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


In the North Indian tradition, Lalit (which is occasionally also written Lalat) is one of the rare rag-s in which chromatic forms of a given note are played in immediate succession, in this case Ma. With its serene and dignified movements, Lalit is a popular rag.

Tone material:  S r G m M d N

This hexatonic rag omits Pa but uses both varieties of Ma, natural & sharp. The absence of Pa and the occurence of both Ma’s could well be interpreted as a heptatonic scale, in which Pa has been lowered to tivra Ma. But since Sa and Pa cannot be altered (they are supposedly immovable), a lowered Pa has to be renamed as  tivra Ma. Ga and Ni are important notes and Ga is the resting note, especially while descending with both Ma. The ascent normally begins with lower Ni and in the ascent, natural Ma is used in specific phrases such as G m d or G m D N S. Whereas the sharp Ma is used as M d /S or M d N S. However, movements with both varieties of Ma are highly characteristic of Lalit.  In the ascent, sharp Ma follows natural Ma, as in N r G m M \m, whereas in the descent, sharp Ma precedes natural Ma as in  d M \m, M m G. The main movements of this rag is in the lower tetrachord.

Some characteristic phrases:
G m M \m
M m G
r \N d – M d M m

Some dhrupad singers use natural Dha instead of flat Dha in Lalit (Thakur [Sangitanjali III-2] 1979: 139).
Elements of Lalit are also seen in rag-s like Lalita gauri (vide), Lalita sohini (vide), Ahir lalit and Lalit pancham.
Lalit has a peculiar relationship in transposition to rag Miyan ki todi (vide), in that if Pa is made the tonic in Todi, we get the scale of Lalit.
While singing Lalit, vocalists often prefer to tune their tanpura in Ma.  Care should be taken to listen to the drone correctly. Otherwise, one may mistake Lalit for Todi

Time: before sunrise (Bhatkhande [KPM IV] 1976: 489)

Further listening:
Recording by D V Paluskar
Recording by Faiyaz Khan
Parrikar on Lalit

Performance by Aslam Khan

Composition: bada khayal

बालम मोरे
जाये बसे परदेस
अब बिरहा की अाग जले तनमें

बावरी भयी हूँ
प्रीत के कारन
रामदास बेगी सुध लिनो

This composition is penned by Zahoor Baksh Khan alias ‘Ramdas’ (of Khurja gharana), whose name appears in the last line of the composition.

Since my beloved has gone to a far away place, I burn in the agony of separation. I am dazed, being in love. Please pay heed to my plea and come soon.

Tal: Ektal (slow tempo)

3: On the background of a tanpura tuned in Ma, performance begins on middle Ga, the intonation of which is rather low
20-26: A typical phrase with both natural and sharp ma, one after the other, ending on Ga
27-29: Ornamented phrase including Ga and sharp Ma
39-48: Two characteristic phrases – d M \m (40-42) & G m M m M m \G (44-48)
50-55: M d /S, a typical approach to high Sa
60-65: r \N d \ M m
81: Composition starts
134: First line is repeated with variations
169: Second part of the composition including the high notes. Note again a rather low intonation of higher Ga ( 187-188)
223-260: The first line is repeated with some variations

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