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Bollywood Songs Which Are Actually Based On Classical Raaga

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The Indian music is the highly adored music of all times. Indian music has a rich history and is based on various Raagas. The Indian ragas have various occasions of the day allocated to them. One starts with Lalit at the beginning of the day and goes on to the Bhairav family. Asavari and its clones Jaunpuri and Dev Gandhar have a place with the late morning. The original version of Asavari uses every one of the four Komal swaras – much like Bhairavi. It then ceded popularity to the cutting edge variant of Asavari, which uses shudh ‘re’ however Komal ‘ga’, ‘dha’ and ‘ni’. At the point when Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande grouped north Indian ragas into ten thaats, he picked Asavari (with shudh ‘re’) as the key raga of the thaat named after it.

It’s significant for music darlings to know the importance of Raagas in Indian traditional music. “Raagas” are otherwise called “Raags” in Hindustani Classical Music and “Raagam” in Carnatic traditional music. In Sanskrit “Raaga” signifies colour or energy/passion. It depends on a scale with a given arrangement of notes, a typical order in which they show up in tunes, and characteristic musical motifs.

Bollywood music composers are mostly trained singers and musicians, who mostly compose their music based on some Classical Raag. Many of us aren’t mindful of the fact that Bollywood Songs also are based on Indian traditional music.

Indian film music had a very heavy influence of the India Classical music from the early 20th century to the 1960s. Classical music also has a lot of benefits. But even after this, there are a lot of musical instruments that are dying. The influence showcased a large number of Ragas and Talas that were the rhythm patterns. Most of the composers chose the popular Ragas to make their compositions better like ‘Asavari’, ‘Bilawal’, ‘Kalyan’, ‘Kafi’, ‘Bhairav’ and ‘Khamaj’ also at some point in time ragas like ‘Nayaki’, ‘Kirwani’, ‘Shivaranjani’, ‘Megh’ were also used in the Bollywood compositions by composers.

Naushad Saheb is considered to be the pioneer to introduce the classical melodies and the folk lore in the music film industry

Naushad Saheb is considered to be the pioneer to introduce the classical melodies and the folk lore in the music film industry, giving it a dimension to help it reach the top of popularity during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. He with his creative mind and the knowledge of music created some of the most amazing musical masterpieces. In Pakeezah his skills in orchestration and background music were par excellent, as he used several attractive ‘Thumris’ with Lataji’s hauntingly beautiful ‘Aalaps” creating a  fine blend of rhythm and melody. “Ek shahenshah ne banwa ke haseen” in the film ‘Taj Mahal’ based on ‘Raga lalit’ was a beautiful morning melody, while “Man tarapat hari darasan” a bhajan composed in ‘Raga Malkauns are still popular amongst the masses.

Now that we know Bollywood songs are based on ragas, let’s get to know about a few Bollywood songs which are based on these ancient, mesmerizing raagas.

Raag Bhimpalasi

Bhimpalasi is a raag which comes into play with a hot Indian afternoon. It has five notes ascending and seven notes descending. It is a heart-touching Hindustani Classical Raaga, which will leave you absolutely hooked on to it. No raaga similar to “Bhimpalasi” exists in Carnatic Music. The madhyam (fourth) is the most important note in this raaga.

Let’s let to know a few all-time favorite Bollywood Songs based on Raag Bhimpalasi.

  • “Pani Da Rang”- Vicky Donor
  • “Kismat Se Tum”- “Pukaar”
  • “Khilte Hai Gul Yahan”- “Sharmeeli”
  • “Nainon Mein Badra Chaaye”
  • “Mera Saaya”
  • “Aa Neele Gagan Tale”
  • “Baadshah”

Raag Bhupali

Bhoopali, also known as Bhoop uses a pentatonic scale of 5 notes in ascending and descending scale. Many Bhakti rasa songs are based on this raag. Since it uses 5 notes, belongs to the “Audav jaati” of ragas.

Some dearly loved, all-time favorite Bollywood film melodies that are based on this raag are:

  • “Albela Sajan Ayo Ri” -Bajirao Mastani
  • “More Rang Do Laal”- Bajirao Mastani
  • “Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaye”- Kalyug
  •  “Chanda Hai Tu, Mera Suraj Hai Tu”- Aradhan
  • “Dekha Ek Khwab”- Silsila

Raag Harikambhoji

There are not many Bollywood songs that are based on the classy “Harikamboji” raag. “Harikambhoji” is a rāgam in Carnatic music. The perfect example of this raag is

  • “Mere Dholna” from the 2007 comedy horror film, “Bhool Bhulaiya”

Raag Ahir Bhairav

This raag is a mixture of Bhairav and the ancient but now rare raga Ahiri or perhaps a mixture of Bhairav and Kafi.

Some amazing songs recorded on the evergreen pages of Bollywood Musical History using this raag are:

  • “Teri Ummid Tera Intezaar Karte Hai”- Deewana
  • “Ab Tere Bin Jee Lenge”- Aashiqui
  • “Man Anand Anand Chhayo”- Vijeta
  • “Hai Rama Ye”- Rangeela

Raag Bhairavi

The name of this raag might sound a little fierce, but it is a soothing, slow paced raaga. In Western musical terms, Raag Bhairavi employs the notes of the Phrygian mode, one of the traditional European church modes.

Some songs that show the brilliance of this raag are:

  • “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo”
  • “Insaaf Ka Mandir Hai Yeh”-Amar
  • “Jiya Jale”-Dil Se
  • “Kaise Samjhaoon Badi Nasamajh Ho”-Suraj

Megh Malhar

The name of this raga is derived from the Sanskrit word Megh which means cloud. Legends say that this raga has the power to bring out rains in the area where it is sung. Megh Malhar is similar to raga Megh with a tint of Malhar in it. The rhythmic, peppy beats of “Megh Malhar” don’t just make the clouds pour, but they can also make you tap your feet and sway your body along with its enchanting rhythms.

Some classic gems based on this raga are:

  • “Yaara Silli Silli”- Rudaali
  • “Dukh Bhare Din Beete Re Bhaiya”-Mother India
  • “Tan Rang Lo Ji Aaj, Man Rang Lo”-Kohinoor

The magic of Indian classical raagas is so deep and so exquisite, that they are sure to allure you for a lifetime. Now, what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy some music!

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An impulsive writer and compulsive procrastinator, she energizes her daily grind with coffee, diversions and discourse. All she need to get through life is a flawlessly brewed coffee to accompany her vacillation and is lethargically motivated. On days when she is not writing, you’ll find her reading, watching movies and pigging out. Usually an escapist from worldly problem, seeking solace in books and food. Has a master’s degree in classical dance and has left no corners undiscovered when it comes to being creative and learning an art. A crazy coffee sweetheart who earnestly trusts in the magical power of words.