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#Musings with Nitin Amin: Raga Yaman Kalyan

21 Song Salute to the Great Lata Mangeshkar

Yaman and its two very close variants – the Kalyan and the Yaman Kalyan have very small differences between them and for this reason, they have been used probably the most by the hindi film songs.

Yaman is the purest form of Yaman, Kalyan is obtained by making some variation in that and Yaman Kalyan is further obtained by adding another note to it.

Yaman is ‘Ni Re Ga Ma Dha, Ni Sa’, it omits the shadja and pancham completely in the aroha. And we also saw that the ‘Pa – Re’ sangati is what defines the Yaman and the entire Kalyan family.

Advancing listeners of Hindustani Classical music should notice that Kalyan takes a bit of liberty from this chalan and it allows the use of ‘Sa Re Ga’ in addition to ‘Ni Re Ga’ and also the ‘Pa Dha Ni’. Which means the ‘Sa’ and the ‘Pa’ that were not allowed in the aroha in Yaman, can be taken in the aroha in Kalyan. However, Kalyan by itself is sung quite rarely in classical performances.

What Yaman Kalyan does is, in addition to this flexibility added to the Yaman (to get the Kalyan), it also adds the shuddha madhyam to it. So in Yaman Kalyan, you are using both the madhyams.

In my opinion, this addition of this shuddha madhyam adds a bit of romantic feel to the raga. Also because of this addition of shuddha madhyam, a bit of the pairing changes. In Yaman there is pairing between nishad-gandhar, nishad – teevra madhyam - the ‘Sa-Pa’ pair. Now the tivra madhyam is going to be augmented with the shuddha madhyam as well, so the shuddha nishad becomes a bit feeble and so what happens in Yaman Kalyan is you will find a lot of ‘Ga Ma Dha Sa’ just touching the nishad and the shuddha madhyam is more taken in the avroha.

You can listen to this part on the bansuri at 7:10 of this video -

Yaman Kalyan is sung and performed a lot in classical vocal performances. The addition of shuddha madhyam gives it a beautiful shade, but the most prevalent manner in which this is done today is by just adding shuddha madhyam in the normal Yaman performance.

So for practical purposes, Yaman Kalyan is known as that version of Yaman which has shuddha madhyam added to it, and of course, the Kalyan element is not so evident.

We hope you enjoy the bandish in ektaal in Raga Yaman Kalyan in this video Raga Parichay : Yaman Kalyan

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