Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Hindustani Music…..Another Legend of Music



Hey guys, hoping that you liked my last article based on the life of Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar; I would like to tell you about Pt. Vishnu Digambar Bhatkhande Ji in this article. I will give you all a brief overview of his life.

V. N

Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande-

Born in 1860 on the 21st of August, this man brought many dynamic changes in our Hindustani Music. One of his most significant contribution is the introduction of the Thaat system; earlier Raagas used to be classified as Raaga (the male), Ragini (the female), and Putra (the child) but he re-classified them into the currently used Thaat system. He was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra and studied to become a lawyer and also went to into practice for a short period after qualifying. In his college days he used to learn sitar and later Vocal Music from Raojiba Ji. He became proficient in Dhrupad Singing and also started learning other aspects of Classical Music from different musicians like Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ali Hussain Khan etc. Bhatkhande Ji travelled throughout India with different Ustads and Pandits foV. N- POstr doing research in music. He read ancient texts about Indian Music. He spent a lot of time in Baroda, Gwalior and Rampur and also stayed under the guidance of Ustad Wazir Khan (Veena Player) who was a descendent of the legend ‘Miyan Tansen’. After travelling extensively and doing a lot of research he arranged all the Raagas into 10 different categories commonly known as the Thaats. Although all the thaats cannot cover all the Raagas but, majority of the Raagas are covered under them. This was considered as a very significant contribution on his part. He also developed a notation system in music known as the Bhatkhande Swarlipi. Like Paluskar Ji he also started a school in 1926 in Gwalior with the help of the Maharaja of Gwalior and named it “Madhav School of Music”. He, himself designed the course for students and regular tests were conducted. He wrote many books on Hindustani Music under the two pen names ‘Chatur-Pandit’ and ‘Vishnu Sharma’. He started a tradition of organising All India Music Conferences which provided a common platform to all the musicians whether it is Hindustani or Carnatic for discussions. Sadly he suffered paralysis and a thigh attack and died in 1936 on ‘Ganesh Chaturti’ day.  The government of India issued a commemorative stamp in 1961 in his honour.


This was a very short overview about the lives of these two great musicians which played a very significant role in shaping our music as it is now.

I would now like to describe the Raga Kedar in brief-

Aaroh– Sa Re Sa Ma Pa MA Pa Dha Ni Sa

Avroh– Sa Ni Dha Pa MA Pa Dha Pa Ma Sa Re Sa

Pakad– Ma Pa Dha Ni Dha Pa MA Pa Ma Pa Dha Pa Ma Sa Re Sa

Thaat– Kalyan

Vadi Swara- Sa

Samvadi Swara– Ma

Jaati- Shadav-Shadav i.e. 6 notes in Aaroh and & notes in Avroh

Time of Singing- Raatri ka doosra Prahar (Second Prahar of the night)

This raga is named after lord Shiva i.e. Kedar and is known to be one of the strongest raga. It has a lot of complex twists and turns in its chalan (progression) which are brilliantly melodious and pleasant to hear but difficult to explain in words. There is a debate on this raga wherein some scholars have a stand that ‘Gandhar or Ga’ is used in this raga whereas according to some scholars ‘Gandhar or Ga’ is not at all to be used in this raga, thus making Ga a ‘Vivadi’ swara of this raga. A swara whose presence in a particular raga is debatable is known as the ‘Vivadi’ Swara of that Raga. Thus according to some scholars its Jaati is Shadav-Sampoorn (With the Gandhar in Avroh) and according to some it Shadav-Shadav (Without the Gandhar in Avroh). All types of compositions are sung in the Raga including Khyals, Thumri, Dhrupads, Tarana as well as other light classical compositions.

Some versions of this Raga rendered by some great musicians-

Raga Kedar by Pt. Kumar Gandharv Ji (Vocal)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6vWoh_4KUY

Raga Kedar by Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma Ji (Santoor)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjVSxpJXsCs

Raga Kedar by Pt. Jasraj Ji (Vocal)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tPP74pWzdA

Bhajan in Raga Kedar (one of my favourite version) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t51MKWIwSgM


Thank you all for reading the article, do share it with your friends and give a feedback in the comments box below. You are open to suggest any topic for my upcoming articles.

I am myself a musician learning music from a very reputed school in Delhi, India. You can contact me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/shubham1779) and write to me at shubham1779@gmail.com.

Thank You

Shubham Mittal :-)


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