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Kirya

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I am trying to build up my repertoire of the ragas that are credited to Baba Allaudin Khan and have a few I am very comfortable with thanks to PNB, UAAK, PRS and Annapurna Devi.

The ones that I have some level of comfort with are Manj Khamaj, Hem Bihag and Hemant.
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Khan was fond of sankeerna (complex) ragas, and created many ragas of his own, including Arjun, Bhagabati, Bhim, Bhuvaneshvari, Chandika, Dhabalashri, Dhankosh, Dipika, Durgeshvari, Gandhi, Gandhi Bilawal, Haimanti, Hem-Behag, Hemant, Hemant Bhairav, Yamanii Manjh, Jaunpuri Todi, Kedar Manjh, Komal Bhimpalasi, Komal Marwa, Madanmanjari, Madhabsri, Madhavgiri, Malaya, Manjh Khamaj, Meghbahar, Muhammed, Nat-Khamaj, Prabhakali, Raj Bijoy, Rajeshri, Shobhavati, Subhabati, Sugandha and Surasati. Many of these have not become common Maihar repertoire; Manjh Khamaj is perhaps the best known
I also know PNB Manomanjeri (Marwa + Kalavati) and would lik eto know more about UAAK Chandranandan (Malkauns, Chandrakauns, Nandakauns and Kaushi Kanada)

Does anybody have any basic raga blueprint information on the ragas above especially Durgeshwari and the Manj variations, or Nat Khamaj?

Or they may be others that also qualify or have a strong link back to Baba --like perhaps Zila Kafi (Shuddha Ga?) and Nat Bhairav. I am basically interested in anything related to raga that traces back to him in some way or another even if they are not listed in what I have found here.

Please share if you do.

Thanks

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Jeff Whittier

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well, I learned several of those rags from Ust. Ali Akbar, but I'm not too keen to try to teach them over the internet. Some things you really ought to learn from a teacher. However, Bhim, Sugandha, and Rajeshri were not invented by Baba Allauddin, and probably not Prabhakali. I had a number of lessons in Durgeshwari from Ust. AAK. It's pretty much Durga in ascent with Ni Komal & Ga Shuddh in descent, but he would take Ni Komal in ascent sometimes to make it different from Jhinjhoti. It's somewhat vakra too - that's why I think it should be learned from someone who knows it, rather than distilled to a scale on the internet.

Zilla Kafi and Nat Bhairav are 19th century rags, older than Baba Allauddin. Zilla Kafi was taught by Ust. Wazir Khan, and people from his Senia tradition have 19th century gats in their repertoire, including Ust. Amjad Ali. If you like that rag, you should check out Ust. Abdul Halim Jaffar Khan's recording. He uses very little Ga Shuddh, but goes SRgmS often, just as the Senia players would. It's an independent version, not coming from Wazir Khan. Ravi Shankar claimed to have adapted an older Nat Bhairav into its modern form, but I can't verify that. UAAK used a little Ni Komal vivadi in Nat Bhairav, so it's one that shouldn't be reduced to a scale either.

Many of the rags you mentioned are discussed with some examples in "Ustad Allauddin Khan and His Music" by Jotin Bhattacharya.
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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Jeff, I will look for that book.

When I listen to the Durgeshwari of Tejendra Narayan Majumdar I often hear Durga and Jhinjoti blending in and out, but I don't hear a clear new and unique imprint like the Manjh Khamaj or Hem Bihag of the main Maihar string trio (PNB, PRS & UAAK).

I will try and get UAAK recording to see if he makes this more distinct but I am told by other AACM students that it is quite vakra, but still if you know the main chalan phrases it is possible to piece together the basic structure and raga blueprint, if you happen to have them. This is how I learned Kaushi Kanada (together with 3 or 4 gats from PNB and listening to Kishori Amonkar, Ginde and a few other wonderful vocal pieces). But I have yet to figure out Kaushiki - I can hear it is close but yet different from Kaushi Kanada in the PNB concert recordings.

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Kirya
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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #4 
Here is another more recent book

Dr (Baba) Allauddin Khan (1881–1972)
The Great Master of Hindustani Classical Music


by Dr Sarita McKenzie-McHarg        
Type: Print Book
Genre: Music, Biographies & Memoirs
Language: English


- See more at: http://pothi.com/pothi/book/dr-sarita-mckenzie-mcharg-dr-baba-allauddin-khan-1881%E2%80%931972#sthash.0qBC7K5X.dpuf

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Kirya
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #5 
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Originally Posted by "Jeff
I had a number of lessons in Durgeshwari from Ust. AAK. It's pretty much Durga in ascent with Ni Komal & Ga Shuddh in descent, but he would take Ni Komal in ascent sometimes to make it different from Jhinjhoti. It's somewhat vakra too - that's why I think it should be learned from someone who knows it, rather than distilled to a scale on the internet.
Yeah, as I was reading your description I was thinking, wait, what, that's Jhinjhoti! Your point about the complexities of some of these raags is well taken. Some raags are so widely played and known they can be fairly safely boiled down to ascent/descent and some other basic characteristics but when you get to more subtle differences, it gets rather trickier!
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Jeff Whittier

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Reply with quote  #6 
Kirya,

Does the McKenzie-McHarg book have bandishes in it? Bhattacharaya'a book is loaded, with good exercises too.

I recommend strongly learning rags from people who can actually play them well, rather than guessing from books & recordings. There's a dumbing down of ICM going on among those who don't have the patience to actually study. I've heard self-taught people play whose performance I would characterize as "parody" when it comes to knowledge of the rags, or the style of their development. There are quite a few good teachers in the US, you could link up with one of them.
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Kirya

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Does the McKenzie-McHarg book have bandishes in it? Bhattacharaya'a book is loaded, with good exercises too.
Yes the book description says it has exercises and compositions from 5 of his favorite and 5 of his own creations. Maybe similar to the Bhattacharya book.

I agree that you should have a teacher if at all possible. I did with one for 5 years very intensively when I was in India and even had a little interaction with Nikhil Banerjee who told me 6 hours/day of riyaz was not enough (at the stage I was at) if I wanted to get better.

I would rather really study and repeatedly listen to the masters, and work from that than go to a teacher who has a focus and style that I don't really care for. I have taken lessons at the AACM but am in LA now and I still do take some classes online but it is frustrating since I don't tune to a Sa = C.

I have also found the Indrajit DVDs useful and I have progressed with those too.

Anyway I still feel I am making progress, albeit slowly, though I know the precision and insight that a teacher brings is hard to capture on your own.

Also I found out that Bhattacharya book is pretty hard to get a hold of for now -- but will try directly with the U of M.

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Kirya
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Jeff Whittier

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Reply with quote  #8 
"Yeah, as I was reading your description I was thinking, wait, what, that's Jhinjhoti! Your point about the complexities of some of these raags is well taken. Some raags are so widely played and known they can be fairly safely boiled down to ascent/descent and some other basic characteristics but when you get to more subtle differences, it gets rather trickier!"

Jhinjhoti has a strong Bhupali-like element in PDSRGGS which is completely absent from Durgeshwari.
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chriscook50

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Reply with quote  #9 
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There's a dumbing down of ICM going on among those who don't have the patience to actually study.
Hi there, I'd just like to pick up on this point. I'm in two minds, because I do find the study of ragas in depth with a guru in India, and a teacher in London very rewarding. I'm still not putting in the hours that would be ideal, but I'm doing as much as I can realistically.

Meanwhile, working as I do with community groups I do like to introduce them to participating in some kind of ICM along with other forms of music. These groups probably will not have the patience for actual long ter in depth study. Is it wrong to have fun with music based on what I know of simple tala or ghats? With some of the groups I work it's short term satisfaction, simple goals that work. Anything else and I usually lose their attention.

We could simply say ICM is just for the high functioning, sincere dedicated student and assume that those, say with learning difficulties, have nothing to gain, but I believe in not excluding people.

Well sorry to slightly derail the thread topic but I'm interested in what people think about whether 'dumbing down' can be justified in the name of inclusive education. I know ( I think) that there's no right or wrong, as long as you do what you you do with passion and honesty, not making out what you do to be something that it is not.

I'm very interested to hear people's opinions.
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Kirya

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Jeff

I found the Bhattacharya book and it does have a lot of material and even basic exercises so can be useful even to beginners who do the paltas seriously.

Interesting viewpoint from a close associate written in a very "Indian" style -- I think from the description in the other book the material is exactly the same.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Kirya

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Kirya
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Kirya

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I'm very interested to hear people's opinions.
ICM is music that is based on improvisation that IMO is quite different from jazz as there is both more freedom and more structural discipline at the same time.

Traditional teaching requires a pretty solid foundation with basic exercises to get the hands nimble, accurate and agile. These exercises are called paltas and alankars and bol ang. When one is fluid and smooth in doing these alankars one is said to be improving in taiyarri (readiness to take the next steps). Some teachers don't allow any raag exploration "until the hands are ready" .

A lot of the people having "fun" on Youtube have very clearly not done these foundational exercises and so a raga exploration by them is, ummm, unsatisfying, to put it gently.

The kind of improvisation in ICM which requires elaborate melodic ornamentation at the right places requires a seriousness that I think is not common even in India. Just slapping on some random ornamentation on a Yaman scale does not make a raag Yaman presentation that will be "fun" for anybody else, connoisseur or not. Again just my opinion, which does not mean that anybody who wants to, should or could not mess around and play with a sitar if they so choose to. In "fusion" music it is often quite interesting and sometimes quite pleasing to some.

My sense is that if one wants to play ICM then there are no shortcuts. You have to listen to a lot of ICM music, (also vocal music), so you can develop the sense of flow and you have to do the riyaz with the alankars to get your hands ready to respond to melodic ideas with some agility. This does not mean that 15 year old cannot play a decent Yaman -- if they have done rigorous foundational stuff and have good teachers they can often play very nice presentations that are simple but pleasing to anybody who knows the music. I am also somebody who does not think technical virtuosity is an absolute requirement for an aesthetically pleasing presentation of a raag. It can help, but it can also become bombastic, like writing a story with a lot of big words and elaborate and arcane references, but very little in terms of character development, linguistic finesse and a plot that keeps one engaged and interested or even inspired.

I do think that it is unfortunate when somebody who has played for 3 months ( a few hours here and there) says that they can play Raag Yaman and IMO that is generally not really ICM.

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Kirya
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