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


There is a great deal of confusion among North Indian musicians regarding rag Asavari. Some musicians believe that it is virtually the same as rag Jaunpuri (vide) and that Asavari with natural Re represents the main and original type. Bhatkhande explains that in Maharashtra, musicians use only natural Re, whereas in other regions it is replaced by the flat Re (Bhatkhande [KPM II] 1952: 312).

To avoid any confusion the type of Asavari – which is nowadays by far the most common – with flat Re is referred to as Komal rishabh asavari (or simply Komal asavari. Whether flat or natural Re, there is a great similarity in the melodic structure of Asavari and its related rag-s Jaunpuri (vide), Deshi (vide), Gandhari and Devgandhar.  All these rag-s share the ascending pattern S r (or R ) m P d and several other melodic features as well.

Tone material: S r g m P d n

Although Ga and Ni are omitted in the ascent, some musicians include the Ni in ascending phrases, especially in fast passages. The descent includes characteristic slides r \n and d \m. Re and Dha are the most prominent notes in Asavari and are usually associated with a slow oscillation. Generally the movements in this rag are towards the higher octave (Thakurdas [Rag darshan II] 1988: 78).

Some characteristic phrases:
r m P d~ P
d \m g r~ S

Asavari has the same scale as rag-s Bhairavi (vide) and Bilaskhani todi (vide). The ascent-descent and melodic characteristics of these rag-s are very different, however.

Time: late morning (Bhatkhande [KPM II] 1952: 312).

Further listening:
Nikhil Banerjee EASD 1305
Bhimsen Joshi SMOAE 5010
Aminuddin and Mohinuddin Dagar BM 30 L 2018

Parrikar on Asavari

Performance by Ulhas Kashalkar

Composition: chhota khayal

मिलन को जिया मेरा चाहत हैं
सूरत देखत बरछी लग गयी
हूँ तो तब ते कलना परत हैं

तुम मधुबन जावो
श्याम को समझावो
तुम बिन अखियॉं तरसत हैं

My heart is pining to meet him. Since the time I saw his countenance, I am restless. Please go and convince Shyam (Krishna) that my eyes long to see him.

Tal: Tintal (medium tempo)

The performance begins with a typical glide – r \n d, which recurs at 21-25
28-31: Oscillating lower Dha
85-86.5: Oscillating middle Dha
90-93 & 96-100: d \m g r~ , a typical slide in this rag
105-109: R m P d~~, a typical ascending phrase with oscillating Dha
138: Composition starts with refrain that takes off from the 11th beat of the 16 beat rhythm cycle
164: The second line of the first part of the composition (sthayi)
192: The melodic explorations include characteristic phrase – mPd \m g r~
231-236: Phrases juxtaposing the flat Re and flat Dha
261: The second part of the composition (antara) begins from the 10th beat of the  rhythmic cycle
269: Concluding line of the song
282: Melodic explorations around the high Sa and beyond
305-309: Note a long glide dP /g r n d m P d mgr

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