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#Musings with Nitin Amin: Raga Gaud Sarang

21 Song Salute to the Great Lata Mangeshkar

As we continue with the Kalyan family ragas, we move on to a very melodious raga called Gaud Sarang.

We started with a melodious song based on Gaud Sarang “Allah tero naam, Ishwar tero naam….” – the song is composed by Jaidevji for the film Hum Dono.

The mukhda of the song is exactly Gaud Sarang without any variation. But, as the song progresses towards the antara, notice that Gaud Sarang is not present at all. What did Jaidevji do here? Advancing listeners of classical music will notice that from the initial mukhda, the same part has been repeated from the madhyam.

Let us look at Gaud Sarang little closely with the reference of the mukhda. Gaud Sarang belongs to the Kalyan Raaganga – it is from the Kalyan family. All the ragas in the Kalyan Raaganga have different poorvangs, while in the uttarang they all display a Kalyan facing movement and as such, Gaud Sarang has a distinct note structure in the poorvang.

Advancing listeners of Hindustani classical music, can identify the poorvanga of Gaud Sarang in the following manner - ‘Sa Ga Re Ma Ga, Pa Re Sa Re, Ni Sa Ga Re Ma Ga, Pa Re Sa’ – where the ‘Pa – Re’ connection is characteristic of Kalyan Raaganga, the phrase ‘Sa Ga Re Ma Ga’ – shuddha madhyam will keep coming in the same pattern and the gandhar – pancham connection is indicative of the Kalyan Ang.

This is a definite melody, the proorvang will always have the same swara structure - it characterizes Gaud Sarang and cannot be anything else. As we move ahead, there will be rest on the pancham. We move ahead from the Kalyan Ang towards the dhaivat with the phrase ‘Dha Pa Ma Ga’, and we see the first sign of teevra madhyam here.

As we go ahead, there are a few ways to go up – the first, the ascent resembles raga Bihag but in this case while coming down it demonstrates raga Kalyan. Another way is similar to many of the Kalyan ragas with the phrase ‘Pa Dha Pa Pa Sa…’ and in this case while coming down it is ‘Dha Pa Ma Ga, Ma Ga, Pa Ma Ga’ - here this ‘Pa Ma Ga’ is the core characteristic of raga Gaud Sarang.

You will notice how beautifully it is becoming a ‘tune’. The chalan of Gaud Sarang and many other such ragas is tricky to write down; however, the nature of the tune can be internalized so well that you can feel which raga it is. And it is my opinion that this should happen with each raga – we should move away from the grammar of the raga and internalize the “tune” of the raga as we go ahead on our RagaQuest.

If you wish to explore the the entire movement of Gaud Sarang in hindi along with a presentation of the bandish at, “Piyu palan lagi more akhiyan…”, please check out this video presentation -

We look forward to your suggestions, questions and feedback.

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