Raga is India’s gift to the world of melody. Raga etymologically means colour and also love. Each raga, born of a special scale, drawing from the individual character of each note in that scale and weaving itself into a dialect of phrases born of combinations and tonal relationships between notes, has a palpable vivid, almost visual image and character, like a person, with the power to colour one’s mind with specific emotions, colours, rasas, moods and imageries.
This nature of raga provides the canvas for a variety of extra-musical associations-the relationships with time of day being a significant one among them. Each hour a special character and energy to it. If dawn brings freshness, dew, hope, prayer and a pious joy, pre-dusk moments bring a moment of inner disturbance. Late-evening and early –night bring sensuous romance and glitter, late night the dark moments ranging from introspection and the occult to sensual union.
While scientific correlates between scales, ragas and the time of day can be seen in the clustering of ragas from certain types of scales into periods of the modern listener it is the imagery involved that is significant. This 4 part series entitled morning to midnight ragas of Pandit Jasraj is brought to the listeners as a series of musical catalysts to help him invoke the true spirit of the specific hour of the day, and savour the intense aroma of distinct emotions and mood related imageries.
Gauri is a raga of evening prayer, drawn from the Bhairav thaat. The repeated nyasas (phrase endings) on the Nishad in the Mandra saptak evoke an expression of pious submission. Asa Mand is a composite of the Asa and Mand ragas. It is supposed to infuse feelings of exuberance in the listeners.
Pandit Jasraj is a much acclaimed artiste looming large in the present-day horizon of Indian Classical vocal music. Endowed with a marvellous voice, Pandit Jasraj has the rare ability to control its reach and richness in a manner essentially his own. Born at Hissar in 1930, Pandit Jasraj inherited his musical propensities from his father, Pandit Motiram of the Mewati tradition. But it was his eldest brother, Pandit Maniram, who groomed Jasraj in the true gurushishya parampara. Pandert Jasraj’s style of singing is marked by communicative alap, imaginative bol-taan, playful sargam and a variety of sprightly, cascading ‘taan’ patterns. Pandit Jasraj’s presentation of Bhajan is marked with devotional fervour.
Raga: Gauri (Bhairavi That) – Vilambit Teentaal ‘Auran So Khele Dhamaal’
– Drut Teen Taal ‘Chalori Sakhi Gokul Dham’
Raga: Asa Mand – Vilambit Ektaal ‘Tum Bin Kaun Mero Palanhar’
– Drut Teen Taal ‘Kahe Guman Karat ho Kar Rahi’