Raga Darbari Kanada

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

Darbari Kanada
Tabla Player
Sabir Khan (Ustad)

About this album

A Raga is like a beautiful necklace adorned by swaras, which are like gems of different colours, sizes and shapes.

Each swara has an identity, an effect and suggests a mood. Different swaras combine in sequence in a variety of ways, to create a kaleidoscopic effect of beauty and emotion.

A raga selects acertain number and sequence of these gem-like swaras and creates, for its own body-structure, a dialect of motifs. Each raga finally has a beautiful personality, which is born of the personality of the swaras and in turn colours the swaras through its own identity. An identity, which is not merely defined, but felt and experienced in sensual and aesthetic ecstasy.

Raga - a tapestry of colours, a monument of love.
Darbari Kanada is described as the king of ragas and raga of kings. Created by Mian Tansen, this raga has a grand personality to it, which combines an imposing architectural effect with a sweeping, swaying gait. A dark rich melodic sheen gives the
raga a velvet, purple and soft gold hue. The raga comes across as a musical entity with controlled power, philosophical depth, emotional richness and regality.

Created from the notes of the Asavari scale, the raga acquires its darkness from the Komal Ga, Dha and Ni. The phrases Ga Ma Re Sa, and Ni Pa, which are signatures of the Kanada group, feature in the raga with a characteristic gravitas. The undulation of the Ga is specially significant in setting the mood of the raga, also reflected in Dha and Ni. The pace and
architectural individuality of the raga are ensconced in the quality of the deep, weighty and reposeful gamak-lined phrases.

The sarod's timbre, especially in Amjad Ali Khan's technique, has an innate ring of royalty to it. The raga and maestro seem to find perfect complementarity.

Amjad Ali Khan belongs to the Senia Gharana and to a great galaxy of maestros including his grandfathers Ustad Nanne Khan and Ustad Murad Ali Khan. Born on 9th October 1945, Amjad Ali Khan received training from his illustrious father Padmabhushan ustad Hafiz Ali Khan and started playing the sarod at a very young age when he was acclaimed as a child prodigy. At ten he was holding public performances and by fifteen he was already an accomplished musician.

Amjad Ali Khan's music is marked at once for its robust touch and delicate nuances as well.

A celebrity in the domain of Indian Classical Music, Amjad Ali Khan has a progressive outlook with an urge for experimentation and creation. Complete master of his instrument, he has introduced Khayal style on the sarod, thus enlarging its span and creative range. This however, does not mean that he has discarded the old instrumental technique of sarod-baaj which he still maintains in all its pristine purity. His elaboration of Raga or Alap in 'Dhrupadang', his delineation of various Bol patterns in the jhala on the sur Sringar technique and the Bol-bant of the Been are other facets of his strict adherence to traditional form.


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