Songs on Same raags

Songs on Same raags
Our Yahoo grp member J M Pradhan ji writes his views on SJ’s songs

Regarding similarity of songs, I would like to share my views.

In Indian Classical Music the great Bhatkhande-ji divided ten parents of ragas i.e. Bhiravi, Bhairav, Todi, Asavari, Khamaj, Marwa, Poriya, Kafi, Kalyan, one more I just forgot. All the ragas are based on one of the above thaat. So if any song is composed in Bhiravi that, it will sound like same melody.
However point to be noted is that SJ composed hundreds of song in bhiravi which surprisingly did not seem much similar when I listened to them. I think SJ could compose with permutations and combinations of Bhiravi that, which itself can generate infinite numbers of tunes. When I read on this site that “Tu pyaar ka sagar hai” is based on Drabari (Asawari), I checked the notations by playing on instrument and found yes, it is theoretically based on Asawari. I was surprised how they could create such tune based on Asavari but very difficult to identify as it is very much different from their darbari based song like Jhanak-jhanak tori baaje payaliya.., Radhike tune bansari…. . So they really were the genius of this century.

I think Vasant Desai was also one of the composers whose compositions were based on classical ragas. But I find his compositions dull when I listen as a common music lover. His two songs – one from Guddi ” Ham ko man ki shakti..” and another one “Darashan do ghanshyam… by Manna Dey & Asha are exactly similar. If I listen as a student of classical music, they are basically beautiful bandishes based on the Raga kedar.

I respect Naushad saheb as a great musician of India. I agree the version of some of the fans that his “Man tadpat..” is based on old bandish of Raga Malkauns. I have heard lot of similar bhajans & songs … in malkauns.

SJ composed several songs based on Shivranjani like “Baharon phool”, “Awaz de ke”, “Dil ke jharokhe”, “Jane kahan gaye vo din”. But when I listen to these songs, I find lot of changes they have made and I don’t feel that the songs are exactly similar. The rhythm of “Dil ke jharokhe” is quite typical, I think no music director has yet tried to compose with such type of rhythm. Similarly the antara part, Rafi saheb had to sing suddenly in high notes, then come back in low note and then comes beautiful piece of violin. I think these songs will be master piece of Indian music history in future similar to Beethoven, Mozart…. compositions, if media cooperates.

In “Awaz de ke” the Rhythm is Jhap taal-10 beats and it has combination of Saxophone (western instrument) and sitar (Indian instrument). So beautifully arranged.

So I would like to conclude my views as follows :

1. Songs are based on one of the 10 thaats.

2. If two or more songs are composed on the same that, they would sound similar.

3. It does not matter if they sound similar, but what matters is how the MD creates different types of product with the same thaat.

4. SJ are only genius MD in India who did great job composing plenty of songs based on one thaat, very difficult to identify. That may be the reason that though their songs are based on classical ragas, they are Great while compositions of Nausad saheb, Vasant Desai,…are some times dull for common music lover though theoretically they are of high class.

I have heard the definition of light music from Pt Jasraj that classical music is basically that in which one has to perform with perfect grammar while for light songs, the MD & singer have to entertain and impress common people within 3- 4 minutes. I think he has tried to explain that it is more difficult to create light music.

I am posting my views with elementary knowledge on classical music. Please correct me if I am wrong.

J M Pradhan