Raag Hindustani
© 2011, Sādhana

A Few Simple Indian Classical Music Compositions

Here are a few simple classical compositions (bandish) in several Hindustani classical ragas. In addition to audio recordings, I have provided simplified Indian as well as Western notations for each to make the learning process easy. Please remember that the notation is an approximation of how we sing it and not the other way around. I recommend using the notation as a stepping stone, to understand the patterns, and learning to sing by ear.

I have also provided a simple description of the meaning of each composition. Occasionally the lyrics can be very poetic and original, but it is important to remember that that is not their main concern in Hindustani classical music. The lyrics here serve mainly as props for the melody and rhythm, and they help the artist emote by providing themes or words that have emotional/lyrical value. Certain stock themes feature repeatedly because their emotional content is so broad or general that they allow versatile melodic expression, especially when improvising.

Learning simple compositions is a fun way to internalize knowledge of the music and prepare your voice for a more rigorous, classical training. I have arranged the compositions by raga. Hearing more than one composition in the same raga is a good way to get a real hang of the raga.

Raag Kedar

1. socha samajha mana mita piyaravaa
2. bola bola mose nanda kuvaravaa

Raag Bhupali

1. jaau tore sharana kamala para vaara
2. ma-ni varaja gaaye raagini kara jaba

Raag Kafi

1. chaaDo chaaDo chelaa mori baiyaa
2. aaja khelo shaama sanga hori

Raag Bhimpalasi

1. murata mana-bhaavani ata
2. jaa jaa re apane mandiravaa

Raag Bahaar

1. sakala bana phula rahe saraso
2. kaliyana sanga karataa ranga raliyaa

Raag Yaman

1. piyaa ki najariyaa jaadu bhari
2. nehaa kese laaga ho moraa

Raag Durga

1. gaavata durga raagini
2. sakhi mori ruma jhuma

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