Author Archive for Sumi Krishnan


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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


Musings: Sydney Opera House Architect passes Away on 29 November 2008

While a beautifully architectured Moghul Palace, The Taj, built by George the Fifth in the 18 century suffered at the hands of terrorist attacks in  Mumbai, it seems almost a coincidence that at the other end of the world a great architect, designer and visionary quietly passed away. As if leaving a message to the world to stop this madness!!

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Musings: Fusion, Confusion, Tricks and Gigs


RShankar and George HarrisonAfter the recent spate of classical mixes heard in Sydney during the weekend of the 8 November and 9 November I cannot  but help muse about the future of Indian Classical Music. Recently there has been an increasing awareness of Classical music systems, generally whether Indian or Western. Despite mourning organisations worldwide complaining about the sad  non profitability of these collaborations

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Musing with Rajeshwari Sainath

Rajeswari Sainath

Rajeshwari Sainath is a breath of fresh air with her unassuming youthful and personable nature despite being one of India’s great dancers today. An exponant in the Pandanallur Style of Bharathanatyam she wears many hats, oscillates between cultures, and is keen to take her art form to the corners of all worlds, mind, body and spirit.

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Musings: Raga Deepak for Diwali


Wishing You a HAPPY DEEPAVALI  I bring you Raag Deepak, during this festive occassion.

Shahida Parveen – Poet says “My love is like Raag Deepak”

Every one who is familiar with Saigal, Bollywood’s crowning play back singer in the 1930’s would be aware of the age old classic “Diya Jalao” which was set in Raag Deepak. Shahida Parveen sings the Ghazal “Deepak Raag Hai Chahath Apni” with her gripping voice she is convincing in her attempt to instill in a listener’s mind the truly special nature of Raag Deepak as envisaged by the poet who  compares the intensity of his love to Raag Deepak. This song itself is set to another raag Darbari.

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Musings: Morning Coffee with Raag Thodi

Bangla, Folk song, boat song, boat, songs Tags: , , , , , ,

N Rajam

A Town in Italy is called Todi, said to have been built in 8th century,  it is famous for a Co-cathedral Church called the Palazzo Dtodi-1el Popolo. But I wish to muse about Raag Thodi today. Like the title suggests it is best listened to in the morning. Why ? Well traditionally it has been stamped as a morning raga. Perhaps during times of no TV or radio or Internet, Kings in Palaces would wake up to the music of Royal Musicians singing Mia Ki Todi. Listen to an excerpt of this raga by the Queen of Hindustani Violin N Rajam and one of my favourites.

Continue reading ‘Musings: Morning Coffee with Raag Thodi’


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