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


Many different versions of rag Deshi (also known as Deshi todi) are in vogue today. In fact, there are at least three varieties prevalent in practice. The variety demonstrated by the accompanying recording is described here.

Tone material:S R g m P d D n

S \P is a characteristic glide for the descent, while R g S R n S is a distinguishing phrase for ending melodic passages in this rag. Re is an important melodic centre while Pa is a resting note. Many phrases begin with Re and sometimes with lower Ni.

Some characteristic phrases:
P- mgR
P D m P R g S R n S

The natural Dha is more frequently used than flat Dha, which is limited to phrases in the middle octave such as P d P or P d m P. These movements are very clear from the recording.

The second type of Deshi uses only natural Dha whereas the third uses only flat Dha (Thakur [Sangitanjali VI-3] 1962: 15). There is no other difference between these three varieties. In addition, some compositions in Deshi use natural Ni, but these are not heard nowadays (Bhatkhande [KPM VI] 1978: 347).

Rag Deshi is also commonly referred to as Deshi todi. This association with the Todi family is often considered a misnomer since nowadays Todi is understood to be Miyan ki todi, which has a completely different scale.

It is interesting that both artists have sung the same composition ascribed to Sadarang, albeit performed in different tal cycle. However it can be noticed that some words are different and in fact the version presented by Manjiri Asanare is a bit slower and shorter. In the oral tradition such variations are often noticed. The tal-s chosen, Tilvada and Tintal, both have a rhythmic cycle of 16-beats with beat divisions as 4+4+4+4.

Time of day: morning (ibid)

Further listening:
Omkarnath Thakur MOAE 5004

Recording by D V Paluskar
Recording by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

Performance by Ram Deshpande

Composition: bada khayal

म्हारे डेरे अावो अावो जी महाराजाजी था
हूँ तो ठाडी टेर करे शहाजी था

पाछेली बात तुम हमसे ना कहियो
सदारंग रुठी रुठी बीन बजावे जी था

The composition is in Marwadi dialect.

Please come to my abode my Lord. I have been waiting for you. Please forget the past. Sadarang (the composer) will appease you with the music of the bin (rudravina).
This fretted zither was associated with the genre of dhrupad, which reined supreme during the time of Akbar and the legendary Tansen.

The composer, Sadarang’s (1670-1748) real name was Niamat Khan. He is known to have served as a musician in the court of the Mughal Emperor, Muhammad Shah (ruled 1719-1748). Sadarang and his brother Adarang remain influential in Hindustani music, mainly through their compositions.

Tal: Tilvada (slow tempo)

12.5-14: S \P, a typical descending movement
24-32: P /S, a typical ascending movement complimentary to the above, often coupled with another phrase- P D P
35-43: Re, one of the important notes in this rag, is sustained. Note the touch of the flat Re above
51-56: R m /P, another ascending movement followed by a characteristic phrase of Deshi –  P- mgR
59-70: Another typical phrase -R g, S R, n S
76-83: P /S- S \P, D P
84-85: Note the flat Ni, which quite high
101: Composition begins, refrain includes the typical movement- P- mgR and the accentuated beat (sam) is on the Re. Note the short duration of the refrain (one and quarter beat)
126-128: Note a smooth glide- P /S \P
131-135: D m P R g S R n S- the most important movement in Deshi
202- Second part of the composition (antara)
228.5-233: Again the concluding movement- D m P R g S R n S-
243: Exposition begins using the song-text (bol alap). Note the recurrence of concluding phrase R g S R n S
291-294: Note the use of the flat Dha- d P d m, followed by R m P R g S R n S

Performance by Manjiri Asanare

Composition: bada khayal

मारे डेरे अावो
अावो जी महाराजा जी ठा
हूँ तो ठाडी तेरो करेजा महाराजा जी ठा

अगली बात तुम हमसे ना करो
महाराजा जी ठा

Please come to my abode my Lord. I have been waiting for you. Please don’t say anything, just come.

Tal: Tintal (slow tempo)

4-14:Opening with R \n ~ S, a typical phrase with oscillating Ni slowly merges in to Sa. As noted in the earlier performance, note flat Ni, which is quite high
17-33:Phrases including typical movement – R g S R n /S
42-44:A typical descending movement from Ma to Re, where the Ga in between is oscillated
45-53: The next phrase rests on Pa. Note the touch of sharp Ma at the tail end of the sustained Pa
55-64:Melody rises to Dha and descends to Pa, followed by a characteristic phrase –
P D \m P
55-82:The next movement includes flat Dha and ends with typical movements – P-mgR, g S R, n~S
84: First line of composition with characteristic movement R P mgR- and the accentuated beat (sam) on the Re,followed by an oscillating lower Ni, very similar as in  the performance of same composition by Ram Deshpande (vide 101)
131:First line is repeated
176: Second line of the composition
216: Second part of the composition (antara)
262-300: Elaborations around the lower & lower middle octave using the syllable ‘aa’. Note S \P, a typical movement in this rag (264-66) & variation of R g S R n S (275-286)
315-352: Phrases move upwards to middle Pa and beyond to reach the high Sa (345-351). Note  a typical descending movement R \n (351-352)
357-382: Melody moves even higher. Note a consistently maintained high intonation of Ni. Descent includes flat Dha (370-372)
411-427: Phrases with slightly increased pace, rendered with shake (gamak), each including a short ascending and descending movement
438-443: R g S R n S in higher octave
443-461: Faster phrases with shake (gamak) continue covering almost the whole gamut

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