by David Courtney working tools

Ragmala Painting of Rag Bhairavi (circa A.D. 1725)
Ragmala Painting of Rag Bhairavi (Sirohi-Rajasthan circa A.D. 1725)


This rag is the main representative of Bhairavi That.  It has traditionally been performed in the early morning hours.  However, due to the fact that performances lasted all night, it has now become common to consider Bhairavi to be the finale.  Today this rag is performed at any time provided it is the concluding piece.  A few common songs in this rag are, "Babul Mora Naihar Chutohe Jai", "Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo", and "Laga Chunari Me Dag Chupaun Kaise".  Please check Film Songs in Rags (Bhairavi).

There are two approaches to the performance of Bhairavi: Shuddha Bhairavi and Sindhi (Sindhu) Bhairavi.  In Shuddha Bhairavi, only the notes of Bhairavi That are used.  In Sindhu Bhairavi, all of the swar, both komal and tivra are used.  These are opposite extremes in philosophy.  Contemporary practice tends to flow somewhere in between these two approaches, although the degree seems to be a question of individual artistic interpretation.

The Vadi / Samvadi system is generally discounted by modern musicologists; those who still adhere to this theory find Bhairavi to be particularly problematic.  The vadi is usually considered to be Ma and the samvadi is usually considered to be Sa.  However, Ga, Dha, and Pa have also been suggested as important notes.


Ascending structure for Bhairavi
(general discussion of arohana) - (general discussion of notation)


Descending structure of Bhairavi
(general discussion of avarohana)


Sampurna - Sampurna - (general discussion of jati)


Early morning or conclusion of performance - (general discussion of time and rag)


Bhairavi That - (general discussion of that)


Pakad for Bhairavi
(general discussion of pakad)


Sa - Pa - (general discussion of drone)


For more information check out "Elementary North Indian Vocal"



Selected Video





















© 1998 - 2018 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at david@chandrakantha.com