Bahar (blossom) suggests the beauty and the joyous atmosphere of the spring season. Many songs are replete with description of this season (see Bhatkhande [KPM III] 1999: 860 & Thakur [Sangitanjali III-2] 1979: 197).
Tone material: S R g m P D n N
Re is omitted in the ascent but it is often included in the ascending phrases in the higher octave, like DNSRNS and NSRgRS. Sa and Ma are the prominent notes. This rag is mainly elaborated in the upper tetrachord and beyond, and all the movements are in medium fast tempo (Thakurdas [Rag darshan II] 1988: 205). This is evident from the accompanying recording.
Some characteristic phrases:
S R n S /m
m P g m /n – D N S
Important glides in this rag are: S /m, m /n and n \P. The rag-s Bahar and Miya ki malhar (vide) have the common phrase n D N S. However, the context of this phrase and its melodic treatment is different in both rag-s. Unlike Bahar, the movements in Miya ki malhar are slow, and are mainly in the lower octave. Bahar also shares a movement- g m R S with rag-s like Miyan malhar and Darbari kanada (vide). However, the extent of oscillations on flat Ga and the general pace of movements in each of these rag-s make them very distinct from each other.
Bahar is combined with many other rag-s, resulting in combinations such as Basant bahar, Hindol bahar, Bhairav bahar and Bageshri bahar.
Time: any time during the spring season; otherwise around midnight (Bhatkhande [KPM III] 1999: 860)
Further listening: Kumar Gandharva ESSD 2758
Bismillah Khan EASD 1299
Chandrakantha on Bahar
Performance by Aslam Khan
Composition: bada khayal
अायी ऋत नवेली
सजन सुमीरन लागे बहार
चित मोरे कर दत पार न जावत
शादी खान उन बिन मोहे नाही करार
The song portrays a delightful atmosphere appropriate to the Spring season (Bahar).
The new season of spring has arrived and the nature is in full bloom. I long of my beloved and my mind is quite restless. Shaadi Khan (the composer) is helpless without his beloved.
Tal: Ektal (slow tempo)
4-8: Performance opens with one of the most characteristic phrase in this rag– n S /M, which recurs throughout the performance
16-25: Ornamentation including the flat Ni, Ma and Pa, ending with g~ m R S. Note the oscillations on the flat Ga
50: Composition begins. Note the typical use of Re in the high octave- DNSRSNS
53-54.5: m /n \P
68-70.5: Again n S /M
77.5- 80: g m /n – D, another typical movement in this rag
124: Note that the first part of the composition (sthayi) includes the high Sa since the general movement of this rag is in the upper tetrachord and beyond
145: Elaborations using the song-text (bol alap). Note the upbeat tempo of the movements in general
296: Second part of the composition (antara)