MUSIC IN MOTION

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

Gujari todi

This is a very commonly performed rag which belongs to the Todi group of rag-s. The name Gujari suggests that it could be a melody of the Gurjar tribe inhabiting the Gurjar region, now known as Gujarat (Thakur [Sangitanjali VI-3] 1962: 32)

Tone material:  S r g M d N
Re and Dha are important melodic centres. Melodic movements can be straight forward, concluding with r g r S, a typical phrase found in the rag-s of Todi group. Presence of four chromatic notes including a sharp fourth leads to intervals such as S r g and r g d which are rather difficult to perform (ibid). According to Omkarnath Thakur the rag is suitable to elicit pathos and hence should be restricted to slow movements (ibid).

Some characteristic phrases:
r g M d –
M g r –
r g r S
M d /S

Rag Miyan ki todi has the same scale as Gujari todi except for the presence of Pa. Many movements are common to both rag-s.  However, in Miyan ki todi, flat Ga and natural Ni receive emphasis while flat Re and Dha are emphasised in Gujari todi. The presence of Pa brings about  a significant difference in the mood of Miyan ki todi. Although difficult, it is possible to maintain independent images of these rag-s through a proper melodic treatment.

Rag Bengal todi, which is rarely heard today, is quite similar to Gujari todi, except for the absence of Ni in the former (Thakurdas [Rag-darshan II] 1988: 82-83).

Time:  late morning (Bhatkhande [KPM VI] 1978: 451)

Further listening:  Bade Ghulam Ali Khan MOAE 5004
Abdul Karim Khan 33 ECX3304
Vilayat Khan ASD 2295
Recording by Salamat & Sharafat Ali Khan
Recording by Amir Khan

Performance by Aslam Khan

Composition: bada khayal

अरे मोरे गाँव की गोरी
अति सुंदर अति बावरी

अति लज्जाभरी अति मन मोहनी
रामदास हूँ तो री

This composition is penned by Zahoor Baksh Khan alias ‘Ramdas’ (of Khurja gharana), whose name appears in the last line of the composition. Poet describes the maidens of his village as beautiful, innocent, charming and coy.

Tal: Jhumra ( slow tempo)

Performance:
4-8: Opening with the characteristic phrase of Todi – r g r S. This recurs many times throughout the performance
13-46: In the next few phrases vocalist chooses to traverse a melodic span including the high Sa & Re. Note the long glides between the higher and middle Re, highlighting this note, being an important note in this rag. Note also the glides focussing on the high Sa
49-58: Re is highlighted in conjunction with Ga. Note the use of meaningless syllables like dhir, na, ri, nu, nan etc. which is characteristic of Dhrupad, also prevalent in the Agra style (khayal) of alap rendition
58-62: Dha, another important note in this rag is emphasised
67: Refrain has duration of 1 beat and the accentuated beat (sam) of the refrain coincides with Dha. Note the movement d \r (70-74)
81-83: Movement replete with ornamentation (murki)
99-195: Normally the first part (sthayi) of the composition doesn’t include the high Sa. However, movements in this rag are more in the upper middle octave, hence even the introductory phrases before the composition also showed movements including the high Sa and even Re
118: Elaborations using the words of the composition (bol alap) in the lower middle octave
143-150: Movements swinging between the middle Dha and Re, followed by the typical phrase r g r S
160: The second part of the composition (antara). Note a variation of r g r s in the higher octave (179-182)
196-205: Note a vibrato on each note of the descending movement r N d M g, concluded with r g r
221: Elaborations using the words of the composition. Note the increased speed of the phrases and play with the rhythmic frame (layakari)

Performance by Manjiri Asanare

Composition: bada khayal

सुघर बनरी तेरो भागन
पायीलो हियरा सो बनरा

निजामुद्दीन अौलिया
मेहबुब बर पायीला

The song describes the good fortune of a bride having found a groom of her liking. The poet likens this with him finding the grace of Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325), the Sufi saint.

Although there is no mention of the composer, it is likely that this is a composition by Amir Khusrau Dehlavi (1253-1325), the great poet, scholar, Statesman and musician who wrote poetry both in Persian and in Hindavi. As a devoted disciple of Nizamuddin, his works often include the name of his mentor as his beloved.

Tal: Ektal (slow tempo)

Performance:
4-11: Emphasis on the lower Dha, one of the important notes in this rag
32-47: Now Re, the other important note is in focus
48-57: Emphasis on Re continues in association with Ga and even Ma. Note a typical descending movement returning from Ma to Re with a touch of Ga in between
72-84: Ascending phrase bringing the middle Dha in focus
103-111: M d /S, a typical movement to approach Sa
113-121: Melody rises further to high notes and gradually descends in the succeeding phrases
153: The refrain has a duration of 1 beat and the accentuated beat (sam) coinciding on high Sa (m d /S). As noted in the performance by Aslam Khan, here too, the high Sa is dwelled on in the first part of the composition (sthayi) itself
211: Second part of the composition (antara). Note the lilting phrases in the last 3 beats leading to the refrain in the first as well as the second part of the composition
281-283: Note a typical fall from the middle Dha to Re via Ma and Ga in between
260: Elaborations using the words of the composition (bol alap)
279-285: r – g r S, the characteristic phrase of Todi
309-318: Melodic elaborations continue with a focus on middle Dha
319-325: Phrases juxtaposing the middle Re and Dha
381: The high Sa is emphasised
374-379: r – g r S in the higher octave

 
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