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

Miyan ki malhar

One of the most popular rag-s of the malhar family, Miyan ki malhar or Miya malhar is supposedly a creation of the legendary Miyan Tansen and patronised by the great Emperor Akbar. Many interesting anecdotes are woven around this rag because of its association with the rainy season, and the texts of vocal compositions include descriptions of rain, thunder, clouds, lightning, etc. (Bhatkhande [KPM IV] 1976: 563). Bhatkhande describes this rag as a mixture of Malhar and Kanada (ibid).

Tone material:  S R g m P D n N

Flat Ga is present only in the descending phrases and is intoned with a slow and repeated oscillation. The typical concluding phrase also includes flat Ga; g M R S. Natural Ni is always in association with flat Ni, either with a short Dha or Sa in between. The occurrence of both Ni one after the other with a touch of either Dha or Sa in between is the highlight of this rag;  R /P is the characteristic Malhar family phrase, used in ascending movements.

Some characteristic phrases:
n – DN -S
m \R /P –
n \P
g ~ m R S

Miyan ki malhar and rag Bahar (vide) have the same tone material. However, the melodic movements in Miyan ki malhar are rather serious and slow, moving more in the lower tetrachord, whereas movements in Bahar are more sprightly and centre around the high Sa. The phrase  n D N  occurs in both rag-s: in Miyan ji malhar, however, it occurs as m P n – DN, with only a touch of Dha whereas in Bahar, Dha is included in full measure g m /n -D N. Miya ki malhar includes typical glides such as MR /P and P /n. while S /m and m /n are common in Bahar. In descent of Miya ki malhar it is imperative to Dha like S D n \P, followed by g ~ m R S, whereas avoiding Dha, like S n P, will give an impression of Bahar.

Time: any time during the rainy season (ibid).

Further listening:
Abdul Karim Khan EMSE 103-B
D.V. Paluskar EALP 1295
Vilayat Khan ASD 498(0)
Nissar Aminuddin Dagar EASD 1420
Recording by Kumar Gandharva
Recording by Bhimsen Joshi
Parrikar on Miyan ki malhar

Performance by Veena Sahasrabuddhe

Composition: chhota khayal

बरसन लागी लागी बदरियाँ सावन की
अति कारी अति भारी डर पावन लागी मा

चमक चमक िबजुरियाँ चमके
सियरा पवन बहे
अब तो प्यारी चौंक पडी गरजन लागी

In the month of Sawan, the black clouds are pouring down with great intensity. The lightening strikes recurrently, accompanied by the gushing winds. Such atmosphere is indeed frightening for a beautiful damsel.

Tal: Tintal (medium tempo)

4-14: Performance opens with a phrase including both natural and flat Ni. Note the touch of Dha in between two Ni-s (11)
34-42: Melody moves to Pa in the lower octave
49-56 & 61-67: Again the interplay between two Ni-s with a touch of Dha in between
89-93: Re, one of the important notes, is emphasised
96-100: Oscillation on flat Ga. Note the extent of oscillation ranging from Re to natural Ga
103-104: m \R, a typical glide followed by Re which is sustained
112- R /P, followed by Pa, which is sustained
119-126: Ornamented phrase leading to flat Ga which is oscillated
139-141: Seamless transition from natural to flat Ni
177-186: Again the middle Pa and movements beyond, first around the flat Ni and returning with n D n \P
187-191: Natural Ni is included as well. Note a touch of Dha in between the two Ni-s
197: The high Sa is reached. Note a beautiful glide from high Sa to flat Ga with a touch of Ma in between
203: Another unexpected glide, this time ascending from Re to middle flat Ni, followed by an ornamented phrase including Ma, Pa and flat Ni, concluding with an oscillating Ga
231: Composition begins. Note that the melody includes several typical phrases: g M R S, MR /P, P /n etc
238-255: The same line is presented with variations
256: Second line
271: Third line
299-331: Improvisations around the lower middle octave
334-369: Words of the composition are used (bol alap) and the movements proceed to the higher middle octave and beyond
376-423: More elaborations spreading to higher octave
424: Second part of the composition (antara)
450: Next line
463: Concluding line of the composition

Performance by Uday Bhawalkar

बूँदन भिजे सारी
अब घर जाने दे बनवारी

एक घन दूजे पवन चलत है
तिजे ननदी मोहे देत गारी

Composition: dhamar
The song depicts lovers in the rains. The lady is pleading Krishna (Banwari) to let go of her as the rains are wetting her clothes and it would be impossible for her to return home without being noticed.

Tal: Dhamar

There are two sections to this presentation; first a full length alap-jod-jhala extending about 17 min followed by a dhamar composition. Note the use of meaningless syllables for the first section, typical of dhrupad tradition.

Alapjod-jhala performance:
4-11: Performance opens on lower Ni which slowly merges in to the flat Ni, ending on Dha below
12: In the next phrase Sa is held, followed by a movement including both Ni-s (24-28). Note similar movement also between (39-43)
55-59: Melody reaching the lower octave notes with a typical movement D n m, followed by a sustained lower Pa
71-79: Lower flat Ni in conjunction with Dha
85-92: natural Ni slowly merges in to the flat Ni, and then back to natural with Dha in between
112-123: Lower flat Ni in conjunction with Dha, followed by natural Ni
133: Re, an important note in this rag is sustained, followed by a glide to lower Pa. Note the touch of flat Ga (137)
154-160: A typical movement – D n m P n D N S
168-177: Re is sustained again. Note the ending with both Ni-s followed by a brief Dha
215: Once again Re is sustained, followed by flat Ga which is oscillating, ending with a typical movement g m R S
234: Again oscillating flat Ga
242-257: Typical ascending glide – R /P. Note the touch of Ma in the beginning
269-279: Typical descending glide from Pa to flat Ga with a touch of Ma in between. Note the oscillations (andol) on flat Ga and a typical concluding phrase g m R
279-284: Unusual glide from lower Ni to Ma, returning to Ni
299-310: Once more Pa is approached with the typical glide from Re. In the next two phrase it is again emphasised
324-338: Middle flat Ni in conjunction with Dha, followed by natural Ni, ending with a typical movement – D n m P
344-360: Similar movements recur
379-386: Natural Ni is oscillated with a clear touch of high Sa in between
410: Sustained natural Ni merges in to high Sa, which is sustained beautifully, ending with a short phrase – n D N S. Next few phrases continue to emphasise high Sa
478: Phrases also include high Re
510-515: Typical descent – S nP \g~, in which flat Ga is oscillated
524-532: A characteristic phrase (mohra) denoting conclusion of the first phase of the alap section
537: This is the beginning of a section called jod. Note the introduction of a pulse which is maintained throughout. Also mark the usage of syllables such as dhi, ra, na, num etc. Yet again, different octaves, especially the lower octave is explored with pulsating phrases. Note how all the subtle nuances of the rag are maintained even in this stage of exploration
780-785: Once more a mohra phrase signifying end of the jod section. Note the increased speed of the last phrase indicating commencement of yet faster phase of jhala to be followed

Composition performance:
3: First line of the composition. Note the typical glide M \R /P & interplay between the two Ni-s
49: Second line
83: Second part of the composition (antara)
105: Same line repeated
137: Concluding line of the composition
179-373: Playing with the tempo using melodic phrases including words of the composition (layakari). Note elaborations reaching notes in the lower octave, typical to this genre (249-250)

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