Indian Classical music is based on two base elements; the Ragas and the Tala. The Ragas give the artist a palette to build different fabrics of melodies from sounds while the tala measures the amount of time. Ragas are the central concept of Indian Classical Music, predominant in its expression. Basically, to make melodies the musician moves from note to note for the performance to create a Rasa or mood that is unique to each Raga. A Raga can be written on a scale. Theoretically, there are thousands of Ragas possible given 5 or more notes, but in practical use, the classical Indian tradition has refined and typically relies on several hundred.
In Indian Classical Music, Ragas are associated with different times of the day or even seasons. The various time zones for these Ragas being Anytime, Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Night. When the correct Ragas are used according to the time zone, the Ragas have a maximum effect, creating beautiful and full melodies. A few Ragas are also associated with the season Monsoon and are performed in Gaud Malhar and Miyan Malhar in monsoon.
There can theoretically be thousands upon thousands of Ragas but it was narrowed down to 83 Ragas out of which Six Ragas are considered as the primary Ragas by Pandit Jasraj.
The Six Primary Ragas Of Indian Classical Music
- Raag Bhairav – Raga Bhairav is the morning Raga. It is Grave and devotional in its mood that suggests seriousness and introversion. The ideal mood for Raga Bhairav is solemn peacefulness.
- Raag Malkauns – This Raga is rumored to have been created by Hindu Goddess Parvati (Wife Of Lord Shiva) to calm Lord Shiva down after he went to Tandav outraged by Sati’s Sacrifice. Raga Malkauns is sung just after midnight, in the small hours of the morning. The effects of Raga Malkauns are intoxicating and soothing.
- Raag Deepak – The Raga that is said to have the divine power of creating fire; as the name suggests Deepak means fire. It is sung in the early evening. This Raga is also performed by the Legend Of Tansen in the Royal Court Of King Akbar once.
- Raag Shri – Raga Shri is sung in the latter part of the evening; close to sunset. The main mood Raga Shri creates is devotion and dedication. Raga Shri is said to be full of grace and majesty; perfect for a grander evening close.
- Raag Megh – Megh means rain in Hindi. As the name suggests, Raga Megh is sung during the season of Monsoon; it is called Megh Malhar. Raga Megh is sung to welcome the rain.
- Raag Hindol – Another seasonal Raga that is sung at the start or the first part of the day. Raga Hindol is said to be an ancient Raga that is associated with the spring season.
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