Musings: The New Year with Yaman

Lets start at the very beginning! Yaman. There is enough and more been said about this Raga however I feel drawn to this sequence of notes time and again and what a better start to the New Year but to enfold myself into the comfort of its familiarity.

Yaman seen through the mind of the great Ustad Amjad Ali Khan who describes and shows a beautiful excerpt of the raga here

Galaxy of Musicians - Raja Ravi Verma's Painting A common bhajan sung by the Sydhwanies that can be heard under lyrics above is Shree Rama Chandra that is set to the same raga. The sequence of notes are the same as a major scale except that the fourth is sharp which creates a handsome picture. Listen to a Violin and Cello combination of this bhajan here

Kishori Amonkar one of the great singers of our time has a unique and exceptional way of introducing the Fourth note or Tivra madhyam for which Kishori’s Yaman is truly special.

Listen to her below:


Considered to be an easy raga for no matter what combination of notes one mixes the likelihood of it sounding like any other raga is close to nil. With this confidence in mind Hindustani teachers world over introduce Yaman as the first raga to many students and encourage them to be creative with it.

Listen to a new talent, Pritam Bhattacharya below:


Dr Kamala Shankar on Guitar with Rajeev Janardhan on Sitar


Yaman has been introduced in the South of India in famous songs such as “Krishna Nee Begane Baro” which is famously fused by the Colonial Cousins. Nevertheless here is a Yaman sung by Raja Ravi Verma, a rendition of an Ashtapadi


Some believe that the Ragam Kalyani is similar to Raag Yaman. However the two ragas produce a very different effect and flavour. While Yaman when used by South Indian Musicians is done so in light smaller semi-classical compositions, Ragam Kalyani is considered one of the major ragams in that system. Yaman however is the crowning jewel in Hindustani Music and shall remain so, in its enviable position of being easy with immense hidden potential, like a poem read again and again each time revealing a new meaning. I leave you with two famous singers of bygone years singing Yaman, Hirabai Barodekar and Mogubai Kurdekar.

Here is another great jugalbandhi between the Hindustani Bansuri and the Carnatic Veenai between P Hegde on Flute and Jayshree on Veena

To start at the beginning with Raag Yaman in the beginning of a New Year 2009


2 Responses to “Musings: The New Year with Yaman”

  1. 1 anuradha basu roy
    January 2, 2009 at 3:32 am

    WOW!! So wonderful, Sumi. I didn’t know that instrument player can sing as well… Loved every bit of it.


  2. 2 sirisha
    February 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Sumi, How are you? You know what, we took Anoushka for her first music lesson this friday. She did you proud!! She sang well. And this guy actually is trying to teach this same Yaman composition( I mean Kishori’s) and is also teaching Paluskar’s Chalo man ganga jamuna teer… He also said the same thing about her voice not opening up. He is doing some swar vistar as well. I was close to tears thinking of all the times we ahd together. Missing you!!!.

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