The Automated Transcription for Indian Music (AUTRIM) Project by NCPA and UvA

Ahir bhairav

This appealing rag is supposedly a mixture of the now obsolete Ahiri and Bhairav and, according to D. C. Vedi, a relatively recent rag. Since the melodic movements in the lower half of the octave reflect the distinctive features of Bhairav, rag Ahir bhairav is often included in the Bhairav group of rag-s. Some musicians regard it as a mixture of Bhairav (lower tetrachord) and Kafi (upper tetrachord) [Bhatkhande (KPM V) 1974: 346].

Tone material: S r G m P D n
Pa is sometimes avoided in the ascent. The descent can be direct, as in S n D P m G r S, especially in the fast passages, but often it is : S n D P m, G m \ r S or even S n P m G m\r S with a slight oscillation on flat Re, to express the character of Bhairav. Pa and Sa are the important notes in this rag, however Ga can be sustained as well, especially as in r \n S r G-
Some characteristic phrases:
n S D n / r – S
r \n D
r \n S r G-
n S r G m \r S

Due to the presence of the flat Ni In the upper tetrachord of Ahir bhairav, it is natural to have some impressions of Kafi or Khamaj. However, with the inclusion of flat Re, and the characteristic passage D n /r, the image of Ahir bhairav can be maintained.

Time: early morning, after sunrise (ibid).

Further listening: Bismillah Khan ECSD 2567
Hariprasad Chaurasia CD D4 H10585 Magna Sound
Parveen Sultana ECSD 2744
Kishori Amonkar CD A 91006 Music Today
Recording by Ravi Shankar

Performance by Padma Talwalkar

Composition: chhota khayal

रसिया म्हारा अमलारा
राता माता अावो जी

दासी थाडी मैं
जनम जनम ये
म्हाणे नित चाहो जी

This is a plea to the beloved. The lady regards herself as his follower, waiting since several life-times to unite with him. She appeals that he should always only desire her.

Tal: Tintal (slow tempo)


3-7: Performance opens with a sustained Ga. Note a touch of flat Re in the beginning.
9-16: The held Ga proceeds further including ma and Pa in the phrase, although very briefly, before ending (13-16) with the phrase characteristic to Bhairav group of rag-s – (G) m \r . This is oft repeated phrase and recurs several time throughout the performance.18-26: r \n D, another typical phrase in this rag. Note the oscillations (andol) on the lower Dha, a characteristic common to Bhairav group of rag-s
28-36: The melody returns to the basic note, Sa
39-49: Beginning on the lower Dha (D n r), Re is sustained first, followed by a similar movement (S r G), at the end of which Ga is sustained as well
l52-60: The next phrase proceeds to include Pa but descends to Ga with a sustained Ma in between
60-72: The descent continues with a typical phrase m \r in which Re is oscillated (62-66) and later the melody returns again to the base Sa
75: The melodic progression now seeks to ascend higher with inclusion of the flat Ni. Note the inflection of Dha on the sustained Pa at the end of the phrase (82-84)
94-96: Again the typical phrase m \r repeated
116: The composition commences and has the above key phrase (117-119) with the accentuated beat (sam) coinciding on Ga (123-126)
136-138: Again the typical phrase m \r repeated
162: End of the first rhythmic cycle
162-201: In the next cycle the first half of the composition (sthayi) is repeated
210: Having laid out a part of composition, imporvisations begin in the middle octave around Ga. Note the use of words of the composition
287: Imporvisation in this cycle focuses on the Pa
323: Gradually the melodic imporvisations move further up reaching the high Sa and now the second part of the composition (antara) is presented (351-392)
400: Over the next two cycles the phrases are trifle faster and expansive in terms of melodic content

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