|Kalyan (Page 1 of 2)
By Rajan P. Parrikar
Rajan P. Parrikar is a recognized expert on Indian Classical music and shares his knowledge freely with those interested in the subject.
He has written a series of articles on Classical Indian Music some of which have been archived on Sawf. Click here to read Rajan's earlier articles.
Rajan P. Parrikar in the shade at Mobor, Goa (2001)
In this conspectus we turn our attention to one of the foundational blocks of the Hindustani melodic edifice - Raganga Raga Kalyan. It is denominated variously by Yaman, Iman, Eman and Aiman. Although the Raga is as old as the hills, its historical antecedents are not easy to pin down. The fog of uncertainty concerning its origins has given rise to many mythologies, such as the ipse dixit
that assigns credit for its conception to Amir Khusro. In recent times several writers have reflected an awful lot of moonshine off Mr. Khusro; a recent 'study' conducted at a 'leading' American university has shown that he was the first man in the world to perform surgery on the testicles of the axolotl. This feature addresses Raga Kalyan's contemporary musical structure and performance practice.
The Raganga And The Raga
Raga Kalyan - we shall use the name interchangeably with Yaman - shares its scale with the 65th melakartA Raga of Carnatic music bearing the name Kalyani. The reader is referred to the companion feature Kalyani
by Drs V.N. Muthukumar and M.V. Ramana for a considered Carnatic perspective. In the Hindustani system, Kalyan represents a thAT, a Raganga, and a Raga. Throughout the discussion, M = shuddha and m = teevra madhyam.
What does one mean by the term Raganga (pronounced "rAgAnga")? The word is a sandhi of rAga+anga and signifies a collection of tonal gestures that have been abstracted from a 'parent' Raga. For the most part the parent is drawn from the pool of 'basic' Ragas. The Raganga has a life of its own and is seen in full flower under the auspices of its parent Raga. It contributes seed material to the derivates (prakArs) of the parent Raga and may also provide support to other varied melodic contexts. The Raganga is akin to a DNA blueprint containing the key 'instructions' for the melodic conduct of the entire class of Ragas under its jurisdiction. Alternatively, it may also be viewed as a summary, a generalization of melodic 'observations,' analogous to a generalized theory or a law in science, which may then be brought to bear on particular configurations. The "Raganga Raga" is, as should be apparent by now, the supplier parent. It furnishes the building blocks for the Raganga and hence best embodies it. For instance, Raga Bhairav is the Raganga Raga of the Bhairav anga. In this instance, "Bhairav," a major Raga, is also used to denote one of the ten extant thATs. An example of a Raganga Raga that does not represent a thAT is Sarang.
< -- Pandit V.N. Bhatkhande
The Kalyan thAT, among the ten recognized by the great musician, composer, theorist and scholar, Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, takes for its basis the following set: S R G m P D N. Raga Kalyan employs all of these seven swaras which makes it a sampoorNa jAti Raga. The Raganga-vAchaka swaras (the definitive tonal clusters) are:
1) S, N' D' N' R G R S
In this poorvAnga cluster the mere hint of N' R G R S at once suggests the onset of Kalyan. Notice the characteristic langhan (skipped) shaDaj in the Arohi movement.
2) G m P->(mG)R, S
A seminal tonal sentence; the ucchAraNa (intonation) of the P->R coupling, mediated by a grace of the teevra madhyam and gandhAr, is crucial and represents a key Raganga marker. The P->R coupling also occurs in Ragas Gaud Sarang and Chhaya but is distinguished by the ucchAraNa. It is this manner of subtlety and sophistication of approach to swara that elevates Indian music to a level unmatched and unattained by any other civilization on the planet. Let us pause and digest this assertion with a brilliant demonstration by Pandit Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang" wherein he draws attention to the three different forms of tonal conduct involving the P->R sangati - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/jha_panchamrishabspeak.ram
Pandit Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang" at the author's place in Goa (2001) -- >
3) m D N D P
The bridge between poorvAnga and uttarAnga movements.
4) S" N D N D P
This avarohAtmaka phrase in the uttarAnga completes the Raganga abstract.
Raganga Kalyan is verily the mother lode of several 'big' Ragas, its cornucopian range allowing for melodies to flow naturally from or through an ad hoc variation on its kernel. A sufficiently reflective and insightful musician should to be able to 'derive' the resulting linkages. For instance, the chalan of Ragas Bhoop and Shuddha Kalyan may be inferred from the Raganga. It is important to note that the historical development may not have followed this sequence and that a Raga may predate its Raganga. Nevertheless the Raganga viewpoint provides a powerful unifying framework attending the thought processes that have counseled the musician's mind through the ages.
Some additional details pertaining to Raga Yaman, the flagship Raga of Raganga Kalyan, bear scrutiny. The presence of several nyAsa sthAnas - S, R, G, P, N - is indicative of its expansive melodic space. The teevra madhyam is often elongated during the elaboration portion of the performance. Only the dhaivat gets the cold shoulder since a nyAsa on that swara is potentially damaging to the Raga spirit. Some of the launch phrases for the antarA are now outlined:
G m D S"
m D N S"
P P S"
P (m)G P P N D S"
The skipping of the shaDaj and pancham in Arohi movements - N' R G and m D N - lends Yaman a distinct locus. Some musicians (typically non-Indians) tend to view these two clusters as symmetric on account of their prima facie intervallic likeness. Considering the Raga structure solely in terms of intervals is a seriously flawed enterprise and completely misses its essence. No Indian musician worth his salt thinks in terms of intervals. Apropos of the above clusters, the vital point is that R is a nyAsa bahutva swara in both the Arohi and avarohi directions whereas D is not accorded that role.
The langhan alpatva of the S and P is sometimes observed in avarohi movements as well. To wit, R" N D m G R. Although the skipping of S and P is sui generis to Yaman's normative behavior, the inclusion of Arohi S and P is not verboten. A deliberate construct such as S R G m or m P D N is occasionally inserted in bandishes and tAns (as some of the clips will later attest). Another striking feature observed in Yaman during its elaboration is the wide leaps across G-N and N-G, m-N and N-m.
Putting together the pieces in the foregoing discussion, a sample chalan is formulated:
S, (N')D' N' R G(nyAsa), R S, G m D N(nyAsa),
S" N D N D P(nyAsa), m (G)R G(nyAsa), G m P->(mG)R(nyAsa), G R S
This completes the introduction to the lakshaNAs of Raga Yaman. It is not possible to chronicle every auxiliary gesture employed. A careful hearing of the clips is urged so that the key ideas are settled and assimilated in the mind. Kalyan is so pervasive that there is essentially no divergence in its behavior across Gharana boundaries. The differences, when they are observed, are more of proportion of particular melodic gestures rather than of principle.
The inclusion of the shuddha madhyam M in Raga Yaman gives rise to the irrationally-named Raga Yaman Kalyan (sometimes also called Jaimini Kalyan). This nomenclature is widespread but not universally accepted and one comes across the occasional musician partaking in the shuddha madhyam under the 'Yaman' label. The nature of M in Yaman is not unlike that of a vivAdi swara; soft and judicious use occasions moments of great delight. Its frequency of occurrence and swara-lagAv are matters of individual and stylistic taste with allowance of latitude on this score. Its manner of approach is, however, uniformly implemented, for the underlying aesthetic seems to have been appreciated all over. But for the shuddha madhyam-laden tonal construct in the poorvAnga the rest of the structural contours of Yaman Kalyan are congruent with Yaman. The distinguishing phrase assumes the following form (or a minor variation of it):
N' R G, m G R G, M G R S
The shuddha madhyam does not have an independent existence. It is either sandwiched between the gandhArs - G, M G - or is imparted a kaN of gandhAr - (G)M G R S. In particular, a direct approach from the pancham is to be shunned (P M G - not!). Occasionally, and especially in the lighter genres, the chromatic slide m M is heard.
These ideas are encapsulated superbly in an exposition by Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang" pinched off the telephone line. Such is Jha-sahab's sweep and precision that once he is done speaking on a Raga virtually nothing more needs to be said on the subject - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/jha_kalyanspeak.ram
As the preeminent night-time Raga, Yaman embodies considerable gravitas. No other Raga has cut so wide a swathe across all genres of music and no other Raga has purchased so viselike a hold on the Indian's thoughts and feelings. Every child embarking on a preliminary study of classical music brings with her a working familiarity of Kalyan obtained through folk and other sources. Yaman has come to be acknowledged as the touchstone among classical musicians in calibrating a peer's quality and depth, its mastery deemed a sine qua non for any serious student. The magnitude and extent of Yaman's reach impel us to offer here a substantial listening experience both in the realm of the 'light' and the classical. In the posse of clips that follows, the Yaman and Yaman Kalyan instances are commingled.
Yaman - The 'Lighter' Side
That Yaman has seduced every creative mind of the post-recording era generation is evident from the enormous volume of documented work. Here, we must content ourselves with only a modest slice of that output. Not every 'light' composition will align with Yaman according to Hoyle, but some important, and sometimes surprising, gesture will be manifested in each of the adduced clips. To the non-Indian readers, this will be an object lesson in driving home the nexus between classical and 'light' music.
We open with an invocation to Ganesha, an Arati in Marathi, written by the 17th century saint Swami Samarth Ramdas. Hridaynath Mangeshkar's tune and Lata's voice come together in a melody that is immensely loved in Goa and Maharashtra: sukha kartA dukha hartA
< -- Vasantrao Deshpande
Another prArthanA to Ganesha, again in Marathi. Vasantrao Deshpande is joined by Anuradha Paudwal: prathama tulA vandito
M.S. Subbulakshmi's ethereal voice illuminates the chant, vande padmakarAm
Lata Mangeshkar -- >
Kalyan is Lata and Lata is Kalyan. Not even the classical masters can hope to hold a candle to the magic she conjures in Yaman.
These verses from the Bhagavad Geeta are set to music by Hridaynath - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/lata_bhagvadgeeta.ram
Another bhakti rasa assay, this time from the Gurbani. The transcendent words of the 3rd Guru, Amardas, are set to music by the Singh brothers: mila mere preetamA jiyo
Tulsidas's feelings for Shri Rama are famously expressed in his Shri Ramanchandra krupAlu bhajamana
Meerabai's bhajan, Hridaynath's tune: keNu sanga
From BHABHI KI CHOODIYAAN (1961), a luscious Yaman-based beauty set to music by Sudhir Phadke: lau lagAti
The next two corkers were conceived in the highly discriminating mind of Madan Mohan. From BAHAANA (1960), jA re badarA bairi jA
Film: ANPADH (1962), jiyA le gayo
Ghalib's exceptional ability with verse more than meets its match in Lata in this memorable composition set to music by Faiyaaz Shauqat: har eka bAta pe
Vasant Desai's gentle communion with swara finds an ally in Lata's equally gentle treatment of swara. From ARDHAANGINI (1959), baDe bhole ho
Film: SHOKHIYAAN (1951), Music: Jamal Sen: supnA bana sAjana Aye
Film: SUNHERE QADAM (1966), Music: Bulo C. Rani: mAngne se
< -- Roshan http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/lata_mangne.ram
Film: PAKEEZAH (1971), Music: Ghulam Mohammad: mausam hai
Film: SATI SAVITRI (1964), Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal: jeevana Dor
Ragas Yaman, Bhairavi and Pahadi have been mined extensively by the Hindi film composers. The tunesmith Roshan, in particular, shared a very special relationship with Yaman. Roshan and Madan Mohan were, in some sense, musical twins: in their shared penchant for conceiving melodies that blended intimately with the lyric, in their drawing on India's classical music and traditional bandishes, and in their attention to the design of the interludes, they seemed to be cut from the same cloth. Both remained in a state of creative ferment throughout their relatively short lives. Roshan's genius came to full flower in Yaman as witness some of the extraordinary compositions that follow.
Film: RAGRANG (1952), a take on the very popular classical cheez, eri Ali piyA bina sakhi
. The words of the mukhDA are attributed to Meerabai. Lata delivers admirably - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/lata_eriaali.ram
A hauntingly beautiful composition from MAMTA (1966), distinguished by Lata's intensity of feeling - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/latahemant_chhupalo.ram
In this immortal composition, with its celebrated sarod and flute interludes, Roshan draws inspiration from a famous old Yaman Kalyan bandish, manA tu kAhe nA dheera dharata aba
, words of which are attributed to Tulsidas. Sahir Ludhianvi's mukhDA reflects Tulsi's sentiment in the movie CHITRALEKHA (1964). Mohammad Rafi: mana re tu kAhe nA dheera dhare
Roshan and Sahir combine again in the following three classics.
Mohammad Rafi in BARSAT KI RAAT (1960): zindagi bhar nahiN
Asha Bhonsle's tour de force in the qawwali from DIL HI TO HAI (1963): nigAheN milAne ko ji chAhatA hai
Film: BABAR (1960), Voice: Sudha Malhotra: salAm-e-hasrat
We change tracks now. Bhimsen Joshi is joined by Vasantrao Deshpande in this abhanga set to music by Ram Kadam: tALa bole
Govindrao Tembe -- > http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/bhimsen_taalbole.ram
Bhimsen Joshi in yet another bout of bhakti, in this magnificent creation of the bel esprit Govindrao Tembe. On the first occurrence of Atmaranga rangale
, the searing streak in Bhimsen's voice is palpable: mana ho Ramarangi rangale
< -- Bhimsen Joshi
Two of Goa's finest creative minds collaborate in the next enterprise: the poet laureate B.B. Borkar and the musician-composer par excellence Jitendra Abhisheki: kashi tuzha
Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale's enduring tune is given deft treatment by Kumar Gandharva in a Natyageeta from SWAYAMVAR: nAtha hA mAzhA
Bhaskarbuwa Bakhale -- >
This Natyageeta from SAUBHADRA brings sweet childhood memories as I recall my father's superb renditions in his role as Narada. Sharad Zambekar: Radhadhara madhu milinda
Asha's recital of Sant Dnyaneshwar's poetry, set to music by Hridaynath, is so glorious as to give one pause before conceding the Yaman dominion to Lata: kAnaDA-o-Vitthalu
An evergreen hit from K.L. Saigal is inspired by the Kalyan spirit. Film: ZINDAGI (1940), Music: Pankaj Mullick: maiN kyA jAnu
K.L. Saigal in TANSEN (1943), Music: Khemchand Prakash: diyA jalA'o
< -- Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
The transparent sincerity in Mukesh's voice has deposited quite a few Yaman-based compositions permanently into the public memory bank. This bhajan composed by Lacchiram, for instance: chhoDa jhamela jhooThe jaga kA
Madan Mohan's gem from SANJOG (1961): bhooli hui yAdoN - http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/mukesh_bhoolihui.ram
Who hasn't heard of this jeremiad from PARVARISH (1958), tuned by Dattaram? Aansoo bhari haiN
Every college Romeo has at some stage allowed himself the fantasy of wooing a babe with this well-worn number from SARASWATICHANDRA (1968), under Kalyanji-Anandji's baton: chandana sA badana
Mukesh finds some more romance in this Sardar Malik classic from SARANGA (1960): sArangA teri yAda meN
Pt. Kishore Kumar of Khandwa -- >
We now turn to the suzerain from Khandwa, Pandit Kishore Kumar. Panditji's first offering is a canonical Khandwa cheez from ANURODH (1977) composed by Laxmikant- Pyarelal: Aapke anurodh pe
Panditji now gives a dhrupad-anga treatment to this Sadra in Jhaptala, composed by the Punjabi ruffian O.P. Nayyar in EK BAAR MUSKURA DO (1972): savere kA sooraj
Panditji coos wistfully in this cheez specially procured here from the Khandwa bag of tricks. Hemant Kumar is the composer in KHAMOSHI (1969): woh shyAm kuch ajeeba thhi
In the final contribution of this God-in-human-clothing, Panditji, for a change, presents a 'light' composition. Anu Malik's tune in AAPAS KI BAAT (1982): terA chehrA
Ghalib's classic Ghazal is tuned by Ghulam Mohammad in this Suraiyya number from MIRZA GHALIB (1954): nuktAcheeN ha gHam-e-dil
Another superb Ghazal of Ahmad Faraz delivered by the richly gifted Mehdi Hasan: ranjish hi sahi
The Pakistani songstress Farida Khanoum's stentorian voice takes charge: woh mujhse
Only rarely did Laxmikant-Pyarelal surpass themselves, one such instance being the movie PARASMANI (1963): woh jaba yAda Aaye
Ravindra Jain's handsome tune in CHITCHOR (1976) was a rage following its release. K.J. Yesudas: jaba deep jale AanA
We wind down the Ya'mania' with a couple of Shankar-Jaikishan compositions. Their folksy number in TEESRI KASAM (1966) was its time the national chant. A rollicking Asha rises to the occasion: pAn khAye saiyyAN humAro
In LAL PATTHAR (1971) we watch in despair as Manna Dey comes a cropper. It hurts to see an adult man whipped so badly by a girl but the pain is instantly diminished by the realization that the male in question is a Bong. Those Manna Dey tAns are indistinguishable from the first cries of a freshly baked baby as it tries to cope with life outside the amnion: re mana sur meN gA -