do the notes of a raag change with melodic direction?

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yaniv oud
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do the notes of a raag change with melodic direction?

Post by yaniv oud » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:05 pm

well these are actually two questions.
first, does a note (say ni) play the same role in the melody regardless of melodic development? i can compare to maqam systems to explain, there ni (let's call it that) has a different flavor if it is played as the 7th note above the tonic or the 2nd below. i don't mean intonation, i am talking about it's melodic role, i hope it is clear..

the second question is do some raags contain notes that change according to melody? from komal to shuddah etc. in maqam the general theory says that when ascending the higher version of such notes is used, and when descending they are flattened. i know this happens in yaman kalyan, but is it common to many raags?


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Re: do the notes of a raag change with melodic direction?

Post by nicneufeld » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:52 pm

At least the second question I can say, yes, it is quite common. The Ni in raag Desh being a good example, as it ascends up to high Sa/Re, hitting shuddh Ni, the colour of this raag is in the descending komal Ni, for me.

Another one I've recently been learning is Bihag, which has a nicely complicated cluster of notes around madhyam. Always shuddh on the way up, on the way back down it quavers around tivra Ma to Pa, then Ga shuddh ma Ga. Beautiful stuff. Chandni Kedar, another example, although I only know it by hearing, I've not been taught it.

I also like when the masters utilize a note that is often considered outside of the raag, but by tradition can be used in careful measure. Examples would include Vilayat Khan's use of shuddh Ni in Darbari, and Abdul Karim Khan's employment of the same swara in Jhinjhoti.

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