Rag Bairagi (also known as Bairagi bhairav) is a modern rag (Shah [Bhairav ke prakar] 1991: 278]. With a typical phrase m \r, in which the flat Re could be sustained and oscillated, the rag is regarded as one of the varieties of Bhairav (ibid). It is a pentatonic rag capable of invoking a feeling of pathos.
Tone material: S r m P n
The ascent and descent can be straight forward. Re and Pa are important notes. Musicians often use shaky ornament (gamak), especially in the slow tempo exposition, as noticed in this recording.
Some characteristic phrases:
n P n / r – S
m P n P m \r
A strong presence of flat Ni helps keep this rag distinct from Jogiya and Gunakri.
Time: early morning, after sunrise (ibid)
Further listening: Recording by Jasraj
Performance by Ashwini Bhide
सिर जटा पाश धरे
गले मुन्डन की माला धरे
श्री शिव शंकर ध्यान धरे
सिस गंग धारी त्रिलोचन
भस्म अंग मले
डमरु डिमी नाद करे
श्री शिव शंकर ध्यान धरे
This song is in praise of Lord Shiva and describes his divine appearance.
I contemplate upon he who holds the divine bow -pinak, has matted locks, wears a necklace made of skulls.
I contemplate upon he who holds Ganga on his head along with the third eye, smears his body with ash and makes music with damaru.
Damaru is an hour-glass shaped hand held drum, which is regarded as a symbol of creation and beats the pulse of the universe. It is supposed to provide music to accompany Shiva’s divine dance.
Pinak (also known as Shiv-dhanush) is the divine bow of Lord Shiva, which is generally regarded as one of the most ancient stringed instruments (Rycroft [The New Grove’s Dictionary of music and musicians] 1980: 811). In the 12th century, association was drawn with Shiva’s bow and a string instrument, aptly called pinaki vina (Bor [NCPA Quarterly Journal, Vol XV & XVI] 1986 & 87:40).
Tal: Tintal (medium tempo)
3-10: Performance opens with a sustained Re
26-39: Ma is sustained, followed by the typical movement m \r, where Re is sustained with clear touch of Ma
54-59: Again m \R
66-71: Characteristic phrase – m \R \Sn
83: Composition begins. Note the accentuated beat (sam) of the 16-beat cycle coinciding with Re and refrain has 2 beat duration
110: Second line
133: First part repeated
164-229: Melodic elaborations in the lower middle octave the using vowel “aa”
238-242: m \r twice in succession
250-270: Phrases with Pa in focus
278: Reaching middle Ni
252-314: Reaching Ni again, first Ma, then Pa and finally the Ni. Note how the phrases return to Re and a beautiful glide in the middle octave n \r (307-308)
329-390: Second part of the composition. Note the movements reaching to high Sa interspersed with the refrain
394-395: High Re & Ma (411-412)
415-421: Gradual descent from high Ma to middle Re in steps and then a smooth glide to high Re
437: Composition continued