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North Indian Classical Music
The Malhar Family:
The Rainy Season Ragas


Raga Malhar: 17th Century ragamala painting

I meditate upon Malhar, 
who constantly worships Shiva, 
the Lord of Sleep.
Pure, She rests surrounded
with the lotuses of the cool season
below the divine tree of ages.
Her pure, pale body
has the glow of the winter clouds.

                                                          
Raga Sagara

Malhar is also the main group of ragas for the rainy season. Malhar ragas purported to be able to produce rain.

Raga Megh

Scale: C, D, F, G, Bb, C
Main Note is: C
Played at all times during the rainy season, otherwise around midnight

For many centuries Megh was the main raga of the Malhar family of ragas. (Some performers use both B-flat and B-natural)

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Great singer died in 1968.


Raga Miya Ki Malhar

Scale Ascending: B,C,D,F,Eb,F,D,C - ,D,F,G,Bb,A,B,C 
Scale Descending: C,B,A,Bb,G -,F,G,Eb,F,D,C,Bb,A,B,C 
Played at all times during the rainy season, otherwise around midnight

Today the main raga of the Mahlar group. Created by Miyan Tansen who died in 1589.

Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Father of Amjad Ali Khan. Died in 1972.

Vilayat Khan and Imrat Khan A duet with sitar and surbahar recorded in the 1960s. Tintal (16 beats). Tabla accompaniment by Shanta Prasad.

Raga Des Malhar

Scale Ascending: B, C, D, M, G, B, C
Scale Descending: C, Bb, A, G, F, E, D, Eb, D, C, D, B, C
Main Note is: 
Played at all times during the rainy season, otherwise around midnight

Raga Des Malhar and Des - Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Alap in Des Malhar. Gat in Des. Sitarkhani tal. Shankar Ghosh, tabla. Early 1960s.


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