Best film songs based on classical ragas

November 7, 2011

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(My friend Subodh Agrawal is a great music lover and a keen follower of my blog. He once suggested I write on films songs based on classical ragas. This was already in my mind, but then I realised Subodh is much better equipped to do it. I am grateful that he accepted my request to do a guest series of articles on this theme. This curtain raiser showcasing his favourite 10 iconic songs on different ragas is delightful to read not only because of his deep insight but also for his fluent and witty style of writing. I am sure there are many more to come from his pen. – AK)

Classical RagasI was trying to motivate AK to do a few lists on songs based on ragas. He bounced it back to me, thanks to some pretensions I have of knowing something about classical music. I have accepted the commission with some reluctance, being well aware of how little I actually know about it.

I had first thought of doing a list like ‘My 10 favourite songs in raga XYZ’. I may yet get around to doing that for the major ragas music directors of Hindi film industry love – likes of Bhairavi, Yaman, Malkauns, Darbari, Pilu etc. What I have chosen to do now is to list ten iconic songs based on classical ragas that don’t have such large repertoires of film songs. Years back when I was flirting with classical music and trying to get a feel for different ragas, these songs were used by my friend and teacher Pankaj Sharan to help me get that feel.

1. Raga Jaijaiwanti: Manmohana bade jhoothe by Lata Mangeshkar from Seema (1955), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

The first of these iconic songs is Manmohna bade jhoote from Seema. Raga Jaijaiwanti is easy to recognize – thanks to its pakad or catch-phrase – rising from ni, just touching ga and then coming to rest on re: the final ‘na’ of ‘Manmoha-n-a-a’ illustrates that. This movement gives this raga a nice teasing quality – which has been put to good use by Shankar Jaikishan in this song that combines bhakti and shringar rasas:

The original composition of Ram Dhun is in raga Jaijaiwanti. The popular version misses out most of the nuances of the raga, but this rendering by Pandit DV Paluskar is an excellent presentation:

2. Raga Bageshree: Radha na bole na bole re by Lata Mangeshkar from Azad (1955), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

I had a tough time choosing between Jaag dard-e ishq jaag and Radha na bole na bole re as my iconic song for Bageshree. Ultimately I have opted for the latter, as it stays closer to the standard format of the raga. In any case, this was the song my friend used to help me into the nuances of this raga. A treat for those fans of Songs of Yore who missed it in AK’s post on C Ramachandra:

Like most great ragas Bageshree can be used to express a variety of moods. The song above presents its playful mood. The classical piece below shows what this raga can do to express yearning and pathos. Malini Rajurkar sings a composition that was made famous by the late Kumar Gandharva:

3. Raga Bhimpalasi: Beena madhur mdhur kachhu bol by Saraswati Rane from Ram Rajya (1943), lyrics Ramesh Gupta, music Shankarrao Vyas

I have often wondered why raga Bhimpalasi has such a martial and masculine name, because it is one of the sweetest sounding ragas. My friend had used E ri main to prem diwani to introduce me to this raga, but then I discovered Beena madhur madhur kachhu bol by Saraswati Rane for Ramrajya in his collection of old 78 rpm records and was completely mesmerized by it. According to Wikipedia Saraswati Rane was born as Sakina, daughter of legendary Ustad Abdul Karim Khan– doyen of the Kirana Gharana. Her mother Tarabai later separated from Ustad ji and reverted to Hindu names for her children. Her brother Sureshbabu Mane and sister Hirabai Barodekar also distinguished themselves in classical music. So here it is – one of the most haunting melodies from the golden era:

Beena madhur mdhur kuchh bol

Now you may want to hear Ustad Abdul Karim Khan himself render the same raga:

Abdul Karim Khan

4. Raga Bhopali: Jyoti kalash chhalke by Lata Mangeshkar from Bhabhi Ki Chudyan (1961), lyrics Narendra Sharma, music Sudhir Phadke

Bhopali is a subset of my favourite raga Yaman. It is essentially Yaman without the fourth and seventh note. Doing so takes away some of the gravity of Yaman and retains a feeling of pure joy. Another raga from the same family – Shudh Kalyan – omits these two notes in ascending movements, and includes them in descending ones and the mood falls somewhere between Bhopali and Yaman. Pandit Omkar Nath Thakur, in fact, didn’t like the name Shudh Kalyan and insisted on calling it Bhoop Kalyan. For me the iconic composition in Bhopali is the famous Jyoti kalash chhalke composed by Sudhir Phadke from Bhabhi ki Chudiyan:

I was with a lot of Maharashtrian friends when I was learning the rudiments of classical music. They introduced me to Ghanashyam Sundara from the 1951 Marathi film Amar Bhupali. Some of them claimed that this song was the inspiration for Jyoti Kalash Chaalke. Listen to the song and make your own judgment:

Ghanshaym sundara sindura by Panditrao Nagarkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Amar Bhupali (1951), music Vasant Desai

5. Raga Hameer: Madhuban mein Radhika nachee re by Mohammad Rafi from Kohinoor (1960), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

Raga Hameer was introduced to the masses by Madhuban mein Radhika nachi re. It remains to this day the most complete and authentic presentation of this raga in film music. Let the song speak for itself:

Years back, long before I developed an ear for classical music, I had read an article in a magazine on Khansaheb Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. A line remained in my mind – हमीर तो बड़े लोग गाते हैं, लेकिन गुलाम अली तो बस गुलाम अली हैं. I couldn’t find a recording of Khansaheb’s Hameer in the days of vinyl records and tapes. Internet has proved more resourceful:

6. Raga Hamsadhwani: Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar from Parivaar (1956), lyrics Shailenra, music Salil Chaudhary

Now a raga from the South. Hamsadhwani is very popular in Carnatic music and I understand no concert in the South is complete without a rendition of the famous composition Vaathapi Ganapathim, which was adapted in the film Parivar as Ja tose nahin bolun kanhaiya.

Hamsadhwani was a favourite raga of Ustad Ameer Khan and he did a lot to popularize it in the North. Here is a tarana by him in this raga:

7. Raga Kalawati: Kahe tarsaye jiyara by Usha Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle from Chitralekha (1964), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Roshan

Another raga from the south – Kalawati. Kahe tarsaye jiyara is the iconic composition in this raga; though another famous one is Koi sagar dil ko behlata nahin. I am presenting the former, as to me it captures the mood of the raga much better (Koi Sagar has some elements of Janasammohini in it). Roshan has done a great job – as always:

A little change in the structure of Kalawati – addition of ‘re’ in the descending movement – changes it into the appropriately named Janasammohini – immortalized by Pandit Ravishankar for Anuradha in Haye re wo din kyun na aye – a song that has never left the top five positions in the list of my all time favorites. I wish to share with you here is a Shabad from Gurbani in Kalawati – Re man aiso kar sanyasa. This recording is in the voice of Asha Bhosle, as taken for the Punjabi Film Nanak naam jahaaz hai. One of the most appealing aspects of Sikhism for a non-Sikh is the quality of Sikh devotional music. I have to thank my colleague KBS Sidhu for posting the link on Facebook:

8. Raga Gaud Malhar: Garjat barsat saawan ayo re by Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot from Barsaat Ki Raat (1960), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi, music Roshan

Malhar has spawned many variants. The most well known is Miyan ki Malhar. I learnt only recently that Miyan ki Malhar is not the original Malhar, but a variant evolved by Tansen. Today when one simply says Malhar one means Miyan ki Malhar. The original Malhar is now known as Shudh Malhar. There are very few recordings in it. There are many others – Des Malhar, Gaud Malhar, Ramdasi Malhar etc. Gaud Malhar has two famous songs that sound practically the same – Garjat barsat saawan aayo re from Barsaat ki Raat, and Garjat barsat bheejat aayi lo from Malhar – both composed by Roshan. The ghazal Jurm-e ulfat pe hamein log sazaa dete hain from Anarkali is also supposed to be based on Gaud Malhar, though I confess I couldn’t identify the raga on hearing it. It sounded more like Chhayanat to me, with some extra notes thrown in. Here, anyway, is the song from Barsaat ki Raat:

Now listen to Pandit Jasraj present the same raga:

9. Raga Kedar: Darshan do Ghnashyam by Hemant Kumar, Mana Dey and Sudha Malhotra from Narsi Bhagat (1957), lyrics Gopal Singh ‘Nepali’, music Ravi

Kedar is another raga, like Yaman and Bhopali,that combines the elements of shant, bhakti and shringar rasa. The iconic song is Darshan do Ghanshyam form Narsi Bhagat. Other songs in this raga are Hamko man ki shakti dena from Guddi and Main pagal mera manwa pagal by Talat Mahmood from Ashiana. None of the others, however, come close to Darshan do Ghanshyam with the voices of Hemant Kumar, Sudha Malhotra and Manna Dey beautifully complementing each other:

Of the classical recordings I found on Youtube this one by Ustad Rashid Khan sounded best to me:

10. Raga Ahir Bhairav: Poochho na kaise meine rain bitayee by Manna Dey from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1961), lyrics Shailendra,music SD Burman

Earlier I remarked on the name of Bhimpalasi and the mismatch between its mood and its name. There is no such mismatch for Bhairav. The mood of the raga in its pure classical form is very much what its name suggests – ponderous, somber and overpowering. Think of Raat bhar ka hai mehmaan andhera – although some websites suggest that it is not Bhairav but Jogiya. Music directors have, however, used Bhairav to create some serene and pleasing compositions like Jago mohan pyare from Jaagte raho, and Man re hari ke gun ga from Musafir, by taking some liberties with its movement. Among Bhairav’s variants Bairagi Bhairav is what its name suggests. Nat Bhairav can actually be joyful. Ahir Bhairav, on the other hand, can be very poignant as Poochho na kaise maine rain bitayee from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen amply proves. A strong contender for the title of the best Raga based song from films:

Sanjeev Abhyankar started off by modeling himself on Pandit Jasraj, but now he has evolved his own distinctive style. Here is his rendition of Ahir Bhairav. It sounds beautiful in his rich sonorous voice:

That brings me to the end of this list. This is the first time I have written something – other than notes on official files – that was meant to be read by others. If you like it please thank AK for motivating me.

One more thing: while searching for classical pieces on Bhopali I came across this recording on Youtube by Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar. I didn’t include it in the section on the raga because it is long and slow. Moreover the dhrupad style of singing is not easy to appreciate for everyone. I would, however, strongly recommend that you try out this recording when you have some free time to yourself and just allow it to caress your mind. I have heard other members of the Dagar family and I can say without hesitation that they are the best practitioners of music as a form of prayer and meditation:

A more accessible but classically flawless composition is the famous Sahela re by Kishori Amonkar:

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

1 harvey November 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for this beautiful article!
I have no knowledge of ragas and thus this was quite informative.

2 dustedoff November 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

I’ll second that! I know nothing of classical music, except some random names of raags.
I’m going to be bookmark this post and read through it very slowly and carefully – perhaps one raag at a time, everyday, so that it stays with me. Right now (and simply because Madhuban mein Radhika naache re is one of my absolutely favourite songs), I’m listening to the ‘original’ rendition of raag Hameer. Fantastic – I’m getting gooseflesh just hearing it.

Thank you so very much, Subodh and AK.

3 Ashok Vaishnav November 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

Incidentally, Manmohana bade jhoothe, Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya and Poochho na kaise meine rain bitayee also happen to be from All-Time -Favorites list too.

‘Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya’ also led me to pursue Hamsdhwani – in greater details [I a only follow and understand classical music, but do not 'know' it].

The idea of adding-on peices of similar raaga in its original form is indeed great.

Would you please take up series where classical singers have rendered hind songs. ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ has published an audio songs CD on this topic. But their selection, even though quite well-done, can not have the soft touch persons like you.

4 Ashok Vaishnav November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Addendum to my earlier comment:
I have located the Audio CD, referred to in my comment – ‘Alaap – Classical Legends in Hindi Films [CDF 124064]

5 Vikas Chandra Agrawal November 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

Some times on some occasions your silence is best to express your appreciation for something.Sirf ek baat kahna chahoonga— Pyaas bujhney ki jagah aur badh gai hai—– Please include raag Yaman. Durga,Darbari and Maand in your next article,and keep writing beyond notes on your official files——–Regards

6 Subodh Agrawal November 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

Thanks Harvey, Dustedoff, Ashok Vaishnav and Vikas for your encouragement. Thanks again to AK for motivating me.

Dustedoff: A well known and beautiful piece in Hameer is Mukesh’s non-film Bhajan ‘Sur ki gati main kya janoon’.

7 AK November 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

My iconic songs would include:

1. Durga: Chanda re mori patiya le ja (Banjarin); Amjad Ali Khan’s iconic Durga/ Bhmsen Joshi’s Chatur sugharaa / Kumar Gandharva’s Rang jharaye

2. Desi: Aaj gawat man mero jhoom ke (Baiju Bawraa); Omkarnath Thakur’s Kadam ki chhaiyaan/ Faiyyaz Khan’s Mhaare dere aao

3. Adana: Jhanak jhanak payal baaje (Title song); Pandit Jasraj’s Mata kalikaa bhawaanee

But I am happy Subodh did this post, otherwise I would have missed the beautiful Ghanshaym sundara (I can not get over it), and so many other pieces he has selected with such great care and love.

A trivia for dustedoff (I was hoping some one would mention it). In Slumdog Millionaire, they had erroneouly credited Darsan do Ghanshaym to Surdaas, which led to some protests by Gopal Singh Nepali’s descendants.

8 AK November 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Arunkumar Dshmukh has sent me an e-mail which I am quoting verbatim:

AK ji,

Only the other day,I heard someone say,”Most film music lovers run away from classical music”.I think it is only partly true.

What the reality is that the word Classical Music is associated with some ustad so and so,having a Mehfil with only a Tanpura or a Violin,and who goes on repeating
a word or a set of words again and again for half an hour each and such songs seem to be endless !

Music is in every Indian’s blood.It is what one would call a “Virasat”of Indian culture.Music is in our life throughout right from birth to death.Every Indian grows up listening to his mother’s lories,marriage songs,holi songs etc etc.

When Classical music is presented to people sans the Ustad’s mehfil and also in a short version with catchy and lilting tunes in a short time,it is always welcome.That is how our film music evolved and since last 80 years,is the delight of all Indians all over the world.The list of visitors to Music Blogs is a testimony to this indeed.

Hindi film music has truely helped take classical music to the masses.Besides,it has played another role too.
The famous Historian of Music James McConnachie says ” As India marched into an uncertain future in 1947(after Independence),Film songs offered something unique: they helped create
a sense of belonging to one Nation,something that the divisive Right wingers in India chanting “Hindu” and “Muslim” could never achieve !When Hindi Film Singers sang,nobody cared,whether Mohd.Rafi was a Muslim or Lata was a Hindu Bramhin.It’s great music bridged the gap between Hindus and Muslims,better than any Politician(read Gandhi or Nehru) ever could “-World Music-The rough guide,Vol II,pp 106,pub.1990 Harper Collins.

Besides, the runaway successes of films like Baiju Bawra,Basant Bahar,Tansen,Z Z Payal baje,Abhimaan etc was possible because Classical music was presented to them in the way they loved.

Music Directors like Vasant Desai,Naushad,S.D.Burman and many others have helped classical music reach to people in an acceptable form.

Coming to Songs based on Raagaas-

Raag is a very complex thing.It consists of characteristics like Swar,Thaat,Jaati,Vaadi and Swaroop.The use of any characteristc in greater measure changes the complexion ofnthe song.
Similarly,Sur,Laya and Taal are parts of construction of a song.
In other words,Raaga of the songs may be same,but any component used in excess makes the songs sound different and conversely,same components in same Raaga makes the songs sound similar,sometimes almost the same tune too !
This can happen in Mukhda,Antara or Both in 2 songs.That is why some songs sound similar from different movies and even different Composers.(and it is branded as a ‘copy’).

Someone has said, ” with only 7 main notes,6 main Raagas,36 Raaginis and 72 Sub Raaginis,every ‘new’ musical composition is bound to sound familiar in places ”

I was very glad to see the presentation of 10 Raaga based film songs.The presenter has taken special efforts obviously and it shows ! my congratulations and Thanks to Subodh ji.

Classical music is the base of all music compositions.

AK ji,
You may publish this small article on your blog,if you feel it is worthy of it.

AK‘s comments:
Deshmukhji,
Thanks a lot for your detailed presentation. I join you in adding my congratulations and thanks to Subodh Agrawal again.

9 Pankaj Sharan November 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Subodh has very generously called me his ‘teacher’ which is not quite correct. We were both physics graduate students in love with Indian classical music. We listened to music programs and records, discussed music often, and, as a hobby, tried to learn some too. We were having great fun!

Our music teacher Pandit Uma Kant Pathak used to point out to his students a well known film song based on a raga as a reference to learn the raga. For example, once I asked him about Raga Nand (or Anandi) and he said “you just have to listen to ‘tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saya saath hoga’. Everything of importance for the raaga is there in the song.” ( It is from film Mera Saya, composed by Madan Mohan) .

Well, congratulations for the beautiful site! And Subodh Agrawal has just started a process. It would be nice if visitors to the site leave their comment on their own favorite song for a particular raaga! Especially the less obvious ones!

10 KBS Sidhu November 12, 2011 at 12:59 am

Great collection! Am using the weekend to savour each one them many times over.

Thanks, sir, once again. And, looking forward to further write-ups from you on a variety of subjects.

I am taking the liberty of posting the link on my Facebook wall, as well as yours, sir.

11 arvind November 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

http://youtu.be/Rdmi09OeqMs
this one from’ pardesi ‘is based on raag goud sarang (as indicated in another upload).anil biswas excelled in this indo russian co production.

12 Harini December 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I am delighted that I came here, serendipity to be thanked for! My husband is struggling to understand the concept of raagas, and my knowledge is highly amateur, so I don’t seem to be doing a good job of teaching him either.

We’re both born in the 1980s but are afficionados of old hindi music, especially songs composed by Madan Mohan & Roshan. Sometimes, I recognize a raag in the song and tell my husband about other songs from the same raag – for e.g. the eternal Rafi-Naushad number ‘O duniya ke rakhwale’ from Baiju Bawra resonates with ‘Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal’ in Aarzoo sung by Talat Mehmood and composed by Anil Biswas – both songs in one of my favorites, Raag Darbari Kanada.

We have only recently started this game, and I’m delighted that you have such a great line-up and a good reference. Please do add more, so that we can learn along the way too. Enjoyable read :)

13 K R Vaishampayan January 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Dear Mr. Subodh Agrawal, thanks for such a wonderful article, songs and matching hardcore Classical renditions by great exponents. This article is an absolute Gem. Thanks again for such informative and entertaining presentation. Regards – K R Vaishampayan [alias - KRV]

14 Adil February 15, 2012 at 3:57 am

Thank you very much for this, Subodh Agrawal. I am from Pakistan and tried my hand at classical singing, and my favorite raga was always Bhopali. However, thanks to your article, I now also love raga Hamsadhwani.

Thank you once again for enriching my life a little more with such invaluable information.

15 Richard S. March 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Returning to the beautiful music in this post after sometime away from it, and I am enjoying the non-film clips as well as the film ones. (Actually, I have listened to Kishori Amonkar quite a bit just in the past few months.) Anyway, this time I wanted to add a couple of comments…

This is a favorite song from Aashiq (1962)… I have most frequently seen claims that it was based on Raga Yaman, but sometime back, someone said in comments on my blog that it was based on a different raga entirely. Then someone said a combination… I’d welcome any further guesses about that.

And in the comments above, someone linked to the famous song in Pardesi, but the video is gone, so here’s another copy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q81h3pC5Rg0

16 AK March 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

@Richard S
Aashiq song is beautiful. To me it sounds Yaman, but I am sure the expert Subodh will clarify,whenever he gets time to return to the post.

YouTube is playing hide and seek with the Pardesi song. Even the link you gave is gone, but here is another one I found. I do not how long they would allow it to last

Na dir dim tana dere na by Lata Mangeshkar from Pardesi (1957), music Anil Biswas

17 Subodh Agrawal March 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

@Richard S: I have no claim to be an expert, only an amateur who has some exposure to classical music. To mix this song sounds like a mix of many ragas, with only occasional glimpses of Yaman. I can’t even say that Yaman is the main raga in this mix.

18 Subodh Agrawal March 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Typing error. Read this as “to me this song sounds like…”

19 arvind March 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm


this one………………ud ja bhanwar……by manna dey and lata from the movie….’ rani rupmati’ …………is based on raag darbari and raag gurjari todi (according to a comment on the upload ).

20 Pankaj Sharan March 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Regarding the second part by Lata (aa ja bhanwar– sooni dagar) of the Rani Rupmati song : It is clearly Brindabani Sarang and not Todi. But the confusion can arise because if the Teevra Ni of Brindabani Sarang is taken to be the Sa, the notes shift to those of Gujari Todi.

21 S balakrishnan March 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Simply superb! Why I did not get to read this wonderful article before? mr Agrawal should write more often. Thank you Songs of Yore and AK for introducing this connoisseur to me.

22 AK April 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Thanks a lot and welcome to this site. I guess Subodh Agrawal was busy with work, and we should hopefully see more contributions from him.

23 Mazhar Rizvi April 28, 2012 at 5:46 am

Great article. Very enjoyable. We need many more from you, Mr. Agarwal.

One minor quibble: Jurm-e-Ulfat Pe is from Taj Mahal (1963).

Please keep those article coming.

24 nitin kulkarni May 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

thank u for all this info i was looking for something like that for aperiod of time.

25 Mohan Kotwal May 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

Very educative article,painstaking and interesting!

26 Deepali June 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

sir,
i am a lay person as far as classical music is concerned but its magic is such that it binds you to itself… ever since i chanced upon ur site, its almost as if finding a treasure trove of gems.. pls keep up the good work..
sir, i had heard this song piya basera ghar ali- pt ghandharva (raga gaud malhar) which was the first song that hooked me to this genre of music.. but the problem is it is difficult to find lyrics of these songs… sir would you pls guide as to where i can find lyrics of this song n many more like it..

27 Pittu Singh July 2, 2012 at 12:55 am

Subhod, bloody brilliant!

28 Vasant Shroff July 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

An excellent collection. There is a more recent song based on Ahir Bahirav – “Albela Sajan Aayo Ri” from film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Well done Subodh.

29 mohan kotwal July 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Excellent collection! I appeal you to post some songs based on Raag Malkauns too. Good job!

30 Vasant Shroff July 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm

One of the all time hits in Raag Malkauns is – Man Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj from Baiju Bawra. The beauty of this Bhajan is that it was written by Shakil Badauni, Composed by Nausad and sung by Mohammed Rafi – all Muslims. This is possibe only in India!

31 AK July 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm

How I wish Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) was there to lip synch it. By the way do we have a similar bhajan with all these four?

32 Devendra Kumar Rudola August 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Dears Mr Agrawal, Mr AK,
A million thanks for starting such a splendid task. Sadly, I came across it only today- almost a year wasted!
I have always been interested in Indian classical music, so far only in listening though. But I have been wanting to learn the ABC of it for some time now. Unfortunately, for the last some years, have been enconsed in a place like Mozambique. Would be extremely grateful if you could suggest some website or some books/CDs etc wherefrom I could learn the basics so that the charm of listening to Indian classical music is enhanced even more.
Kind regards,
rudola

33 s p sinha August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

geet gaya pathorone by Kishori Amonkar? anyone?

34 Subodh Agrawal August 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

@Devendra Kumar Rudola: The two best sites I am aware of are http://www.parrikar.org and www. chandrakantha.com. They both deal with popular, light classical as well as regular classical music, with a large number of audio/video clips.

@s p sinha: ‘Geet gaya patharon ne’ is raga Durga; although not a very great example of it. Durga is an exceedingly beautiful raga which, for some reason, has not been used much in film music. The best examples are ‘Chanda re mori patiyan le ja’ from Banjarin, ‘Ye raatein ye mausam ye hansna hansaana’ private song of Pankaj Mullick and ‘Jaagiye gopal lal’ from Jawahar.

35 Devendra Kumar Rudola August 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thank you very much Mr Agrawal. Will check out these sites.
Thanks once again.
Rgds

36 N Venkataraman September 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

The song from Aashiq “to me sounds like” Hameer kalyan!!!

37 N Venkataraman September 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thanks a lot Mr.Agarwal & AK. Great listening and learning experience. If you could include some of the the songs by Jaddan Bai with explanatory notes I will be grateful. Thank you once again.

38 Adil September 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

Hi Subodh,

As I mentioned earlier (well, a few months ago), this article is SO informative and amazing. However, I still cannot tell the difference between Raag Bhopali and Raag Pahadi. In fact, some websites say that the song “Karwatein badal te rahay” from Aap Ki Kasam is based on pahadi, while others claim it is Bhopali. Your info on this will be greatly appreciated!

39 Subodh Agrawal September 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Yes there is an overlap between the two ragas, arising from the fact that Pahadi is often played or sung in a different scale than the normal one. Karwatein badalte rahe is Pahadi. In the opening portion ‘karvatein badalte rahe sari raat hum’ cold fit into either raga, but ‘aap ki kasam’ clearly takes it out of the range of Bhopali and into Pahadi. You may like to see my article on Pahadi on this site.

40 Subodh Agrawal September 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

Mr Venkataraman. I have heard the Ashiq song repeatedly after your first comment and I would say it freely traverses a wide territory marked by Yaman and Bihag as two prominent markers and with shades of Hameer as well.

I had never heard Jaddan Bai before. Your second comment motivated me to search for her on Youtube and I came across some very interesting pieces. Thanks. Maybe AK would do a comprehensive post on her sometime.

41 Adil September 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thank you for clarifying and the insight, Subodh. Very informative. Will check the article out as well.

42 RAJ KAMAL GUPTA October 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Nice collection.

43 K R Vaishampayan October 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Dear AK and Subodh…thanks a zillion for this rare treat. Besides great colloection of film songs based on Classical Ragas, I shall always be more than grateful for the real rarew treat of – Classical asides in the orginal ragas. I am sppechless to hear – Abdul Karim Khan sahib and Bade Gulam Ali Khan sahib; Pt. Jasraj; Ustad Rashid Khan or Sanjeev Abhyankar. But even than that…Ustad Siyauddin Dagaer sahab. My special thanks for this. Because, almost 35 odd years ago, I had the fortune to hear Ustad Siyauddin Dager sahib at his Chembur residence while he hummed just for 4-5 of us and Ziauddin Khan sahib joining him. Dear AK and Subodh…thanks again and yet again for this rare treat. With warmest regards and season’s greetings – KRV [looking forward eagerly to the next treat]

44 Mukund Abhyankar October 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for great efforts and making such nice music avaialable to we classical music lovers on a platter.

45 Subodh Agrawal November 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thank you Mr Vaishampayan, Mr Gupta and Mr Abhyankar.

46 vishnushanbhogue November 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Dear sir, wonderfull article.i am also a semiclassical music lover/hindi.
Please make an article of rarely heard such songs eg.in yaman Jesudas
sharada duet ” Deko sajan churahi man tera mera miln…”from Hajaron
Hath….plz do sir …

47 AK November 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm
48 Subodh Agrawal November 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

Dear Mr Vishnushanbhogue, thanks for your comment and also for the song ‘Dekho sajan churaye’ from ‘Hazar Haath’. It was new for me. It is indeed a rare song – I had difficulty locating it on Youtube. Finally I found it:

It came as a complete surprise to me that the ‘Titli Udi’ girls who specialized in Western sounding songs would be a music director and compose a classical song. I wondered if there were two different Shardas. But there is only one – Sharda Rajan Iyengar, who rose to fame with ‘Titli udi’ and whose latest offering is an album of Ghazals set to music by her (2007).

The composition of ‘Dekho sajan churaye’ is very good. However I am afraid Sharda has not been able to do justice to her own song. Her voice goes off key several times during the song and the contrast with Yesudas is stark. Still, a good attempt deserves all the appreciation it can get. Thanks again for making me aware of it.

49 Mehul Dave November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

I am not an expert or even a layman by any stretch. I just like the music greatly and its almost like a meditation to me. About 2 years ago, I met a movie maker, Mrs. Geeta Desai who has produced a documentary on the northern Indian raga system after many years of work. Its called “Raga Unveiled”. You can find it at this website.

http://www.ragaunveiled.com/index.htm

I found it very good. I’m not related to Mrs. Desai in any form and do not get any commissions. I’m merely sharing something I found very educational and useful.

50 deepa November 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm

A very good article from which i could get answers to many of my questions.post a few songs on raag sony and madhuvanti too. is kuhoo kuhoo based on raag sony?

51 Subodh Agrawal November 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thank you Mehul Dave and Deepa. Yes Deepa, ‘Kuhu kuhu bole koyalia’ is based on raga Sohni or Sohoni – depending on how one chooses to pronounce it. Its stanzas, however, are in in different ragas – ‘saj singar ritu aayi basanti’ is in Sohni. ‘Kahe ghata me bijli chamke’ is Bahaar, ‘Chandrika dekho’ is Jaunpuri and ‘Sharad raat’ is Yaman. The refrain is Sohni.

52 john alexander December 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

Simple presentation of erudite stuff! Delightful!!

53 Renuka Karunakaran December 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thank you Mr. Subodh Agrawal and Mr. AK!!!
To someone like me who has absolutely no idea of classical music but enjoys listening to music…this was a treasure trove!
Enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you once again!

54 N.A.Bapat December 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks again. For Ragas and Film songs based on ragas. Mr. subodh Agrawalji, A.k. and others thanks for your comments.

55 Subodh Agrawal December 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Welcome to Songs of Yore; Mr Alexander, Ms Karunakaran and Mr Bapat.

56 Pravin January 29, 2013 at 10:37 am

Greetings !!!
Interesting to know that many of us love india classical music.
Songs based on Raga Madhuvanti are “Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaye to nibhaye kaise” from film Dil ki rahe singer lata music by madan mohan and “Dil-e-nadan tuze huva kya hai” a non-film gazal sung by Suman Kalyanpur, composed by Iqbal Gill aka Chhote Iqbal.

57 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hi Subodh, The other evening you were very modest when you mentioned this contribution. I think you have done a great service to music lovers by bringing out nuances of various ragas in film music. Congratulations. Well done and keep doing it as often as possible. Thereis a Bandish by Pt. Jasraj, “Sakhiri Ab Too Mat Kar Baat, Badi Raat Ham Sowat Jaat” I havent been able to figure out this Raga. Can you help? Oh Yes Amar Bhupali Ghanshyam Sundara was indeed the song with which most Marathi speaking people of my generation would be most familiar.

58 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

Subodh, Another query. Mehdi Hasan’s “Ab ke ham bichhare to shayad kabhi Khwao me mle’ and a marathi song by lataji, ‘ Malawoon Taak Deep ” Hridaynath’s music are in the same raag but I cannot figure out what it is. Please help

59 Subodh Agrawal March 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thanks again Ramesh for your appreciation. Now to your queries. I couldn’t find a working link to Jasraj’s ‘Sakhi ri ab tu mat kar baat’. However my search indicated that it is in Des Ang Ki Jaijaiwanti. I found another bandish by him in this raga: http://youtu.be/knZoS_9sGCQ

Listen to this and see if it sounds like the one you have mentioned. To me it sounds much closer to Jaijaiwanti than Desh.

Now to ‘Ab ke ham bichhare’ and ‘Malawoon taak deep’. Yes both sound very similar. It was not a raga I knew. It sounded like Bhoopali/Shudh Kalyan in the lower half of the octave and Bhairav in the upper half. Searchin on these parameters helped me locate the raga. It is called Bhoopeshwari. It has the same notes as Bhoopali, with the difference that dha is komal – which is what makes it sound like Bhairav.

60 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Could Pt Jasraj’s bandish be Chhayanat with some variation and Ab ke ham bichhare Natbhairav? Thanks again

61 Ramesh Phadke March 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

You are on dot Sakjiri is indeed Des Ang Jaijaywanti, thanks again some detective work!!

62 Subodh Agrawal March 14, 2013 at 7:35 am

@ Ramesh Phadke
I also thought of Nat Bhairav first, but it didn’t sound right. The Bhairav part was ok, but Nat was absent. It sounded more like Bhoopali or Shudh Kalyan. I stumbled on Bhoopeshwari while searching for something that might be named Bhoop-Bhairav. This Wikipedia entry settled it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raga_Bhoopeshwari

63 n.venkataraman March 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Subodh ji,
Thanks for introducing the Raag Bhoopeswari. A beautiful find. Thanks to you and Ramesh Phadke ji.

64 Salu Manzoor March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Dear Subodh:

Incredible selection and lots of new one which I had not heard before. One that I imagine you would have had difficulty in leaving out of the top ten is “Man Mohan Man Main Ho Tumhi”.

But you guys make it all worthwhile, so bless you!!

Salu

65 Subodh Agrawal March 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Thank you Salu Manzoor. ‘Man mohan man mein ho tumhi’ is a well known song in Adana. Hopefully my next post, as and when it happens, will cover Adana along with Darbari.

66 Ravi Kumar May 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

great collection. Great comments. If possible please add the song – laga chumari me daag from movie dil hi to hai. This song is Best in raag bhairavi. Greatly sung by mr. Manna dey, lyrics by mr. sahir ludhiyanvi, music by roshan ji. Acting great raj kapoor. Very good music, dance, picturisation all are great.

67 Subodh Agrawal May 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thank you Ravi Kumar. ‘Laga chunari mein daag’ is an excellent example of Bhairavi. Bhairavi is possibly the most popular raga in film music and I would need to cover it in more than one post – as and when I come around to it. As I mentioned in one earlier comment somewhere, Bhairavi is usually the last raga to be played in a classical concert. I will come to it after I am done with the other popular ragas like Darbari, Bihag, Pilu, Mand, Shivranjini, Jaunpuri, Bageshri, Rageshri etc. Stay tuned.

68 Gairik chakrabarty May 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

First of all I must pay my tribute to Subodhji and AK because there conversation gave us a lot to think about raaga and specially based on raagas’ based on filmi songs, because through this many more person will be able to understand how raagas contributed us. Sorry, just now I received a bad news that’s why I can’t express my feelings any more. Whenever I will get time, I will definitely be in touch with you.

69 Subodh Agrawal May 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

Thanks Gairik. I do hope the problem is satisfactorily resolved. Look forward to your detailed response.

70 vidhyunmala B July 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

excellent collection and god bless for sharing.. keep going

71 Srinivasan July 22, 2013 at 2:15 am

No doubt you have done a good job but left out ragas like Shivaranjini in which R.D.Burman composed ‘Mere naina sawan badho’ for the film Mehbooba.

72 Chetan July 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Just happen to be surfing and had found other website where a few years ago Dr. Kamat had posted a discriptive article on raga SHIVARANJINI.
Songs: Mere naina; Jane Kahan Gaye woh din; Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil and more.
http://creative.sulekha.com/i-mere-naina-raga-shivranjani-i_101271_blog

An absolute bliss – just relaxing and refreshing, the music gift we are awarded with.
Thank you. ALL !

73 Subodh Agrawal July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am

Thanks Vidyunmala, Srinivasan and Chetan. This was only a sample of iconic songs in some ragas. Not only Shivaranjani, but many other ragas had to be left out. Later I have added articles on Yaman, Pahadi, Chhayanat, Gaud Sarang, Gaud Malhar, Kamod, Malkauns, Desh and Tilak Kamod, while AK has written a beautiful one on Durga. It will take us several years to go through even half of the major ragas!

Shivaranjani is a beautiful and evocative raga with several outstanding songs. Some of my favourites, other than those mentioned by Chetan are, ‘Dharti ko aakash pukare’ from ‘Mela’; ‘Karoge yaad to’ from ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Laage na mora jiya’ from ‘Ghunghat’. Apart from ‘Mere naina sawan bhadon’ there is also ‘More naina sawan bhadon’ from ‘Vidyapati(1964).’ Interesting to find two songs with similar mukhdas on the same raga.

74 Suchibrata bhattacharya August 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dear Agarwalji

Many thanks for such a beautiful site. You have helped me to find a l0t of answers to my questions. 1 small request to you, I have been searching for long time for a song from 1942 movie tamanna. It was sung by Suraiya ji and manna dey,JAAGO AAYI USHA. can you please help me to hear the song?

75 अनिलभाई दवे September 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

शास्त्रीय हिन्दुस्तानी संगीत का परिचय यदि रागों पर आधारित फ़िल्मी गीतों के माध्यम से हो तो रागों की पहचान बहुत सरल हो जाती है. किसी राग पर आधारित फ़िल्मी गीत के साथ उसी राग की शात्रीय बंदिश रखने से तो फिर उसे भुलाया नहीं जा सकता. आप का प्रयास अवश्य सराहनीय है. इस के लिए आप हम सब संगीतरसिकों के धन्यवाद के अधिकारी हैं. इस संकलन में आप की रागों को परखने की क्षमता के साथ साथ आप के अविरत परिश्रम की भी धारणा की जा सकती है. आप को बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद .
अनिलभाई दवे ११, विश्राम पार्क, वासणा, अहमदाबाद . १६-०९-२०१३

76 AK September 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Suchibrata,
Thanks for your appreciation. YT has a very small fragment of the song. But it is of historical importance.

77 AK September 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

अनिलभाई दवेजी,
मेरे मित्र सुबोध ज्ञानी भी हैं और सुलेखक भी. आपकी प्रशंसा के लिये वे स्वयं भी आपको अवश्य ही धन्यवाद देंगे.

78 सुबोध अग्रवाल September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

अनिलभाई दवे जी, आपका बहुत धन्यवाद. आप जैसे ज्ञानी रसिकों को मेरा यह प्रयास अच्छा लगा, इससे बड़ा मेरे लिए कोई सम्मान नहीं हो सकता.

79 rugram September 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

An extremely useful site for lovers of both classical music and film songs, and I would express my gratefulness for the excellent write-up, presentation, prompt responses to queries, etc. I am no expert but I think answers to a couple of comments on this page may be in order. Please excuse me for any errors.
Ms. Deepali (30.6.2012) – The song by Pt. Kumar Gandharva is in raga Gaud Sarang and not Gaud Malhar, if I remember right.
Mr. Srinivasan (22.7.2013) – One great film song based on Shivranjini is by Shankar-Jaikishen duo in the film Patrani (1956) ‘Chandrama…’ which is an unforgettable piece for old timers like me. You can listen to this on the Internet.
Those of you who want to have a list of popular Hindi (and Marathi) film songs based on different ragas can usefully peruse the book ‘Sangeet Sarita’ by Dr. Vithal Thakur of Goa. This book is in Marathi but those who know the Devanagari script can understand the contents easily. This book lists over 100 ragas with corresponding popular film songs, and also has a reverse index. In the sea of classical music, it is impossible to compile a complete list, and so this booklet too does not claim to have all the songs. I am not in any way connected with the author or the publisher of this book but as I was very much impressed by this compilation, I had presented copies of this booklet to many relations and close friends who, like me, are interested in trying to enter the vast expanse of classical music through the portal of Hindi film songs.
As the creators of this website have pointed out earlier, the website http://www.chandrakantha.com is a very useful site for people who want to explore Hindustani classical music. I too refer to this site often and have recommended it to many others.
Thanks again for all the trouble you have taken to set up this website and to respond to queries. May God bless you both (Mr.Agrawal and Mr AK – ‘may your tribe increase’, to quote from Abou Ben Adam’s poem), and we eagerly await additions of many more ragas to this site.

80 rugram September 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm

P.S. to my previous post of today. The booklet mentioned by me lists over 100 songs and not 100 ragas. Sorry for this error.

81 AK September 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Rugram,
Thanks a lot for your kind words and good wishes.

82 k s bhatia September 30, 2013 at 12:36 am

AKji,….Classical songs of the golden era based on the ragas were the real gems of the indian films.Credit for the popularty of such songs goes to each and every music directors of the yester years like Naushad,Anil biswas, Madan mohan,Shanker Jaikishan,S D Burman….. and many more. Not forgetting the beatiful rederring by the great Lataji,Rafi saheb, Mana Dey,Ashaji, Kamal Barot,Zora Bai…….again the list is unending. We are deprived of such songs in nowadays movies . At present Ragas based songs are the rarest comodity for the ears. That reminds me of the great Madan mohan’s classical rafi asha duet…Hum safar saath apna chhod chale Rishte nate woh saare chhod chale ……indeed this fading of richness is unbearable for the music lovers.

83 k s bhatia October 2, 2013 at 12:10 am

AKji, This is in continuation of my comments of 30′th september. I am recalling two old songs of the mid 60′s which rightly forcasted the standards of music and so called lyrics of the nowadays songs; that too; almost 50 years back. The first one is …..Suno ji suno hamari bhi suno…..from Ek phool char kante, and the second one……Tein kanastar peat peat kar galla phaar ke chhillana yaar mere mat bura maan yeh gaana na bajana hai…… from Love marriage. No one listen to thumri and dadra whereas the youth of today are mad after metallic and mix rock music . I think someone should take initiative to guide such people to listen to classical waltz and country music of the gone era of both western and indian classic movies . Naushad, Shanker jaikishan, S D Burman, Madan mohan etc ….all have very effectively based their melodies on western classical music in the past . They were the benchmark for others to follow and us to listen.I think one should also give ears to the great Richard clyderman, Jameslast, billy vauge, andre…etc. All of them have mastered over instrumental music and orcastraization. Classical music have no boundries ;be it indian or western enjoy the music to the full contentment of mind ,soul and heart.

84 AK October 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

K S Bhatia,
So well said. As for the quality of lyrics, this can be made up by quality of music. We do have a number of yesteryear songs with poor lyrics which we do not notice as the music was outstanding.

Classical is the soul of music. It can never go out of fashion. In Rajneeti, ‘Mora pita mo se bloat nahi’ creates a magical impact, because it retains the pure form. Sometimes the temptation for experimentation goes overboard – ‘Hamri atariya pe’ in Satyagrah is blasphemy.

85 ksbhatia December 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

AK, I have some funny rememberens of a song……Chand dhale khirki khule tum siti bajana chod do …..from Albela….and….Charan das ko peene ki jo aadat na hoti to bhaiya aaj miyan baar biwi andar na soti ….from..? I am unable to recall the movie . The movie must be of early 50 ‘s. The idea is to remember such songs and lyrics for their simplicity and some fun. they were far better than todays Khatia Khiskalo Songs.

86 rugram December 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

The song ‘Charan das ko…’ is from the film Pehli Jhalak (1954). You can listen to this song on Youtube.

87 AK December 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Here is the song:

Charandas ko peene ki jo aadat na hoti by Kishore Kumar from Pahli Jhalak (1954), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

88 ksbhatia December 5, 2013 at 12:19 am

Many many thanks for posting this song .This reminds me of my childhood when I was eight year old playing goolie danda ,kho kho and yo yo. this movie reminds me of one more song……ek do teen char panch naach mere man naach khushi se naach……from Teen Batti Char Rasta ;a Karan Diwan starrer. I used to sing this song on stair case copying the hero.See how music bring back the childhood memories. There is one more song which is ringing in my years and that is….Yeh zindgi hai yo yo ….if I am correct it is probably from the movie…. Armman….. picturised on yester years vetren actor Manmohan Krishan .

89 AK December 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

You had an interesting childhood! The songs you have mentioned are new to me.

90 rugram December 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

The song ‘Yeh zindagi hai yo-yo’ from the film Armaan (1951) is available on Youtube site
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzHI0UXkPe8

91 atasi bhattacharya March 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Excellent

92 Hitesh Sheth March 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

Oh Excellent you guys! How come I missed this site for such a long time. All the contents are too good, very informative. Keep it up.

93 bpauk March 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

hi, wondering what raag is the song from film Stree – o nirdayi preetam
is. anyone…?

94 Subodh Agrawal March 26, 2014 at 6:25 am

Bpauk, ‘O nirdayi pritam’ is mostly Bhimpalasi with some mixing of other ragas. I would not recommend it for getting a feel of the raga. For that purpose ‘beena madhur madhur’ and ‘Radha na bole’ are more suitable.

95 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

thanks so much for your response, subodh ji.
bhimpalasi is discussed in this blog just a bit earlier…wondering if the song ‘yeh zindagi usi ki hai…’ also is the same. in film music they seem
to mix many raag. i suppose that is one of the charms of our great music
system. this is a wonderful place to mingle with music lovers.

96 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

p.s.

i am remembering ustad bade ghulam ali’s composition of bhimpalasi
‘begun aaye…’ have not heard it in many decades. hope i will find it on
y/t.

97 bpauk March 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm
98 Shivangini April 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Very well research articles based on classical music and Hindi film songs based on Ragas. Although, I know this website is not about the nineties and beyond, however it would be great if one could make an exception in case of songs based on classical music. I request you to please dedicate a few articles on Raga based Bollywood songs of modern times. I admit there won’t be many but movies like Sardari Begum or music from Rahman, Ismail Darbar, Shankar Mahadevan would have a few good examples.

99 AK April 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Shivangini,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. This series is written by my friend Subodh Agrawal as a guest author. Though this site is primarily devoted to the music of 30s through 60s, good songs of later period do find mention. Of late we have seen very innovative uses of classical based songs in films, and I am sure Subodh would use them whenever appropriate.

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