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#Musings with Nitin Amin: Raga Malkauns

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

21 Song Salute to the Great Lata

Raga Malkauns is the center point of the Kauns Ang. Advanced listeners of Hindustani Classical Music need to pay special attention to the komal gandhar in between ‘Sa - Ma’, and the meend from ‘Ga’ to ‘Sa’ that is very typical of Kauns Ang. You dwell on the ‘Ga’ for sometime before actually getting on to the ‘Sa’, that is very typical of the Malkauns and all the Kauns Ang.

The next note after the ‘Ma’, is the ‘Dha’. An interesting point is that the ‘Ga - Dha’ relation is again the ‘Sa - Ma’ relation. Then you move to the next one which is ‘Ni’ and the interesting thing is that this ‘Ni’ is ‘Ma’ of the previous ‘Ma’. These three pairs (Sa-Ma, Ga-Dha and Ma-Ni) sound same to the ears. Without trying to get too technical about it, in a simple way you just have to get the feel of it and try to find out, why does it make it so profound?

A very interesting point is you have three pairs exactly sounding the same to the ears, coming one after the other: Sa-Ma, Ga-Dha and Ma-Ni. Whichever way you try to connect to these swaras, you end up bringing out this consonance within the pairs. You can connect any swara to any swara, and you will always sound good.

The next thing Malkauns allows is that you can rest on any note. You can elongate, you can stretch on any note as much as you want. For example if you hit this ‘Ni’, then you have the freedom to explore this ‘Ni’ as much as you want in relation to every other note. You can do this with every note. You can actually connect any note to any note, any swara to any swara, and you are still within the chalan of the raga Malkauns and you still sound good as long as you are in sur.

In Malkauns, you can go on from any part of the range, right from the Mandra, Kharja to the Taar Saptak. A big raga would allow you to develop at a very slow pace in a Vilambit, as well as in a very Drut composition. And that’s exactly what happens in raga Malkauns, hence you can call Malkauns as the king of the ragas. Every swara is exactly the same weightage - of course, besides the ‘Sa’ and ‘Ma’, and this is what we love about the amazing raga Malkauns.

Please leave your thoughts on this so that others like you can benefit from this conversation.

Watch the full explanation on Youtube: Raga Parichay : Raga Malkauns

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