Thursday, August 3, 2023

Raga Khamaj

Khamaj is  a Hindustani classical music raga within the Khamaj thaat which is named after it. Many ghazals and thumris are based on Khamaj. It utilises the shuddha (pure) form of Ni on the ascent, and the komala (flat) form of Ni on the descent, creating a key asymmetry in compositional and improvisational performance. This raga has been explored more in the lighter forms of Hindustani Classical Music such as Thumri, Tappa etc. Yet a many compositions in Dhrupad and Khayal are found as well.

This Raag is an ideal melodic format for both type of Shringars, Vibralambh (Separation) and Uttan (Union) Shringar. For this reason, there are more Thumri compositions in this Raag. The mood is light and enthralling but not sedate. With a husky voice that emits the emotion of painful separation and with Khatkas and Murkiyan, the Raag mood is well brought out, decorated with diverse Thumri styles of Panjab, Lucknow and Banaras Gharanas. 

Raga Khamaj is a late evening raga and is brought out rather elegantly in the light classical form of thumri. It has been a popular choice for film music as well. The romantic nature of the raga is brought out by this delightful composition of Salil Chowdhury O Sajna Barkha Bahar Aayi. 'Kuch To Log Lahenge' and 'Nazar Lagi Raja Tore Bungal Par', are two well known examples of common songs in this rag.  There are many other popular film songs in Khammaj as well.

This rag is one of the most common in Indian music.  Although it is used in the classical styles, its romantic character makes it much more appropriate to the semi-classical and lighter styles.  It is traditionally ascribed to the second part of the night.

Film Songs in Raga Khamaj

1 Jao re jogi tum jao re
2 Diwana mastana hua dil
3 Bada natkhat he re
4 Ayo kahanse ghanashyam
5 Piya to se naina lage re
6 O Sajna barkha bahar aaye
7 Khat likha de savayiya
8 Najar lagi raja
9 Kuch toh log kahenge
10 Mere to giridharagopala
11 Dhal chuki shyam
12 Aa dil se dil mila le
13 Tere mere milan ki ye raina
14 Nazar Lagi Raja Tore Bungale Par

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