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    Hindustani Music…Part 8- An insight into Thaats

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    April 1, 2014

    Shubham1Hey guys hope that you liked the article about different taals and the video posted in the article were of some help to you. This is my 10th article on Hindustani Music and thanks to you all I am getting a very good response from each and every reader.  In this article I would like to get more into Raagas and explain their categorisation. As discussed before there are 7 swaras in classical music but in one octave there are 12 notes, namely Sa re Re ga Ga Ma MA Pa dha Dha ni and Ni, the Swaras written in short letter format are all komal swaras and the ‘ma’ which is written in capital letter format (MA) is the tivra swara rest all are Shudhh swaras. Ragas as also you know are different permutations and combinations of these swaras where any swara can be repeated or omitted. Ragas- as per their features and characteristics are divided into different categories known as ‘Thaat’. The system of Thaat was introduced by the famous and the legendary musician Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande in early 1900s. There are 10 thaats in classical music, namely-

    1. Bilawal
    2. Kafi
    3. Bhairav
    4. Bhairavi
    5. Todi
    6. Kalyan
    7. Khamaaj
    8. Marva
    9. Purvi
    10. Asavari

     

    Vishnu ji visited many gharanas and after a lot of study and research, he came up with these 10 thaats wherein each thaat is named after the prominent raga of that thaat. Each thaat is different from the other as the swara and their type (shudhh, komal or tivra) used in each one is different form the other. The classification of the raagas is done as per the swaras used in that thaat. Each thaat contains seven notes which is a combination of Shudhh, komal or the tivra swara but it is not mandatory that each raga under that that uses all the notes in that thaat.

    The swaras used in each thaat is given below-

     

     

    1. Bilawal (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni)
    2. Kafi (Sa Re ga Ma Pa Dha ni)
    3. Bhairav (Sa re Ga Ma Pa dha Ni)
    4. Bhairavi (Sa re ga Ma Pa dha ni)
    5. Todi (Sa re ga MA Pa dha Ni)
    6. Kalyan (Sa Re Ga MA Pa Dha Ni)
    7. Khamaaj (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha ni)
    8. Marva (Sa re Ga MA Pa Dha Ni)
    9. Purvi (Sa re Ga MA Pa dha Ni)
    10. Asavari (Sa Re ga Ma Pa dha ni)

     

    Some characteristic of thaat are-

     

    1. It is mandatory for each thaat to have 7 swaras
    2. A thaat cannot be sung or played on an instrument as it does not have any melody in itself, only raagas can be produced from different thaats.
    3. The 7 swaras used in the thaat are to be in the proper chronological order i.e. this order has to be strictly followed Sa re Re ga Ga Ma MA Pa dha Dha ni and Ni by each thaat.
    4. It is not mandatory for each thaat to have an Aaroh, Avroh and a Pakad as each thaat has 7 swaras and they are in a chronological order.

     

    To summarize we can say that thaats are derived from an octave and raagas are derived the thaats. The concept of thaats, now I guess is clear to each and every reader.

    Some readers wanted to know more about raagas, so, from now I am going to give a brief description about the characteristics and features of a particular raaga at the end of each article.

     

    Raaga Bhimpalasi-

     

    Aaroh– Sa ni Sa ga Ma Pa ni Sa

    Avroh– Sa ni Dha Pa Ma Pa ga, Ma ga Re Sa

    Pakad– ni Sa Ma, ga Ma ga Pa, Ma Pa ga, Ma ga Re Sa

    Thaat– Kaafi

    Vadi Swara- Ma

    Samvadi Swara– Sa

    Jaati- Audhav-Sampoorn i.e. 5 notes in Aaroh and & notes in Avroh

    Time of Singing- Late Afternoon or Din ka teesra prahar

    Before going further-

    Vadi Swara- is the most important swara of a particular Raaga which is sung again and again in the bandish of that raaga

    Samvadi Swara- is the 2nd most important swara of the raaga.

    Anuvadi Swaras- are all those swaras which are sung in a raaga apart from the Vadi and the Samvadi swaras.

    According to the Hindu tradition a day is divided into 8 prahars (Unit of time) of 3 hour long interval i.e. 4am-7am and so on. The 1st prahar of the day starts at sunrise. So this raaga is sung in the 3rd prahar of the afternoon i.e. approximately between 4pm and 7pm.

    This raga has the powers to reduce tension and short temper of the listeners.

    Links to some important recordings are given below.

     

    Ja Ja re apne Mandirva by Pt. Jasraj Ji- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f2LGUzlmNA

    Raag Bhimpalasi by Pt. D.V. Paluskar Ji- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxm-ddXkBvw

    Raag Bhimpalasi on Sarod by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzCBWLnlxwk

     

    Once again while ending this article I would like to thank each and every one of you for your love and support. Do tell me if you want to me to write in a particular topic. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and also, give a feed back in the comments box below.

     

    Thank You

    Shubham Mittal :-)

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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