Deshkar is not a very common rag. However musicians are well aware of it because of its affinity with rag Bhupali (vide), which is immensely popular.
Tone material: S R G P D
The ascent-descent is straightforward, and most of the elaboration in Deshkar takes place in the second half of the middle and high register. Dha and Pa are the important notes, Dha can be sustained with slight oscillations and is approached from flat Ni. In fact Bhatkhande reports that some musicians sparingly use Ni (Bhatkhande [KPM III] 1999: 824). Many phrases start on Ga. Re is weaker and never sustained.
Some characteristic phrases:
G P D ~
P D S \P
Bhupali and Deshkar share the same tonal material but the note treatment and the melodic progression is different. Bhupali is a serious rag characterised by slow glides such as R \D S and G R P \G. It is performed at night, whereas Deshkar is a lively morning rag, which moves mainly in the upper part of the middle and the high registers.
Time: morning (Bhatkhande [KPM III] 1999: 823)
Performance by Ulhas Kashalkar
Composition: chhota khayal
अब ना सहे जिया मानत नाही
तुम बिन मैं (मैंका) कलना परत तरपत
कहो मोसे जुगदी बिताये
बेगि बेगि कह दे मन की बात
सोच समझ सरस सुरस बात बताये
My heart cannot bear the separation, I am restless without you. Please think carefully and share with me what is in your heart.
Tal: Tintal (fast tempo)
10-17: Soon after the performance begins, Ga is sustained. Note the phrase returning to Sa via weak Re, followed by lower Dha at the end
22-30: Approach to middle Pa which is sustained. Note the progression from Sa to Ga and then to Pa without Re, to avoid impression of Bhupali
35-38: Descent from Ga to lower Dha. Note the weak Re in between
46-49: Middle Dha is sustained
50-51: Note the oscillations (andol) on Dha and typical glide -D \G P ( 54-57)
59-60: Oscillations on Dha, again followed by D \G P
75: High Sa is sustained, followed by higher notes
103: Composition begins. Note the refrain including the typical phrase D /S P in which Dha is oscillated
126: Second line
150-226: Elaborations using words of the composition (bol alap)
242: Second part of the composition (antara)
263: Next line