sangeet sarita
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sangeet sarita-2-Raag miyan ki todi

sangeet sarita-2-Raag miyan ki todi | sangeet sarita |


I thank Subhas Ghosal, Ajit Damle, Medha Gavai, Indy Dave, Archisman Mozumdar, Soumya Roy. Keerthik Sasidharan, Sanjay Verma, Khantha Mahadevan, Malini Iyer and Vaishali Joshi Khushalani to contribute links and add to the invaluable and much needed discourse on a ragas with the fantastic collection of Charukeshi gems. I also thank all the others to let us explore in this space, which typically, expects a single song post a day, to be a forum where such a discussion is welcome and appreciated. I also welcome others to join in.

To continue in the same vein, on this sombre occasion I thought I would introduce another raga, ‘Miyan Ki Todi’.
Here is the famous introduction of this raga by none other than Khwaja Khurshid Anwar in his landmark lec-dem series- “Raga Mala” where none other than Ustad Salamat Ali Khan Ali sings it for us

Another form I am particularly fond are the ‘lakshan geet’ where the words themselves describe the raga in the lyrics of the verseHere is one on Raga Miyan Ki Todi from the same site, sung by Nazar Hussain.

“Miyan ne aisi todi gayi”

It is supposed to be sung in the late morning, as beautifully illustrated by Manna Dey in a Bharat Vyas compostion from the film ‘Sant Gyaneshwar”

Finally, a favorite of mine from Smt. Kishori Amonkar- put this on and have a blissful hour in the morning M

Noor Jehan sang one of her best songs in film Intezar (1956) composed by Khurshid Anwar based on Raag Mian ki Todi.

Can't thank you enough, Sunil for making SS come alive again! As for Miyan ki Todi, the first piece that comes to mind is a pristine rendition by a young Pt Bhimsen Josh

And in the light music genre, Pancham's matchless creation:

Another priceless gem from Gulzar Saab's Meera - depicts the languorous mood of Miyan ki Todi so poignantly:

Khantha Mahadevan:

The Raag should be called "Suddha Todi". Before Miya Tansen, this raag existed, and was known as "Sudhha Todi" It uses Pacham in a specific way, and that note is not used in Gujari Todi, which is another popular version. There are a 20+ versions of Todi with different notes, however, any version of Todi will have S, r, and g. (i.e., Sa, komal re and komal ga. Without these 3 notes, the raag can't be named Todi)

A few Examples:

Hridyanath Lata:

Srinivas Khale- Lata

Pandit Bhimsenji and Ustad Rashid Khan Jugalbandi:

Recently Shridhar Phadkeji has composed an excellent Marathi song using Todi-Multani kernel. The title is: Sangeet man mohi re. Please upload the link if you find the song.In the following interview, he sings a few lines.(Forward to 2:00)

Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar, Raag Miyan Ki Todi

Punya Para Upakar- Pt. Bhimsen Joshi

Bismillah Khan sings Miya Ki Todi

Todi and its variations all are pieces of art which are serious goosebump-creators! Miyan Ki Todi (which gets its name as it was created by Miyan Tansen) is certainly the most sung / played version of the Todi. Ajit Ji, what I have heard is either we can consider the 'Pa' in the avroha or we can even eliminate it and sing this raag.. basically it can have a 'sampoorna' avroha or a 'shadav' avroha.. the basic structure remains the same.. but I personally havent heard any concerts or recordings wherein the Pancham is 'varja' in the avroha. Any specific reason for this double use?

Sunil Ji, the picture that you have put up, which explains precisely about Todi Ragini (the symbol of this raag) is basically the portait of a woman in search of love who with the power of the music of her Veena / Ektara could attract the dear and create an ambiance of endearing love and gentle feelings.

Coming to way this amazing raag is used in various genres of music, here is a few personal favourite examples:
Ustad Salamat-Nazakat Ali's one of the best renditions:

Another gem from the Lata-Hridaynath-Meerabai team:

Talking about the filmi genre, Lata-Roshan come up with a stunner:

Aftab-e-Mausiqi, Faiyyaaz Hussain Khan's first ever shellac recording. Todi & Paraj for Hindusthan Records in 1934. Here is the Todi in his 'buland aawaaz'.:

Sangeet Maartand Omkarnath Thakur sings the same bandish on both sides of a 78 rpm. (I have joined them into a single file):

Oh yes Sanjay Ji.. what a recollect! Had kinda forgotten it! Lovely Todi strains there.. and what I love is the use of Dadra as the taal in 'Main To Ek Khwab Hoon..', very few songs that use that matra structure (even though it is similar to the Waltz structurization)

Ajit Ji: Surely waiting for your analysis. What I can tend to remember and understand is that the basic source of Miyan Ki Todi was Todi Varali (which was again a combination of Todi and Varali). But talking of Varali, how similar is it to Salag Varali? (Salag Varali takes me to this magnum opus Vasantrao song, 'Ghei Chhand Makarand..' from Katyar Kaljat Ghusli)

Another example of the use of Miyan Ki Todi (and hope I am not confusing it with another variant) from the very recent films is this Ustad Rashid Khan song from Pankaj Kapoor's Mausam. Loved it!

Yes Sanjay Ji.. this song did come to my mind, but I am confused if it is Miyan Ki Todi or Bilaskhani Todi.. the first aalap sounded very similar to 'Jhoote Naina Bole..'

Todi is such a serene raag (for me). I have figured that I generally tend to like most morning raags.

Here is one of my favorite renditions by Pt. Mukul Shivputra in three parts:

Fursat se sunane wala alap: Bahauddin Dagar on Rudra Veena:

And a marathi song by Pt Vasantrao Deshpande that I think is Miyan k Todi, DaaTun kanTha yeto:

Medha, Preetam daras dikhao is Lalit. Ahir Bhairav, Todi and Lalit are all morning raags.

Talking of Marathi songs, how can we forget Sudhir Phadke.. this time he uses Miya ki Todi as a singer for composer Ram Kadam in the film Pinjra.

And this is Asha singing an absolute stunner of a song from a stellar film called Molkarin, composed by Vasant Desai.. 'Ek Vaar Tari Ram Disava..'

also Thaamb Sumanta from Geet Ramayan:
Thamb Sumanta Thambavi आठवणीतली गाणी

Niladri's awesome celebration of Miyaan Ki Todi from the television show Idea Jalsa.

ASarangi Solo Raga Miya Ki Todi by Murad Ali on Tabla Ustad Akram Khan

what a treat all these links are!! sunil, thanks for reviving memories of those absolutely wonderful 10 minute segments that Vividh Bharati treated us to every morning! When we were taught Todi raag, we were told to sing it 'seriously' because it was a 'bhaari' raag and in retrospect, i think it is to do with the melancholic mood that this raagam creates! in Carnatic music, Todi corresponds I believe to Subhapanthuvarali.
Here is a popular composition sung by Semangudi Sreenivasa Iyer:

In keeping with the SS style, here is a Tamil Film song composed by Illayaraja in Subhapanthuvarali raagam sung by S.P.Balasubramanian
Finally, I cannot let this pass without my eternal favorite Lata's mournful rendition of Sun Rasiya:

I am mildly considering the various instruments and the instrumentalists who have enlivened this raag on their respective instruments with aplomb over the years.

Ustad Bismillah Khan:
Khan saheb singing and playing here:
Part 1:
Part 2:

Ustad Shahid Parvez:
Pandit Karthik Kumar:

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan:
He recorded this in 1965 with Shankar Ghosh on the Tabla.

Ustad Nathu Khan:

Ustad Asad Ali Khan:

Pancham can be used in Todi in Avaroh or ascending pattern as long as it doesn't sound like any Raag Multani.Musicians avoid it in Aroh because of the Multani issue....:)

For example, if you use rgmP,mP, phrase, it won't sound like Raag Multani. However, if you sing mgP,mP, it shows shades of Multani. That's why usually, gmd, P is used by omitting Pancham in the ascending pattern. Please let me know if this is clear, otherwise I will write Multani Aroh and Avroh and explain in more detail.

Also, all the komal notes (i.e., komal or flat Re, Ga, and Dha) are Ati-komal. That means the frequency of flat re would be towards Sa and so on.You can't find that Shruti on the Piano or Harmonium, unless you are using the harmonium created by Dr. Oak from Mumbai:

If you are not familiar with the concepts of Shrutis, please refer to the following videos for more explanation of Shrutis:

Komal Rishabh: (Dr. Kelkar shows the exact shruti of Komal Re in Todi)

Komal Gandhar:

Different shrutis of same notes:(Not part of Todi discussion)

Komal Nishad (not part of Todi discussion)

this bandish in Todi, Langar kaankariya. Here is Pt Bhimsen Joshi singing it in the documentary made on him by Gulzar.

Veena Pathak :  here is the same bandish Langar Kankariya, by Padmavati Shaligram

Apoorv Moghe :Ajit Ji, that is indeed the precise answer to my doubt. I was slightly confused with its similarity in chalan with Multani.. your explanation made it pretty clear, especially with the gmd, P sequence of the sur. That in a way will now make me carefully listen to Todi the next time and specially for the rgmP, mP phrase.. would love to see if there is anyone who uses it and distinguishes it from Multani that way.

I was sure about the shruti distribution (and obviously the 4-3-2-4-4-3-2 breakdown) for Multani and Todi.. and the 'ati-komal' usage in Todi as well.. though I still wish if there is some more study which makes it more precise to notate these shruti's for ati-komal swar as well.. interesting study indeed!

And your mention of Dr.Oak, reminded me of this video and thereby his exquisitely modified harmonium which is a landmark in musical instrument development.

Medha Gavai : Here this carnatic alap by Aruna Sairam, and see how similar the pattern is to "Raina Beeti Jaaye"



 Soumya Roy;The discussions on this thread are, to put it minimally, very enriching for the eyes, ears, mind and soul! Two more expositions this morning - one a Roshanlal composition from the movie "Taj Mahal" based on the raga and the other a masterly presentation by the one and only Pt D V Paluskar:


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Sangeet Sarita Ep 6 - Raag Lalit by Sunil Khushalani

Sangeet Sarita Ep 6 - Raag Lalit by Sunil Khushalani | sangeet sarita |


Part of the pleasure of listening to classical music is to get to spend some time in the presence or shadow of highly focused and determined individuals who have devoted their entire life to the pursuit of perfection of their art form, sometimes against all odds.


In addition to the music their stories are equally fascinating. Take the case of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. His father wanted him to become a wrestler or a ‘pahalwan’, much like himself. One of the reasons he picked up the bansuri was that it was the only instrument he could afford. He had to keep persistently approach Annapurna Devi for 3 yeas so that she could teach him music. Once she agreed, she wanted him to forget everything he had learned up until that point. In order to assure her that he would do so, he even switched from playing from his right hand to his left hand!

Look at where he has reached. Here is Rajeev Nair, describing the impact of Hariprasad Chaurasia's bansuri on him. And many would agree with him.

“ A 100 rainbows stream from that lover’s flute as do the heady fragrances of summery meadows. the lush greenery of luxuriant woodlands, the rich voluptuous Palash flowers of spring, the mellow honey dripping from autumnal fruits, moon-blanched river banks, peals of laughing anklets, the lightnings of raas, the silver tinklings of joyous laughter and nights of amorous ecstasy- Hariprasad’s bansuri never ceases to give us unforgettable vistas of the joys of Vrindavan.”

As the new year begins, let us start with an early morning and a very popular raga, Raga Lalit. Here is this raga on Panditji’s bansuri.

A lalit gem from the film 1959 film “Chacha Zindabaad” in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Day, with music by Madan Mohan

Finally, a non-film in the voice of Jagjit Singh- “Savere Savere”
Naushad used Raag Lalit to compose this song

Pandit Paluskar's excellent Bhajan in Lalat:

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Sangeet Sarita - EP 5 - Raag Nand by Sunil Khushalani


In a very old book on music called “Six Principal Ragas”, by Sourindro Mohun Tagore, originally published in 1877 , I read “the word ‘sangita’ has a complex signification. It means the union of three things- ‘gita’, ‘vadya’ and ‘nritya’: or song, percussion and dancing.” It goes on to add, “The general and most essential characteristic of ‘gita’, ‘vadya’ and ‘nritya’ is ‘rakti’ or the power of affecting the heart. Even though, I understand that the rules and the grammar of Indian Classical Music are quite complex, and may take decades to master; what is very quickly apparent once you immerse yourself in it and allow your heart to soak in its ‘rasas’ is the power it has to ‘tenderize’ you.
Ever since I first heard and was affected by Raga Nand, it has had such a calming and hypnotic effect on me. We were encouraged to imagine visuals and feelings that came to our mind when heard particular pieces. One of the images that recurred in my mind, whenever I heard this raga, was of a comforting hand caressing my hair, as I was about to fall asleep.
Here’s an intro to this raga, which goes by many names- Anandi, Anandi Kalyan or Nand Kalyan.
My friend Soumya, asked if this chapter would feature a night raga. This raga is performed in the prahar between 9PM and 12AM (some call also call this a late evening raga).
Some compositions in this raga are suffused in ‘karuna rasa’ as I perceive them. To start off this round, here is a wonderful composition by an iconoclastic figure in Hindustani Classical Music, Pt. Kumar Gandharva.

Again if you haven’t yet taken the time to watch Shabnam Virmani’s documentary ‘Koi Sunta Hai’, I implore you to take the time to do it.
And, from the world of cinema, here is a gem from Madan Mohan, sung by Lata Mangeshkar for the film ‘Mera Saaya’-”Tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saaya saath hoga”, a soothing composition in Raga Nand.
Finally, I thank Soumya Roy, Apoorv Moghe, Aparajita Sarkar, Nishant Shah, Anand Juvekar, Nutsure Satwik, Rajee Suresh, Subodh Dave, Malini Iyer, Ganesh Nayak, Archisman Mozumder, Ajit Rajwade, Vaishali Joshi Khushalani, Bhavita Toliya, Sanjay Verma for their contributions to Raga Humsadhwani.

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