40 Principals Of Hindustani Classical Music

Hindustani classical music tradition is based on some important principals. It’s very important for learners to go through these principals thoroughly. Pandit V.N. Bhatkhande have described about these principals on his book “Kramik Pustak Malika - Part V”. Based on that, Principals of Hindustani classical music are given below: 

1. Base of Hindustani classical music i.e. “Bilawal Thaat” is to be considered as shudh (pure) thaat. Because Bilawal Thaat is the only thaat that has all 7 shudh (pure) swara’s of 

2. All raagas are detailed in 3 divisions.

  • Audav (Raagas with 5 swara’s).
  • Shadav (Raagas with 6 swara’s).
  • Sampurna (Raagas with 7 swara’s).

3. Less than 5 swara’s and more than 7 swara’s cannot form a  raag.

4. Audav, Shadav, and Sampurna changes in their aaroh- avroh gives rise to 9 differences.

5. In every raag thaat, aaroh-avroh, vadi-samvadi, time. These things are compulsory.

6. There is 4 swara’s difference between  vadi swar and  samvadi swar. If vadi swar is in purvang part of  saptak then samvadi swar would be in uttrang part and vice-versa.

7. An evening raag can be changed to a morning raag by changing vadi swar of that particular raag.

8. To bring beauty in a raag vivadi swar can also be used sometimes.

9. In every raag there is a vadi swar, which has its own importance in a raag. Based on vadi swar only we can notify weather a raag is  uttar raag or purv raag.

10. In Hindustani classical music tradition raagas can be divided into three divisions.

  1.  Raaga’s with Komal “Re - Dha”.
  2.  Raaga’s with sudh “Re – Dha”.
  3.  Raaga’s with Komal “Ga – Ni”.

Shadhi prakash raaga’s which sung or played on sunrise is and sunset comes under first division.

11. In Hindustani classical music tradition swar Ma is known very important. It is also called as “Advadarshak Swar”. Because of this, time of day night are set.

12. Raagas in which swar “ Ga – Ni” are Komal, those raagas are mostly sung or played during noon or night time.

13. After sandhi prakash raagas, raagas with shudh “Re – Ma – Dha – Ni” are usually sung or played.

14. Sa, Ma and Pa these three swaras usually have their importance in the raagas which are sung or played in the third half of the day and night.

15. Swar “Tivra Ma” is mostly found in night raagas. In day raagas usage of this swar is very less.

16. “Sa – Ma – Pa” swaras from this combination can be seen in uttrang and purvang part of saptak. The raagas which can be sung or played at any time, those raaga’s vadi swar is one of these swaras.

17. In any raag swar Ma and Pa both cannot be excluded. If swar Ma is excluded in a raag then swar Pa will be included and vice-versa.

18. In any raag swar Sa is not excluded.

19. In raagas usually a swar with two forms (Komal - Tivra) should not be included together but some raagas like raag Lalit are exception to this principal.

20. Raaga’s sound beautiful if they are sung in their specified time, but while performing on stage this rule could be broken.

21. Swar Tivra Ma and Komal Ga in one raag are found less.

22. Raagas with both Ma (Shudha and Tivra) are usually somewhat similar to each other. Difference in these raagas is usually found in aaroh.

23. Raagas are which are sung and played in first half of the night and also have both madhayam (Ma). Those raagas have simple rule that shudha Ma is used in aarohand avroh as well, but Tivra Ma can be seen only in aaroh.

24. Raagas which are specified to be sung and played in the first half of the night, in those raagas it is also noticed that in aaroh swar Ni is vakra and in avroh swar Ga is vakra. Usually in aaroh of these raagas swar Ni is rarely seen.

25. In Hindustani classical music tradition raagas are given more importance when compare to taals. In carnatic classical music tradition is different. Taals are given more importance when compare to raagas.

26. Purva raagas importance in aaroh and uttar raagas magic in avroh is seen.

27. Usually from every thaat purv-raag and uttar-raag can be born.

28. In serious kind of raagas swar Sa Ma and Pa are very important and more importance of these swaras lies in mandra saptak, but this is not seen in shudra raagas.

29. In sandhi prakash raagas there is essence of peace. Raagas with shudha “Re Gha Dha” swaras represents beauty and laughter and in raagas which have komal “Ga-Ni” swaras represents braveness and danger.

30. During entering from one Thaat’s raagas to another Thaat’s raagas “Permal Praveshak” raagas are sung and played.

31. Sandhi prakash raagas are sung during sunrise and sunset and after that, raagas with shudha “Re-Dha” are sung or raagas with Komal “Ga-Ni” are sung.

32. Raagas which have swar komal Ni. E.g. Raagas from thaat, kafi and khamaj, in those raagas sometimes shudha Ni is also used.

33. In any raag when swaras are sung or played then it becomes less, more or equal to become week, strong or equal.

34. Combination of two, three or four swaras is known as taan not a raag.

35. Raagas which are sung after 12 pm and which are sung after 12 am, in those raagas order wise “Sa Ma Pa” consistently becomes stronger.

36. Raagas which are specified to be sung in the noon in their aaroh swar “Re-Dha” are week or excluded and in these raagas swar Re and Ni are used more.

37. In raagas which include vadi swar from “Sa Ma Pa” are usually serious in nature.

38. In morning raagas swaras komal “Re Dha” are strong and in evening raagas swaras shudha “Dha Ni” is to be seen more.

39. “Ni Sa Re Ga” by this swar combination we can easily identify that this resembles from sandhi prakash raagas.

40. Purv-raagas reflection in aaroh and utter raagas reflection is seen in avroh. 

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