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North Indian Classical Music

Raga Bhairavi


Raga Bhairavi: 17th Century ragamala painting

She whom poets in their vision
see as great-eyed Bhairavi,
golden consort of Bhairav,
throned on carven crystal
at the peak of Kailasa,
with cymbals in her hands,
worships Him 
with the leaves and flowers of the lotus.

Scale: C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C
Main Note is: C
A morning raga that is traditionally also played at
the end of concerts, regardless of time 

Bhairavi is the consort of Bhairav. Originally Bhairavi used natural D and A notes, but it changed during the 17th and 18th centuries, using instead the flatted versions of both notes. Bhairavi is probably India's most popular raga. A version of Bhairavi, called Sindhi Bhairavi allows the artist to encompass all the remaining notes of the chromatic scale as embellishments. Bhairavi is often performed in the lighter compositional styles such as thumri and dadra, and rarely as a kheyal.

Ali Akbar Khan Ali Akbar is known for his great renderings of this raga. This wonderful performance was recorded in the 1960s. It begins with a light dadra (6 beats) and ends in another composition in 16 beats.

Rajeev Taranath Rajeev sings and plays on sarod this beautiful raga in a performance recorded on May 19, 2000 in Berlin and used by permission. Sanjay Jhalla, tabla.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan A thumree performed by this great singer in 1963.

Bundu Khan Sarangi player. 1948.

The Dagar Brothers Moinuddin and Aminuddin Dagar singing in Dhurpad Style. Raja Chhatrapati Singh, pakhawaj. 1950s.

 


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