Monday, February 12, 2007

Drugged by Darbari

Drugged by Darbari

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One speculates on the hypnotic power of music to create
mirages in the mind. Times of the day, intangible emotions
like love, sorrow and romance, seasons ... sound does it
all. Indian Classical Music has gone deep into the matter
and produced theory and practice that is thrilling though
ultimately dissatisfying (because its never enough).

Darbari is a Raag that alludes to the court or the Darbar.
Its expression should recreate the ambience of a Royal Court
with pomp and grandeur. And in fact it does. How?

Its root, oddly, is from the Asavary "Thaat". Odd because
Asavary hails from the morning while Darbari is a
distinctly night Raag. But those are the oddities of the
weaker Taxonomy of Hindustani Classical Music, as compared
to the uncompromisingly more rigorous and scientific Carnatic
system. I digress.

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The story is that Tansen, the court musician of Emperor
Akbar, created the Raag. Sounds plausible. The key to this Raag
is the undulating "Dhaivat" a note that should be slow and
leisurely, especially in the lower octave. That is, the
"slope" between the dhaivaths needs to be very very low. It
is this expression of the note that causes a sense of
ponderous weight and therefore creates the atmosphere of a
court. Other signature groups are Nishad-Pancham,

Darbari is also referred to as "Darbari Kanada". Thats
because it also possesses a particular movement of the
Gandhars that is specific to what is the called the Kanada-
'ang'. Thats what you'll find common between Kausi Kanada, Abhogi
, Bageshri Kanada, Gara Kanada and Nayaki Kanada.

Nayaki Kanada is Darbari Kanada minus the Dhaivath, a
mystifying matter, but pretty effective. Its cadence is faster
and its exposition is in the middle octave.

Across the octave, transcending space and time, is Raag Adana,
popularized by Vani Jairam in this song.

So sit back and be the Emperor of all you survey. Listen to
Raag Darbari Kanada.

1. (Faster than I might have liked, but who am I to
challenge this genius?) Faiyaz Khan
2. (The right tempo) Mashkoor Ali Khan
3. Ajay Chakrabarty
4. Adana by Mashkoor Ali Khan
5. Shakoor Khan
6. Alla Rakha - Sarangi
7. Adana by Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali
8. Darbari by the same
9. Sarod by Amjad Ali Khan
10. The MOST wonderful Darbari Flute you can ever hope to
hear. Pannalal Ghosh.
11. An odd mixture of the South and the North
12. A version by Jagjit Singh (not bad at all)
13. Salamat and Nazakat - consider death. Its a good idea.
14. John Higgins via the Carnatic angle.

Notice that women hardly ever sing this Raag. It does need
a deep and low voice for better effect. But Adana works well
for women artistes.



ps: I know nothing about Classical Music. You can write
whatever you see above if you have the patience and desire to.