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Some times some raags sound almost similar but still there exists a little difference in them. These differences can be seen to be as follows :

  1. Similar Thaat (scale) and melodic configuration :

    Some times a raag is only separated from the other by means of stressing a particular note in one of them. For example the only difference between raag Hameer and raag Hameer Kalyaan is there is emphasis on Shuddha Nishad in Hamir Kalyan.

  2. Different Thaat (scale) but similar melodic configuration

    In some raags the melodic structure the mood they present is almost the same but one or two notes vary in their format i.e. are Komal or Shuddha or Teevra. For example in Asavari and Komal Rishabh Asavari only difference is the later uses Komal Rishabh instead of Shuddha Rishabh. Hence the raags are considered totally different.

  3. Identical Thaat (scale) but different melodic configuration

    These raags are a challenge to the performer. As the scale remains the same and they are separated on the basis of the melodic configuration only. There are subtle differences made in the form of a meend, use of a certain musical phrase, emphasis on certain notes, etc. For example Raag Goud Saarang and Raag Chhayanat.

  4. Partial similarity

    Here the chances of confusion are almost nill. This is the case of those raags that are derived from two different raags where one tetra chord is derived from one raag and the next from some other major raag. For example Raag Ahir Bhairav is derived from Bhairav a major raag and Kafi. The resemblance to Kafi is limited to the lower tetrachord (poorvanga) only.

Alpatva (Insignificance) and Bahutva (Predominance)

Bahutva : This is shown in two ways

  • By singing the note repeatedly which is termed as abhyaas, and
  • By singing the note for a longer time. This is called Aalanghan (grasping)

Bahutva is related to Vaadi and Samvaadi of a raag as well as other notes of the raag which are prominent in the presentation of that raag.

Alpatva : This is again done in two ways.

  • By lack of repetition or Anabhyas
  • By only briefly touching the note or langhan. The swar that is completely omitted in aroha or avroha, gets an Alpatva by Langhan.


For example : In Raag Bihag the notes Rishabh and Dhaivat are getting alpatva by langhan as they are completely omitted in the Aaroha. However these swars are present in the avroha but the importance to these swars is again less, i.e. in this raag there is no "nyas" on these swars, that is why these swars get alpatva by anabhyas.

Avirbhaav and Tirobhaav

As the musician employs different note combinations in the development of a raag, there is always a danger that the audience may feel he is snatching notes of another raag which uses similar combinations.

When the raag being presented is clearly defined it's called as Aavirbhaav.

On the other hand when the raag is deliberately and cleverly concealed it's called as Tirobhav. This prevarication is used as an artistic device.

This process of Avirbhaav and Tirobhaav, an almost sensual game of creating confusion and resolving it by clear statement of the raag, makes the raag stand out more luminously.

The Jod Raag (Compound raag)

The basic principles in combining two raag is the constituent raags should complement each other. The emotional effect of combining them should be pleasing and not disturbing, and not only for intellectual curiosity. There are at least two forms of Jod raag .

  1. One raag is given predominance than the other. For example in Raag Basant Bahaar, Basant is considered the main raag to which Raag Bahaar is combined.
  2. Another way of combining is to use the notes of one raag and Chalan (melodic movement) of the other. For instance in Raag Megh Malhar, the notes belonging to Raag Saarang are used and the raag is sung in the manner employed by the Malhaar group.

There are three ways these raags are created

  1. Combining the Aaroha of one raag and the Avaroha of another.
  2. To have each tetrachord composed of notes of different raag (either shuddha or vikrit).
  3. Use phrases from two or more raags and alternate between them.


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