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Raga Bilawal



    Raga Bilawal is one of the popular Raga and Ragang classified under the Bilawal Thaat of Hindustani Music is also called DhirShankarabharanam Mela of Carnatic Music. This is also the basic raga initially teach to the beginners of Indian classical music. The scale used in Raga Bilawal is natural (Suddh) and all seven notes (Swar) are in use in this raga. Most frequently, intellectuals used Komal Nishad in Avaroha as Vivadi (Vivrent) named a different melody called Raga Alahiya Bilawal but there is a rare difference between raga Bilawal and Alahiya Bilawal. The used of Komal Nishad as a dissonant note(Vivadi Swar) in Avaroah is part of Bilawalang, which is one of the prominent syllabi of  Raga Bilawal too. Some Musicians restricted the use of Komal Nishad in Avaroha and named the Raga as Suddh Bilawal. In General, Raga Bilawal and Alahiya Bilawal are the same Ragas but the uses of Komal Nishad(Bb) make a bit of difference in singing. Those who sing/play Alahiya Bilawal use Komal Nishad more than singing/playing Bilawal.  Renowned Music Maestro Ramrang Ji and Chatur Pandit B.N. Bhatkhande Ji also illustrated the same interpretation about the Raga Bilawal and Alahiya Bilawal in their book series Abhinav Geetanjali and Kramik Pustak Malika respectively. 

Raga Bilawal is Sampurna -Sampurna (Heptatonic ) raga, though its Chalan is zigzag both in Aroh and Avaroh. Alahiya Bilawal is considered as Vakra Sampurna Raga in some Gharana traditions of North India. Rishav, Gandhar, Madhyam, Pancham, Dhaivat, and Nishad are usually not used straightaway. That’s why it is difficult to sing in comparison to other basic Raga. Komal Nishad is always used with Dhaivat in Avaroh. It is one of the beautiful Raga of Morning Glory where Dhaivat is considered as Vadi Swar and Gandhar is Samvadi Swar. Nyas swar are Shadaj, Gandhar, and Pancham. There is no Nyas in Dhaivat even it is the Vadi Swar of the Raga. There are so many variations of Bilawal popular in Hindustani Music, i.e. Devgiri Bilawal, Yamani Bilawal, Shukla Bilawal , Nat Bilawal, Kukumbh, and so many others . There are so many ragas where Bilawalang, Ga Ma Re Sa, Re Ga Ma, Ga Re Ga Pa, Ga Pa Ni Da Pa Da Ma Ga is commonly in use. The ascent and descent of the Raga Bilawal is:-

Aroha:        Sa Re Ga, Ma Re Ga Pa Da Ni Sa

Avaroha:    Sa Ni Da Ni Da Pa, Ma Ga Ma Re Sa       

Pakkad :     Ga Pa Da Ni Da Pa, Da Ma Ga, Re Ga Pa Ma Ga Ma Re Sa.

 Note: Kindly learn the proper techniques of musical improvisation and correct notes connection from the Guru to understand the basic characteristics of Raga. 

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