Friday, August 12, 2005


Often overlooked, pahadi is one of the most beautiful folk melodies. Not surprisingly, there are many "good" and "decent" Pahadi songs from the films. But a few of them stand tall as titans amongst the humble and homely denizens of this raga.

1) Saagara sangamam theme: this is the first because it is from the King himself! And what melody! We can as well add "mounamela noyi" in the same point. And the theme of "April 1 vidudhala" as well!

2) Sakhi He keSi mathana -- Swarna kamalam :the dhrupad style singing and pakhawaj in the background from an amazingly amalgamating ambience of romance, the sweetest beauty, and devotion.

3) Brindavanamadi andaridi -- Missamma : feels like Durga (Suddha Saveri), moves like Durga, but is actually not Durga! Very very very enchanting. The Hindi version "Brindavan ka kishan kanhaiyya" has much more melodic content.

1) In Aakhon ki masti ke -- Umrao Jaan: right from the initial alap to the end, the slow and gracious movements of this one would have you believe Pahadi can mimic the grandeur and august majesty that the Old Maharaga Bhoopali (Mohanam) commands as well (Pahadi is a degenerate or a "kshudra" version of Bhoopali). By the way, you have control yourself really hard not to concentrate on the lyrics if you want to listen to the melody... hyper lyrics!

2) Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein -- Kabhi Kabhi: clearly one of the greatest Pahadi songs in Hindi ever ... you want to know why Pahadi isnt given so much importance. The instrumentation, lyrics, melody,.... everything is just right.

3) Dekha ek khwaab to yeh silsile hue -- Silsila: The way the Anupallavi ascends the ladder of the notes leaves you panting.. for more! The most amazing thing about this one is that it makes composing look so simple.. and yet, this is one of the most complicated songs ever.

4) Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh -- Woh kaun thi: A chalice overflowing with beauty, I still remember the first time I heard (or saw) this song, while watching that movie at home late night. Every time I hear this, a trance ensues! This one wont let you forget it... A song remembered even in the after-life! (sic!)

5) Rulake gaya sapana mera -- Jewel thief: A frequent song on the radio, whenever I hear this song from the radio of the "Asian scooter works" in front of my home in Hyd, I go running to that shop to listen to this one! The lake shown in the song (a fake one, though) has really captivated my attention.

There are many others like "chalte chalte" from Paakeezah, "Chaudvi ka chand ho" from Chaudvi ka chand, "isharon isharon mein" from Kashmir ki kali... but aforementioned songs are the ones that, to me, are "more equal among equals".


Aakarsh said...

composer Khaiyyam gave so many pahadis...evidently he was fascinated by that raaga..the 1st two songs u mentioned are by him..
and regarding "lagjaa gale se",that was madan mohan's genius..imagine..he didnt have any formal training in music..and still, he was the melody king.
and needless to say anything new abt dada burman's impeccable perfection in "rulake gaya sapna mera"..the counter-melodies and all.. where are composers like these today?

ideally, this blog should have been in music-mavericks..but let me not rob ur creativity..keep writing more..

Gandaragolaka said...

aah... are you not busy now??

Actually, I did want to post it in mavericks, but then, I dont think I have permission to post there (yet!)

Sketchy Self said...

Not to forget amazing treatments of the raga in the film "Ram teri Ganga maili" by composer Ravindra jain. Listen to "Husn Pahadon Ka" with Lata and Suresh Wadkar - IMO one of the best male singers in the country.

Sketchy Self said...

woohoo for the template change!! :D

Random Walker said...

jarrantha aagundri: lists

pahaaDi as

29 dheera shankaraabharaNam janya
Aa: S R2 G3 P D2 P D2 S
Av: N3 D2 P G3 M1 G3 R2 S N3 D2 P D2 S

It can be checked with a hindusthani site:

note the usage of p d2 p d2 s in both arohana and avarohana, AND particularly in upper and lower octaves.


Brindavanamadhi andaridhi definitely doesn't fall in the pahadi category and you are right it moves like durga because there is a r2 to m1 transition in the phrase "andaridhi" (exactly at dhari (the notes being s m r m p)- pahadi doesn't allow r2 to m1 transition! (please correct me if my interpretation of pahadi is wrong)


Maunamelanoyi: the beginning lines are definitely mohanam/pahadi...but "yedhalo vennela" line and "thaarade hayilo" etc lines introduce ga2 got nothing to do with pahadi - that special illu touch. (he applies this technique quite often for pentatonics .. for hindolam he changes the ni so that both hindolam and chandrakauns creep in - e.g., naan thedum sevvanthi aka ae gaalo from nari nari naduma murari, or the well known "raasa leela vela" from aditya 369)

In contrast, rulaake gaya sapna mera, if played in the pitch of G (i donno the actual pitch - i can't think of any other root pitch other than C or G in my head!)(starts after one and a half beat! akin to deshaadi tala if you dont consider the intro passages)

____|____|__ B_|G A |G F#|GA|GAB

(notation not accurate with respect to time measure but enuf for our purposes)

in the scale of G the aarohana will be GABDEG. F# which occurs is a valid avarohana scheme (since it represents Ni3 which is allowed) and hence this can be technically categorized under pahaadi.

my point (after painful deviations) is that purist's will not accept maunamelanoyi or brindavanamadhi as pahadi.

Random Walker said...

typo: deshadi - two and half beats after sum

Random Walker said...

extra comment (dont kill me):

some very very beautiful pahadi compositions in hindi films which definitely need a mention!!

Do sitaron ka zameen par he milan aaj ki raat -

Koi pyar ki dekhe jadugari gulfam- kohinoor

Neela aasmaan so gaya - silsila
Jo wada kita woh nibhana padega - Taj Mahal

Kora kaagaz tha yeh man mera - aaradhana?

suhaani raat dhal chuki na jane tum kab aoge - dulari

aaja re aajare o mere dilbar aaja - noorie

Sketchy Self said...

phar di phust tayeem i gaat a laat aaph waat prc is saying...(except the taalam part) especially after singing the avarohana...woah...excellent examples as well!

Gandaragolaka said...

suhaani raat and aaja re do need a mention in the list I agree!

actually... as per definition of pahadi, there is no exact definition "per se" of this raga because of its folk origins. This raga frequently embeds other ragas like yaman, yaman-kalyan (the one with both m1 and m2), maand, etc, to add colour.
(refer to Rajan's take on Pahadi here: scroll down for pahadi )

As such there are very few compositions in "pure pahadi", as there are in Bhoopali --both "jyothi kalash chhalake" from bhabhi ki chudiyaan and "om namah shivay" from Bhairavi are not kosher bhoopalis--there is some amount of deshkaar also involved in them... (again refer to the same excellent article by rajan where he explains how 3 diff ragas have the same swara set)

so as for brindavanamidi... the initial movement on the syllable "bri" (mandra ni->dha->sa meend) might be the clue to brand it as another pahadi... because all other ragas stay away from amalgamation.

I guess the same could be said for

yadbhavishya said...

Ok... I cannot contribute to this technical discussion, but all I can add is I can play most of the simpler songs that were mentioned here, if that is any achievement at all... for eg: kabhi kabhi, silsila song, sagara sangamam theme, rulake gaya etc.

also kindlt tell if Aura ammaku chella from aapathbaandhavudu is pahadi... if not what was the reason I felt it was close?

Ragz said...

pahadi is sure a pahad..while i ma amzed at the tech discussion...i can only say that my contribution to the mellifulous music is only therough my ears for years to come...Cool article man....Such articles are like food for soul

Gandaragolaka said...

just heard "Do sitaron ka zameen" The song is a very good example of how pahadi can be used along with ragas-- yaman in this case.

Actually, "kora kaagaz tha" is also a very very great composition I wanted to include, but somehow missed!!

"Husn Pahadon ka" is also one-high funda composition.. especially the starting lines of the antara(charanam).

Thanks for bringing these up!

doesnt that song from apathbandhavudu sound like Hindolam?

Sketchy Self said...

I would never have thought that 'do sitaron ka zameen' was pahadi-based. but the raga is so sweet - it effortlessly creates the imagery of thawing snow or dew on leaves while maintaining its sense of volume...
kedar, the starting line of the antara is what made me suggest that song - it some excellent gamakas.

Aakarsh said...

hey! i know remember...i have a query. does the song "tere bina zindagi se shikwa" from "Aandhi" based on Pahadi...experts..plz clarify..i always feel some pahadi tuch somewhere in that song..did R.D use pahadi or a mix?

Gandaragolaka said...

I dont think the song adheres to the raga structure, though the very initial movements smell of sivaranjani....

...that is, unless PRC comes up with anything I dont know...

Random Walker said...

Tere bina zindagee se koyi is a hiiiiighly complicated tune. Probably uses evey goddamn note in the scale (almost). Aks, traces of pahadi are but seggregated notes toying with your mind.

sandeep said...

Great discussion, I'm a little late I'm afraid :(

A 60s Kannada film called "Belli Moda" has a lovely number "Moodala Maneya" in Pahadi. Interestingly, the song is picturised on the heroine who sings it early in the morning, welcoming the Sun. Talk about moods! :)