Emotions and Appeal of Kanhara, Malhar and Sarang Ang: A Raga Analysis


The emotions and appeal of each and individual raga has its uniqueness in Indian classical music. Among the several, a huge lineage of classical tradition Kahnara-ang with the combination of Malhar-ang can be seen in various raga of Hindustani classical music where Raga Nayaki Kahnara is one among them. Analysis of Ragang (category) along with the note’s combination of Nayaki Kanhara is carried with its Sampratiki (similar nature) raga to identify the difference in emotions and appeal of each and individual raga having the similar Ang (category, sects) with the help of audio- video recording of legendry vocalist of Hindustani classical music, software analysis in Logic Pro X and secondary data from books is done to trace the practical and theoretical difference in these raga. The research experiments are also carried with practices of the raga in classroom teaching to several disciple throughout the period and also experienced through the teaching learning procedure with respected guruji Padmashree Pt. Surendra Mohan Mishra. Uniqueness in Raga conjoining and the notes combination in Nayaki Kanhara, Suha, Sughurai, Shahana, and Devsakh blended with Ragang Kahnara, Malhar and Sarang creates a confluence of Rasanippati (emotional cognition) which is quite unique of its kind. The position of Gandhar and the transition between the Ragaang in Nayaki make it different that other Samprikit raga even having the same notes combination in a bundle of Five Raga that are closed to Nayaki. The Aesthetic and emotions of each and individual raga is kitted with the tinny notes combination which creates a different segment of emotions and appeal in Raga.


Analysis of Kanhara, Malhar and Sarang Ang and its Aesthetics

Malhar-ang is the Ragang of Hindustani classical music which means the melody combination of Komal Nishadwith Suddh RishavSuddh Rishav, a Kaan of Suddh  Madhyam, to  Panchan, ga ma Re Sawhere Andholan (shaking )of Gandhar comes with Kaan of Suddh Madhyam. In Uttrang, Malhar-ang ang is shown   ma Pa ni Dha Ni Sa is one of the prominent phrases used to reach Taar Saptak (high octave). Similarly the Kanhara-ang means the notes combination of Re Re Sa ni Sa, Sa Re ga.. ma Re, Re ni Sa Re .. ga, ma Pa dha…ni Sa, Sa dha… ni Pa, ga ma Re Sa, majorly theKanhara aang is identified as uses of Ati Komal Gandhar and its Andholan, a Kaan of Suddh Rishav when moving towards Aroh and, and Vakra Swaroop of  ga ma Re Sa , Re ni Sa, dha ni Re Sa. The Uttrang of Kanhara-ang is identified with the notes combination of ma pa dha ,,,,, ni , Sa,,, dha ni Re Sa, Sa dha ni Pa. when we look upon the common phrase, the Malhar and the Kanhara share few common Swar and the transition are very similar in few stage. The aesthetic of the both Raga are also very common, perhaps there is a hung variable between the nature of the raga. ShadajSuddh Rishav, Komal Gandhar, Suddh Madhyam, Pancha and Komal Nishad are the common notes used in both Raga. Malhar shares the Suddh Dhaivat and Suddh Nishad in Aroh whereas Kanhara shares Komal Dhaivat, which is different from Malhar in terms of scale. 

As a part of raga analysis, aga Nayaki Kanhara is chosen, and other three raga of similar scale and Suha as Samprakrit raga which are very similar to Nayaki and have a combination of Malhar, Kanhara and SarangSarang-ang is also taken as a transition Ang where researcher can check the aesthetic between Malhar, Kanhara, and Sarang. In these Raga where one Ang disappear to rise another Ang or the combination of Malhar and KanharaMalhar and Sarang, or Kanhara and Sarang created a new raga, unique melody with the combination of either of these three Ang. Hindustani classical music has a uniqueness of its own that the melody of one raga to another raga is created with minor changes in Swar and connection between the notes. There are numerous examples of such raga where minor shifting of Shruti, Swar,or notes combination creates a unique melody. The emotions and the aesthetics of such a melody also have a different shade and different feeling than the parental raga. 

Among such uniqueness, Raga Suha, Raga Shahana, Raga Sugharai, and Raga Devsakh have some common transitions that reflect the uniqueness in terms of emotions and combination of Ragang to create an emotional appeal.Raga Suha; a Kafi thaat  raga is very similar to Nayaki Kanhara shares the similar scale as Nayaki. The Rishav note of this raga is used coiled or curved and Dhaivat is completely forbidden in both Aroh and Avaroh. It’s ascends and descends is ni Sa ga ma, Pa ni Pa ni Sa and Sa ni Pa, ga ma Re Sa. Here the phrases of the raga are a combination of Kanharaand Malhar where Kanhara and Malharang conjoin to create a unique melody- a combination of softness and stability of Kanhara and the bold and romantic frame of Malhar. The first phrase (Purvang) of Suha is representing the Kanhara-angwhereas the second phrase (Uttrang) of Megh. The uniqueness of melody is the conjoining of Ganghar in the raga where ascend of Gandhar represent the Kanhara and descend of Gandhar represent the Malhar-ang. Similarly, in raga Sugharaithe notes combination is very much similar to Nayaki Kahnara. The Dhaivat in the raga is completely forbidden in both Aroh and Avaroh. In few Gharana of Hindustani classical music Dhiaivat in Raga Sugharai is only used in descend (Avaroh). Without using Dhaivat one can maintain the nuances of Sughurai because the position of Dhaivat in raga is very rare so vocalist can maintain the purity of the raga with/without DhaivatRaga Sugharai is created with the combination of Sarang and Kanhar-ang. The ascendance of the raga is: Sa Rem, ga ma ni Pa Ni Sa and descend SaP, ni Pa, ga ma SRe Sa. Melodic structure of Sughurai is a combination of Malhar and Sarang which is assembled in coiled form in the raga. Even though there is no combination Kanhara but still ga ma Re Sa notes are being used to represent the Malhar-ang so the uses of above phrase should be intelligently and as per norms of the raga. Both forms of Nishad are simultaneously used in raga to represent the Sarang-ang. As it can be noticed the descent of the Sugharai is very similar to Raga Nayaki and the Ragaang of the both ragas are also similar but the aesthetics and the emotions is totally different. Sometimes Raga Sugharai is also called Suha-Sugharai, a unique combination of Raga Suha and Sarang-ang.

            Similarly, the raga in the list is Shahana which is also the raga of Kafi Thaat and have similar scale to Nayaki Kahnara but have a huge difference in terms of melody and the emotion and appeal which come with the combination of Ragang Kanhara and Sarang. The Sarnagang that can be seen in Nayakai is not been used in the structure of Raga Shahana. This raga has again a unique formation with the combination of Kanhara with the phrase of BagresheeBaharor sometimes Malhar are used to recreate a variant melody. It is a multi-colored raga having the six notes combination in ascent where Dhaivat is forbidden, but in few traditions all seven notes are used in descent.  Sa Re ga ma, Pa Dha ni , Pa Ni Sa is the Aroh and Avaroh of the raga is: Sa ni Dha ni Pa , ma Pa ga ma Re Sa is one of the coiled and completed mixed ragas that can only be learned only with one on one guidance of guru. The Ragang ni ni Pa ma Pa, ga ma Re Sa, Sa Re ga ma of Kanhar, Sa ma Pa , ga… ma  phrase sometime resemble Raga Baharga ma Dha Dha resemble Bageshree and   ni Pa Ni Sa is a part of Sarang.  A complete phrase Sa ni Dha ni Pa Dha ma Pa Sa, ma Pa ni Pa Ni Sa ni Pa, ga ma Re Sa denotes the Raga Shahana. The short resemblance of Bahar and Bageshree in Sarang and Kahnara-ang makes the raga very special even though the notes of the raga are very similar to all other Samprakritik raga like Suha, Sughurai and Nayaki. The melody of Shahana is very soothing, refreshing and jolly with romantic and softness appeal because of the notes frame of Sarangang with adjoining Kanhara and little flavor of BaharBagesgree and fewer portion of the Malhar. In the series of similarities AangRaga Devsakh is one that also represents the similar combination of Kahnara and Sarangang and also fall under the Kafi Thaat. The Aroh of the raga consist of six notes excluding Dhaivat in ascend, and the descend of the raga is of Sampurna jati where all seven notes but in zig-zag form are used to create a melodic structure of the raga. In some Gharna Dhivat Swar is completely excluded in both Aroh and AvarohSa Rem ga Pa, ma Pa ni Pa Ni Sa,  SaP ni Pam ga ma SRe Sa is the ascent- descent and Sa ma Re pa, ga ma ga Pa, ma pa ni pa, ga ma SRe Sa is the prominent phrase that can use as raga identify- Pakkad for the Raga Devsakh.  It also has the similar combination of Kahnara and Sarang but the Vakra Gandhar -Madhyam with Vakra Dhaivat in Avaroh makes the raga very special. The aesthetic behind the raga is fickle and playful because of Sarangang in Uttrang whereas the boldness and imprescriptibly of Kanhara can be noticed in Purvang


Hindustani Classical music has a very special and uniqueness in raga creation, the notes combination and its tiny connection of micro notes (Anunaad-Shruti) that creates the melody differently even falls under the same Thaat or the same ascend-descend or the similar Ragang combination. The emotion and appeal of Sarang, Malhar and Kanhara can be seen in different shade in these five ragas who share same Thaat and almost the same notes in ascend and descend but the combination of the notes and the interchange between these notes have totally differentiated Raga Nayaki from these Samprakritik raga even share the same Ragang. The emotions of Kahnara-ang in Nayaki Kahnara is knitted with the notes of Malhar where romantic appeal meets the calmness and boldness of Kahnara with flicking notes of Sarang. The combination of Rishav and Panchan of Nayaki cannot be seen in other ragas even having the same Ragang are been used. The uses of Komal Gandhar in these five raga can be minutely studied because the Komal Gandhar used in Nayaki is totally different from Suha, Shahana,Sugharai and Devsakh. The emotions of every raga are totally different even they share the same scale and similar notes combination in term of raga formation. The ascending of Komal Gandhar in all five Raga is representing the Kanhara-ang whereas in descending the knitting of the Komal Gandhar notes comes with Malhar-ang in Nayaki and Suha but the same notes is sung as per Kanhara-ang in Raga ShahanaSughurai and DevsakhSarang-ang is another transition between Kanhara and Malhar in Raga Nayaki but these three Ragang combinations cannot be seen in all five ragas. Sarang-ang is most prominently used in all five ragas but the position of this Ragang is in Uttrang except Sugharai. The Aesthetics of Kanhara threaded with the emotions of Malhar and top-ups of Sarang-ang in Uttrang in Raga Nayaki Kanhara resemble the Sringarik Bhav (love and affection, boldness and little calmness with romance and shower of rain to the fear of thunder representing the Malhar-ang in raga. Shrangrik Bhav, the Rati or the romance, fickleness of SarangDhir-Gambhir with clamness and boldness of Veer Rasa of Kahnara and the SringriktaBhaya -Daar, romance and fear of Malhar makes the Raga Nayaki Kanhara very special and unique among its Samprakritik raga family. This long lineage of Hindustani Classical Music has its own legacy of the raga performance and a tradition that nurtures the extraordinary combination of NaadShruti and Swar to create a unique melody. While examining the notes in logic Pro X, it can be visible the difference of singing Gandhar but machine can only tell the matching or mismatched, similarities and dissimilarities in scale whereas singer need to be trained with proper guidance by the Guru to know the exact notes combination in these ragas to stimulate the exact emotions.  The aesthetics, emotion and the appeal of one raga cannot be the same even with the use of similar notes in Hindustani music because of micro notes combination and its knitting with several passages and pathways of notes to interconnect the melody of the raga.

Note: The notes Sa represent Shadaj, Re – Suddh Rishavga – Komal Gandharma- Suddh MadhyamPa- Pancham, dha – Komal Dhaivat, Dha- Suddh Dhaivat,  ni- Komal Nishad, Ni- Suddh Nishad - 


You can refer this article for more knowledge 


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