Raga Kalyan

by Ashwin Batish

For some reason this raga has gotton the dubuous honor of being named the first raga of North Indian Sangeet. It is difficult to say why this belief has spread in North India I can only imagine that it is an easy raga to explain and teach and hence it finds favor amongst teachers and students alike.

Some believe it is the Muslim influence on the Northern tradition that explains this popularity. One thing is for sure, raga Yaman is a beautiful raga and well worth studying whether it be #1 or #100 in its level of popularity!

The notes of the scale are very simple. It is the first derivative raga of Kalyan Thaat (parent mode). Its Jati is sampooran-sampooran. All the notes are shudha except the fourth (Ma) which is tivar (sharp). Its vadi note is Ga and the samvadi note is Ni.

Although it is shown as a seven note ascending scale, it is important you approach this by avoiding the tonic and the fifth. For instance the ascending scale should be Ni Re Ga Ma Dha Ni Re | Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa. This is the key to playing this raga. Bear it well in mind as it will make this raga super easy for you to understand and listen.

Here is a bit of expansion on this raga.

N R G R N R S, N D P M G P, G R G M P R G, N R P M G R, N R G R N R S
P, M G P, D N D P, S G R G, M D N R N D P, R G, N R P M G R, N R G R N R S

A simple composition: This is in Tintal and should be initially played slow,y and finally at medium tempo.

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