromatic arrangement to enter into a new raag. This is heard in instrumental renditions of the raagmala/raagsagar and not as much in vocal recitals.
We begin our music tracks with a rendition of raagsagar by eminent sarod player Zarin Sharma. She plays an aalaap followed by a composition that stretches across the spectrum of raags that she has chosen. The composition is set to the 16-matra Teentaal. Tabla accompaniment is provided by well-known tabla player Vibhav Nageshkar.
Sitar virtuoso Rais Khan demonstrates his control on the sitar in this instrumental interpretation of a Punjabi folk song. Listeners will notice the chromatic use of both Gandhars in the melodic elaboration. The composition is set to the eight-matra Kaherva. He is accompanied by the popular tabla player Tari Khan.
The last two tracks include presentations of Mishra Bhairavi that lends itself in a seamless way to the use of chromatically arranged sequences of all notes. The first features santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma presents an instrumental interpretation of a thumri in Mishra Bhairavi. The composition is set to Kaherva. He is accompanied by tabla player Aneesh Pradhan.
Sarangi wizard Ram Narayan can be heard on the final track. He plays a composition set to Kaherva.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.