RAG DESH (a.k.a. DES)

by David Courtney working tools


Desh is a very beautiful and romantic night-time rag.

This rag presents major problems for anyone attempting to perform it in a pure fashion.  The major difficulty arises from its modality.  It uses all seven notes and allows for there to be two nishads.  This forces Desh to impinge upon a number of other rags such as Khammaj, Tilak Kamod, and Sorat.  Attempting to perform Desh without impinging upon these other rags is like trying to move around in a crowded second class train compartment.  It is NOT an easy task.

This obvious difficulty is addressed in a delightful fashion.  There is a strong tendency to perform Desh in lighter styles, such as dadra, or thumree, where impinging upon other rags is not only acceptable, it is de rigueur.  Therefore, if performing Desh is like a crowded second class compartment, then it is a second class compartment where everyone there is your relative and you are going to a wedding function.

There are a number of famous film songs based upon Desh.  Probably the most famous is Vande Matram (the old version), but a number of other popular film songs are there.  A few examples are: "Gori Tore Naina, Nainava Kajar Bin Kare Kare" (Main Suhagan Hun), or "Dukh Ke Ab Din Bitat Nahi" (Devdas).


Ascending structure for Desh

Ascending Structure

Ascending structure for Desh

Alternative Ascending Structure

(general discussion of arohana) - (general discussion of notation)


Descending structure of Desh
(general discussion of avarohana)


Audav / Sampurna - (general discussion of jati)


Late Night - (general discussion of time and rag)


Khammaj that - (general discussion of that)


pakad for Desh
(general discussion of pakad)


Sa - Pa - (general discussion of drone)

For more information check out "Elementary North Indian Vocal"




Selected Video

Raga Desh - Imrat, Vajahad and Shafat Hussain Khan


Raga Desh by Shri Partha Bose


Nirmalya Dey, Raag Desh




© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

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