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


Khamaj is a commonly heard rag in the North Indian tradition, especially in the semi-classical forms like thumri, dadra and in hori-dhamar. It is seldom heard in the khayal style, this recording being an exception to the norm.

Tome material: S R G m P D n N

The ascent normally avoids Re and uses natural Ni, whereas the flat Ni is used in the descent.  Ga and Ni are important notes and Pa is a resting note. When performed in lighter genres, other additional notes like flat Ga and sharp Ma are often used.

The gliding movements D \m G and D \G m G are highly characteristic in this rag. Although the high Sa is approached with natural Ni, phrases such as P D S R G \S, followed by n D P, are also used.

Some characteristic phrases:
G m P D N –
S n D P D m \G

It is customary to perform this rag, especially in the instrumental idiom from the note Ma by mixing the elements of rag Manj, to give rag Manj khamaj. In this case, Ma assumes dominance and acts as the tonic.

Time: night (Bhatkhande [KPM I] 1979: 31)

Further listening:
Recording by Shobha Gurtu & Girija Devi
Recording by Vilayat Khan (Manj Khamaj -alap)
Recording by Vilayat Khan (Manj khamaj-gat)

Performance by Ajoy Chakrabarty

Composition: khayal

सब जग हैं तेरी माया
काहे तू भरमाया

मात पिता अौर सखी सखा
सब ही तू ने बनाया

The song-text highlights the ephemeral and illusory nature of the world which is the creation of the almighty, and the need to accept this reality.

Tal: Rupak (medium tempo)

3-10: Performance opens with a typical phrase going from Ga up to high Sa and returning with a glide n D P D \G m G
12: Note how the phrases return to middle Ga
29-31: D \G m / n in the lower octave
41-43: Glide from lower Ni to middle flat Ni, ending on Dha, which is sustained.
48-53: Typical movements with Pa, Dha, flat Ni, natural Ni
78: Composition begins. Note the accentuated beat (sam) of the 7-beat rhythmic cycle coinciding on Ga. The first line is presented and repeated with variations
110-160: Second line is presented and repeated with variations
165-337: Melodic variations mainly in the upper middle octave using the words of the composition
(bolalap). Note on ornamented (murki) phrase (310-313)
352-388:Elaborations reach high Sa. Note heavily ornamented phrases
391-406: Elaborations using solfeggio (sargam)
410: Back to the words of the composition
455: Second part of the composition presented and repeated with variations
509: Concluding line of the composition

%d bloggers like this: