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


Shahana (also called Shahana kanada) is one of the lesser known varieties of Kanada family (Thakur [Sangitanjali IV] 1957: 57). Two versions of this  rag are in vogue (Shah [Kanada ke prakar] 1972: 195). The first version includes only flat Ga, whereas the other version uses both flat and natural forms of Ga. The latter version is favoured by musicians of Agra gharana and today this is the version that has gained currency. The recording presented here represents this variety and hence the same has been described in detail.

Tone material: S R g G m P D n N

Flat Ga is prominent in both ascending and descending passages. The characteristic phrases of Shahana – g ~ m D and g m D n \P include flat Ga. It also features in the concluding movement – g m R S, which is typical for Kanada rag-s. n \P is another movement that is indicative of Kanada.
The use of natural Ga is restricted to an ascending phrase -S R G m P. Similarly, natural Ni is used only in association with high Sa, which is typically approached with movements such as m P N S with natural Ni, or m P /S without both Dha and Ni. The descent includes Dha obliquely -S D n \P. Sa and Pa are important notes in Shahana. Re and Dha can be sustained as well.

Some characteristic phrases:

g~ m D
g m D – n \P
S R G m P
D m P /S \D \n P

Rag Sughrai (variety with natural Dha) shares some similarity with Shahana. However, as compared to Shahana, Dha is weaker in Sughrai. Moreover, unlike Shahana, Sughrai is a morning rag and the movements are quite distinct.

Besides the two versions of Shahana mentioned here, there is one more version especially favoured by instrumentalists, in which only flat Ga and Ni are used. In this case the tonal material becomes similar to that in rag-s Kafi (vide), Bhimpalasi (vide) and Bageshri (vide).

Time: late night (ibid)

Further listening:
Mogubai Kurdikar ELRZ -17
Recording by Amir Khan
Recording by Shujaat Khan
Parrikar on Shahana

Performance by Aslam Khan

Composition: chhota khayal

पैंछल सो चौंक पडी
अाली पी मोरे अाये

साँकर लगाके मोसे (मोसो) प्रीत बढाये
जो मेरो मन झूमत जाये

I can hear the footsteps of beloved. I am ecstatic with the thought of meeting him.

Tal: Tintal (medium tempo)

4-11: Performance opens with a typical Kanada phrase – g m \ R S. Note a small oscillation on Ga
13-16: The characteristic ascending movement for Shahana – g  m D, in which Dha is sustained, followed by another typical descending phrase S D n \P
27-30: Ga is oscillated, followed by g m \ R S. Note the sustained Re at the end of the phrase
38-43: A phrase approaching high Sa – m P N S, returning to middle Pa. Note the ornament (combination of murki and gamak) at the beginning
50-60: Approaching the high Sa again, this time with a movement – m P D N S. Note the glide from high to low Sa, followed by  D- D n \P
62: Composition begins. Note the accentuated beat (sam) of the 16-beat rhythmic cycle coinciding with the middle Dha, followed by D -nS D n \P
84: Second line
105: First part of the composition (sthayi) repeated with some variations
154: Elaborations using words of the composition (bol alap)
191-194: Approaching high Sa – m P n P /S
212: Elaborations continue
305: Second part of the composition (antara)
342: Concluding line of the composition
368: First part of the composition presented again

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