Ustad Vilayat Khan was not a man to randomly or on a whim create new ragas. The thing (and the word classical musicians use to refer to the raga is the Hindi word for ‘thing’, cheez) was to be given the deepest respect. Interpretation could only come from understanding, and understanding came hard and slow. There are ragas that it takes half a lifetime to master. Or, put it another way, one could spend half a lifetime interpreting just a handful of the great ragas.
This was Khan sahib’s preference. Better to make a smaller number of cheez sing beautifully then try to hastily introduce more ragas into the world. So I was surprised to discover that there are a number of ragas in fact, that Ustadji did create. And tonight we focus on one of these, the beautifully named Saanjh Saravali (Evening Melody).
The story of how this raga came to be is told by Deepak Raja, convenor of a very informative blog on north Indian classical music.
I hope you enjoy this sparkling unique gem.
Raga Saanjh Saravali
Raga Nand Kalyan