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


Bihag is a major rag, which is equally popular with the vocalists and instrumentalists. It is one of the rag-s whose interpretation seems to have changed during the past couple of decades.

Tone material: S R G m M P D N

Whereas Re and Dha are weak and omitted in the ascent, Ga and Ni are the strong notes in Bihag.  Phrases usually end on either Ga, Sa or Pa. It uses both natural and sharp Ma, although the latter is treated as a weak note and occurs only in the oblique descending movements in conjunction with the natural Ma. It is interesting to note that in the older interpretation of this rag, the sharp Ma is almost avoided.

The sharp Ma however divides the octave into two neatly balanced tetrachords, as can be observed in the movements N S G- RS and m P N- DP, as well as S N \DP and m G \RS.

Some characteristic phrases:
N S /G – RS
S /m G-
GmPGm G-
P \M G mPm G-
P- D \G m G-

Rag Maru bihag (vide) has the same tone material as Bihag, but a different ascent-descent. The dominance of sharp Ma and Re in Maru bihag gives this rag a very different flavour.

Time: early part of the night (Bhatkhande [KPM II] 1952: 125)

Further listening:
Mushtaq Hussain Khan ECLP 2608
Amjad Ali Khan ECSD 2801
Recording by Ravi Shankar
Wikipedia on Bihag

Performance by Ram Deshpande

Composition: bada khayal

मोरा मन ही लागीला अासन हे
जागे बिन देखे परतन न कल
जा कौंदे ए मिले बल बल

My heart is set on the beloved. When I am awake, I cannot rest without seeing my beloved. Let me unite with my beloved.

Tal: Tilvada (slow tempo)

4-13.5: Performance opens with an emphasis on the lower Ni, one of the strong notes in this rag. Note the short Dha before the phrase ends on the lower Pa
34-45: Ga, the other strong note is sustained, the phrase ends on the lower Ni
61-69: Ga is sustained again, this time it is associated with the natural Ma
71-74: S /m G-, a typical phrase in this rag
75-82: Another typical phrase- P \M G m G – mPm G-
88-95: Pa, the fifth note is held. Note the touch of sharp Ma
99-102: Another typical phrase- P- D \G m G-
119: Composition starts. Note that the refrain includes S /m G- , a typical phrase for this rag and the accentuated beat (sam) coincides on the Ga
The first part of the composition (sthayi) is repeated a couple of times with some melodic variations
234-242: A phrase reaching the high Sa and beyond to approach the second part of the composition (antara)
243: the second part of the song
303: Having presented the composition, elaborations using phrases of the song text (bolalap). Melodically, the phrases range from the lower Pa to higher Ma

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