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CDs & DVDs > Indian Classical Music > Ragas (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night) (Volume 1) (A Set of 4 CDs) (Audio CDs)
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Ragas (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night) (Volume 1) (A Set of 4 CDs) (Audio CDs)

Ragas (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night) (Volume 1) (A Set of 4 CDs) (Audio CDs)

Ragas (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night) (Volume 1) (A Set of 4 CDs) (Audio CDs)

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Music Today (2004)
236:95 Minutes

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ICR468
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Ragas (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night) (Volume 1) (A Set of 4 CDs) (Audio CDs)

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About the CD

Morning Ragas

Vocal: Rajan & Sajan Mishra

Sitar: Shahid Parvez

Vocal: Shruti Sadolikar

Morning Ragas

The musical morning begins long before sunrise. The dark hour just before dawn has always been associated with prayer and meditation. In a different context, this hour also witnesses the pain of parting from the beloved. Early morning ragas are therefore sombre and devotional for the most part, while some also carry a feeling of universal sorrow and longing.

The first raga of the morning is Lalit. The gravity and pathos of sandhi prakash ragas, or ragas of the time when darkness meets light, emanate from the use of the flattened komal rishabh and the komal dhaivat. The major morning ragas such as Bhairav and Todi also exhibit this feature.

As the sun rises and begins to light up the sky, ragas derived from the Asavari group, for instance Jaunpuri, enter the field. In these, the flat rishabh is abandoned and gives place to its sharp counterpart. However, the dhaivat remains flat and continues to impart a quality of wistfulness to these ragas, which are generally more luminous and less inward.

The most important group of ragas assigned to late morning when the sky is fully lit up is the Bilawal family. These ragas use the major scale where all the notes are sharp. There is now a distinct change of mood, a feeling of coming out of oneself into a pleasing world. All Bilawals exude self-confidence, stability and tenderness.

Rana Lalit: Khayal vilambit and drut
Rajan and Sajan Mishra — Vocal
Time: Before dawn

This first melody of the morning combines the languor of deep night and the awakening of a new day. The sky is dark but the freshness of the morning is in the air. The characteristic use of teevra and shuddh madhyams together signifies intense expectation of sunrise. The pancham, which stands for the sun here, does not actually appear in the raga. The use of komal rishabh and komal dhaivat together is a characteristic of sandhi prakash ragas, or ragas performed at a time when darkness and light come together.

Raga Bhairav, Alap and madhyalaya
Shahid Parvez – Sitar
Time: Dawn

The pancham is strong in this raga but it trails down to the soft, low komal rishabh, investing it with an inwardness and depth of devotion. Bhairav too is a sandhi prakash raga, as both rishabh and dhaivat are komal. The reposeful shuddh gandhar brings out the meditative element. This raga invokes the morning in worshipful acknowledgement of the Divine, personified by an aspect of the Lord Shiva.

Raga Ahir Bhairav. Khayal madhyalaya and drut
Shruti Sadolikar – Vocal
Time: Early morning

This raga is a variation of Bhairav, but a shift in the two notes of the scale, nishad and dhaivat, changes the mood of the melody entirely. The earthiness and colour of the folk melody which overlies it light up the sombre strains of Bhairav, though the devotional element is still pervasive.

From Dawn to Midnight

16 one-hour compact discs reflect the changing moods of morning afternoon, evening and night music through familiar and much loved ragas.

Recorded and interpreted afresh by a stunning galaxy of musicians. In individual explorations of a common theme through voice and instrument. Together creating a haunting portrait in melody of the colours of the day and night. Form Music Today. For the ultimate in listening pleasure.

Afternoon Ragas

Sarod: Amjad Ali Khan

Vocal: Mallikarjun Mansur & Padma Talwalkar

Afternoon Ragas

The mid-day sun ushers in the Sarang group of ragas which are all bright, vivid and lively. The pathos and gravity of the early morning ragas is quite dispelled by the bright sunshine, and the earlier introspectiveness seems to give place to a more direct view of life and nature. There is a wide variety of moods and flavours in the Sarangs as they are derived from different scales, but the common characteristic is the strong shuddh rishabh as an important resting place. The brilliant interval it forms in combination with the shadaja or tonic suggests control, stability, contentment and exuberance. As the heat of the day becomes more intense, late afternoon ragas like Multani and Patdeep take centre stage. These are busy ragas, full of energy and tension, comparatively more restless and frenzied. It is interesting to note that when the day’s activity is at its peak, the number of ragas is at its thinnest, and begins to increase as the sun dips towards the horizon and the day’s labours subside.

The images that the afternoon ragas as a whole evoke are of sunlight shimmering through bright green leaves, of fields full of yellow flowers basking in the sun, the burning desert sands and the plaintive sound of human expression.

Raga Shuddh Sarang. Alap, madhyalaya and drut
Amjad Ali Khan – Sarod
Time: Mid-day

Of all the Sarangs, this is considered the major offering of the afternoon. It provides the richest choice of emotional colours while maintaining a powerful identity of its own. Its many-faceted structure is a spur to creativity and as a result, it is a favorite of artistes. The brilliant interval between the shadaja and the strong shuddh rishabh is an easily recognized family trait. What gives Shuddh Sarang its special sound is the interplay between the teevra madhyam in the ascent and the shuddh maclhyam in the descent. This subtle ornament is supported at each end by the stable shadaja and the pancham which act like pillars. The high—pitched, sharp nishad introduces a critical sound which seems to reflect the intensity of bright sunlight.

Raga Sughrai. Khayal madhyalayaM
Mallikarjun Mansur – Vocal
Time: Mid-day

The character of this raga is full of verve and bright energy. As such, it comes into its own in brisk-paced compositions rather than in slow ones. Its clear lines and forceful, uncomplicated structure invite a pulsating, rhythmic treatment and the whole effect is one of simple joy. Pancham and shadaja are the strong notes, and the descending phrase from the undulating komal gandhar lends a touch of delicacy. The raga assumes full coloring in the upper part of the scale.

Raga Gaud Sarang. Khayal madhyalaya
Padma Talwalkar – Vocal
Time: Noon and early afternoon

The shuddh rishabh, madhyam and the pancham are predominant as in all Sarangs, this being a characteristic of mid-day. The rishabh-shadaja interval is also a typical Sarang feature. Gaud Sarang is more restful, peaceful and contented than other Sarangs. This feeling is engendered by the tranquil shuddh gandhar which is the main resting place in the raga, as in the Kalyan group.

From Dawn to Midnight

16 one-hour compact discs reflect the changing moods of morning afternoon, evening and night music through familiar and much loved ragas.

Recorded and interpreted afresh by a stunning galaxy of musicians. In individual explorations of a common theme through voice and instrument. Together creating a haunting portrait in melody of the colours of the day and night. Form Music Today. For the ultimate in listening pleasure.

Evening Ragas

Vocal: Pandit Jasraj & Shruti Sadolikar

Sitar: Shahid Parvez

Evening Ragas

As the sun sets, we have another set of sandhi prakash ragas, the evening counterparts of the pre-dawn ragas. But this time it is a meeting of light and darkness, instead of darkness and light as at dawn, and the difference is reflected in the swaras used. The rishabh and dhaivat are komal as in the corresponding ragas of the morning but these are used in combination with a strong teevra madhyam which signifies great tension waiting for resolution normally provided by the pancham. Marwa and Pooriya are two important examples. The sunset ragas are once again sombre and introspective. Sandhya, or twilight, is also a time for prayer and meditation.

As twilight deepens into night, the serene and tranquil ragas of the Kalyan family appear. Their calm and reposefulness owe a great deal to the sounding of the shuddh gandhar which is for them an important resting place. The life span of the Kalyans is very long, and one may play or sing Yaman, for instance, at any time between seven or even eleven in the evening. As a result, there is considerable overlapping between evening and night ragas. The tranquil mood of the Kalyans gradually but briefly gives place to lyrical and romantic ragas like Anandi, Durga, Tilang and Kedar, ragas suitable alike for late evening or early night.

Raga Marwa. Khayal Vilambit and drut
Pandit Jasraj — Vocal
Time: At sunset and just after

This is one of the major sandhi prakash ragas. After sunset the onrushing darkness evokes a feeling of anxiety and expectation. The komal rishabli, as in the corresponding ragas of the morning, is in evidence here too, but instead of komal dhaivat as in Bhairav of the morning. Marwa uses shuddh dhaivat. The teevra madhyam expresses intensity and tension which is unresolved in this raga since the pancham is omitted. The distinguishing sound of Marwa is the highly evocative komal rishabh which the music repeatedly highlights. The feeling of the raga is one of desolation and of a search for philosophic detachment. Many associate the raga with saffron, as it is the colour of renunciation as well as that of the sunset.

Raga Shree, Khayal madhyalaya and drut
Shruti Sadolikar - Vocal
Time: Sunset

This melody shares all the sombre characteristics of the sandhi prakash ragas. It is slow moving and meditative, expressive of both tranquility and sadness. The extremely evocative phrase which identifies it is the plaintive descent from the pancham to a strong komal risliabh. It is interesting to note that the same komal rishabh in Marwa is used in quite a different way and sounds far more masculine.

Raga Hamsadhwani, Alap, madhyalaya and drut.
Shahid Parvez – Sitar
Time: Evening, or at any time

This raga is taken from the Karnatak tradition. It is a convention of the Hindustani system, however, that any raga so borrowed should be treated as sarvakalik, or suitable for any time, as in the South.

Hamsadhwani is a compelling raga. Its beauty depends more on skillfully woven melodic tapestry than on the evocation of a mood. The alankars or note patterns employed to bring this raga to life are reminiscent of the Karnatak style.

From Dawn to Midnight

16 one-hour compact discs reflect the changing moods of morning afternoon, evening and night music through familiar and much loved ragas.

Recorded and interpreted afresh by a stunning galaxy of musicians. In individual explorations of a common theme through voice and instrument. Together creating a haunting portrait in melody of the colours of the day and night. Form Music Today. For the ultimate in listening pleasure.

Night Ragas

Vocal: Mallikarjun Mansur, Padma Talwalkar

Flute: Hariprasad Chaurasia

Night Ragas

The major late night or midnight ragas are profoundly searching creations, full of magic, mystery and the depth of darkness. There are no special characteristics of scale or melodic phrase that can capture the rich melodic variety, and for every rule there are as many exceptions. Some say that the night ragas come into their own in the upper part of the scale, but there are exceptions even to this observation, because nothing can surpass the musical eloquence of ragas like Darbari and Malkaus when they are developed in the lower notes. The night ragas as a whole present a rich feast of emotional colours. The ineffable, silvery beauty of Shuddh Nat, the romanticism of Kedar, the lyricism of Jhinjhoti the majesty and splendour of the Kanhras, the amorous wistfulness of Bageshwari, the tenderness of Jaijaiwanti, the desire and longing in Bihag and the sublimity and sense of cosmic movement in Malkaus are but a few examples of this wealth.

In addition, the ragas of the night can also evoke an atmosphere of pathos, buoyancy, ecstacy, revelry or courtly splendour. The range of moods is virtually inexhaustible. Many of the late night ragas can be performed after midnight through the last watch of the night which leads to and merges into dawn.

Raga Shuddh Nat. Khayal madhyalaya
Mallikarjun Mansur — Vocal
Time: Night

The shringar or romanticism of later night ragas like Shuddha Nat is of a deeper, more sophisticated quality than that of the romantic and lyrical ragas of late evening. Here there is a sort of sublimation of emotion brought about by stylization and poise in the movement of the raga. All the notes used are shuddh except for an occasional soft komal nishad which is part of an ornament of dhaivat. The highly evocative drop from pancham to rishabh is Deeply moving, but the overall feeling in the raga is not allowed to run free as in a thumri or in some other ragas. This decorous and delicate restraint invests the whole with an ineffable charm and beauty.

Raga Kedar: Khayal madhyalaya and drut
Padma Talwalkar — Vocal
Time: Night

This raga is associated with the lord Shiva in his manifestation as Kedara, the upholder of the waters of the Ganga. The shuddha madhyam is the dominant note which rises boldly from the shadaja and immediately establishes a sort of enchantment. The delicate interplay with the teevra madhyam, and the wide ascending and descending arcs in the movement of the raga have a dreamlike quality. In the oral tradition, many liken the cascading melodic arcs in the raga to the streams that Shiva bore on his head.

Raga Jhinjhoti: Alap and madhyalaya
Hariprasad Chaurasia — Flute
Time: Night

This is an extremely lyrical and tender raga, a suitable vehicle for expressing the pangs of romantic love. The special feeling of shringar does not reside in any particular melodic interval of the raga but in the movement and expression of the whole. The entreaty in the komal nishad is very poignant, and together with tuneful, dominant shuddh gandhar colours the melody with tenderness.

From Dawn to Midnight

16 one-hour compact discs reflect the changing moods of morning afternoon, evening and night music through familiar and much loved ragas.

Recorded and interpreted afresh by a stunning galaxy of musicians. In individual explorations of a common theme through voice and instrument. Together creating a haunting portrait in melody of the colours of the day and night. Form Music Today. For the ultimate in listening pleasure.

Morning Ragas

1Raga Lalit
Rajan and Sajan Mishra - vocal
29:40
2 Raga Bhairav
Shahid Parvez – Sitar
15:20
3 Raga Ahir Bhairav
Shruti Sadolikar - vocal
15:25
Afternoon Ragas

1 Raga Shuddh Sarang
Amjad Ali Khan - sarod
30:20
2 Raga Sughrai
Mallikarjun Mansur - vocal
14:50
3 Raga Gaud Sarang
Padma Talwalkar - vocal
14:50
Evening Ragas

1 Raga Marwa
Pandit Jasraj - vocal
29:50
2 Raga Shree
Shruti Sadolikar - vocal
15:15
3 Raga Hamsadhwani
Shahid Parvez - Sitar
14:30
Night Ragas

1Raga Shuddha Nat
Mallikarjun Mansur – vocal
29:40
2 Raga Kedar
Padma Talwalkar – Vocal
15:15
3 Raga Jhinjhoti
Hariparasad Chaurasia - Flute
14:40
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