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    On the Variants of Kedar

    Rajan P. Parrikar is a recognized expert on Indian Classical music and shares his knowledge freely with those interested in the subject.

    He has written a series of articles on Classical Indian Music some of which have been archived on Sawf. Click here to read Rajan's earlier articles.

    Mr. Ali Akbar Khan with Dr. Rajan P. Parrikar (Marin County, California, 1995)

    Traditionally, four prakArs of Kedar are recognized (vide Bhatkhande's Hindustani Sangeet Paddhati ) and they are: Shuddha Kedar, Chandni Kedar, Maluha Kedar and Jaladhar Kedar. Over the course of the past 150 years or so, several new prakArs have entered the fold, most of them joD-rAgas, i.e. hybrids, formed by combining Kedar with other rAga(s). The first two of the traditional prakArs - Shuddha Kedar and Chandni Kedar - have been addressed in the earlier feature on Kedar. We shall presently deal with the unfinished business. As always, M =shuddha and m =teevra madhyam.

    Raga Maluha Kedar

    Of all the variants of Kedar, Maluha Kedar is the most widely practiced and sought after. Its arresting tonal behaviour finds full expression primarily in the mandra saptak. The Maluha concoction is fashioned in an overall Kedar framework from raw material provided by Kamod and Shyam Kalyan. It is a highly vakra rAga and a set of tonal phrases are now suggested as a heuristic guideline:

    S, R S (N')D' P' M', M' P' N', (D')N' R S

    The declination from the rishab down to the mandra madhyam is the lifeblood of this rAga. The nyAsa on M' thus approached is exceedingly pleasing. Shades of Shyam Kalyan are observed as the movement repairs upward to the shaDaj.

    S, R S (N')D' P' D', D' M', P' N' (D')N' S

    A variation on the foregoing foray. The brightening of the dhaivat and the meeND from D' to M' are points of note, the latter, a recognizable Kedar germ. A powerful madhyam is a natural consequence of having Kedar for a parent; the pancham, too, commands respect.

    S M, M (G)P, P D M | G M P G M R S | M, M R S N', (S)R S

    This movement has been partitioned into three for purposes of discussion. The first third clearly betrays Kedar's fašade, the second third is the contribution from Kamod, and the final third packs both Kedar and Shyam Kalyan. It must be emphasized that in matters of implementation things are never quite as clear-cut. The disparate elements are to be fused together by appropriate punctuation and intonation (ucchAraNa) so as to yield a seamless composite.

    PDPP S", M P N S", S" R" S", S" DPM, M P M, S R S

    A sampler of the uttarAnga launch, it mostly carries Kedar's genetic material. The teevra madhyam is either absent of alpa (weak presence).

    Despite its vakra build Maluha Kedar is highly rewarding in the hands of those who have mastered it. With its lumbering meeND-laden gait in the mandra saptak, the rAga is best savoured at vilambit laya.

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