Rag Yaman is one of the most famous raags in Indian classical music. This raag has been abundantly used in many old and new Bollywood songs. All seven notes are used in this raag. There are many famous songs based on raag yaman . It is a very versatile raag, which means you will not only find classical pieces but also the semi classical pieces in this raag. You will also find light music pieces such as bhajan, Ghazals and many film songs such as ZARA SI AHAT HOTI HAI TOU DIL SOCHTA HAI, jAB DEEB CHALE ANA JAB SHAM DHALE ANA, CHANDAN SA BADAN, NAAM GUM JAYEGA, NIGAHAIN MILANE KO JEE CHATA HAI. The question must have risen in you mind that how was it known that these songs are based on raag yaman.

raag yaman kalyan

No raag can be recognized only by the notes that are being used. No raag is recognised by its phrases, the way it is sung, in Indian classical music it is known as chalan, so with the help of the chalan you can find out which raag is it. So all the songs that I have mentioned above are based on the chalan of raag yaman. Now what is the chalaan for raag yaman by listening to which we can say yes this is raag yaman. So remember the best phrase or the chalan is Ne – Re- Ga (B – D- E), so if you listen to these songs carefully you will see this first phrase. Now the second phrase of raag yaman is the combination of Pa- Re, and these two notes are to be taken in the form of glide, they must not be sung separately but with a glide or curved voice from Pa to Re (G to D). This glide can easily be seen in the song Chandan sa badan, or jab deeb jale.and Gar yaad rahey. It is very important to know that all seven notes are used in this raag but Ma (F) is sharp note in it. Some people used F note plainly , but remember in that case the name of the raag would not remain Raag yaman but it would change to raag yaman Kaliyan. If you listen to most of the Bollywood songs, you will find that F sharp note is not used in most of the cases. So we can undoubtedly say those songs are not based on raag yaman but on raag yaman kalyan. The most classical example of this song is the Mohammad Rafi’s Hit song,( Abhi na jao chor kar). This was important to give flavor to the song of requesting mood, if F sharp had been used in place of F major the flavor would have been entirely different. If you sing this song with F sharp, it won’t sound nice and would present an odd flavor to the romantic song.



Many people have question in mind and want to know what exactly alankar means and how to perform it. Well we shall discuss this topic in length to make known to music lovers what it exactly means. Can you imagine what ornamentation means to Indian culture? without ornamentation the culture of different parts of India is hard to understand, in each Province of India there is different kinds of ornamentation. In my view the alankar is just like the ornamentation of Indian classical music. without which perhaps the Indian classical music is just like an empty vessel. In Indian classical music the word alankar is used to denote ornamentation, it can also be called as paltas(different forms of singing the combination of notes in aroha and amroha, which means ascending and descending of notes.


These are taught to the students so that they can understand the distant and difference of various notes but today we are not referring to paltas as alankar but we are referring to alankar as ornamentation. This is special treatment given to a set of notes so that the melody looks beautiful and present specific identity. Well ornamentation is not just specific to Indian classical music but to general Indian music. The very first step that we learn in alankar is meend, which means a glide to other note in a kind of a curved manner. Like if you take plan note C, G, N you will just sing it as they are played on the instrument but in alankar you will have to sing them like the glide as it goes up and down without any break in it, I hope you understand.The good example of alankar can be found in the song sung by great Lata Mangeshkar, RISIK BALMAN. If you listen to this great song, you will understand how the alankar is performed. The next ornament is called khatka, which means to take notes with break, the best example is the song (MAIN TENU SAMJHAWAN KI). So the notes are taken with a little jerk or break, not planly. Khatkas are found in many Indian Bollywood songs. Now let me introduce you to the concept of Zamzam. It is a cluster of khatkas taken together. This is found in maharaster and punjabi folk songs in abundance. It is also a characteristic of tappa singing. It can also be termed as semi classical form of singing. The next is murki, it is nothing but a set of notes taken together quickly for example a very famous song of great Lata ji,,,,(baiyan na dharo balma) But in most of the cases the musician are not to take a lot of murkis because it may mess with the correct form of the raag. The next is called Andolan, which a slow isolation of notes it is used to give serious touch in raag or melody. For example Bollywood song sung by Mandey (poocho na kaisay main ne raain betai). A beautiful composition and perfect example of andolan. The last but not the least is called Gamak, which is very very important for Indian classical music. It is giving shadow to the notes or giving emphasis to the notes to make an effect. Karnatak music gives a lot of importance to the Gamak. It is kind of shaky emphasis to the notes. But point is to be noted that all forms of alankar that have been mentioned above are taken according to the situation, like in our daily life we use ornaments (heavy or light) according to the events that are going to take place. I hope this article must be useful for most of the music lovers.

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Most of you must be knowing that the use of harmony is very rare in Indian music. This is because in Indian music solo or duet singing is preferred to find the quality of the voice of the singer. This is customary in Indian music that the singer has to undergo special kind of training which is based on 10 Thatts of classical music. The question arises why is it important for the singers of the subcontinent of Indo-Pak to have learned these basic Thatts, it is because the compositions of Indian songs are based on thatts and raags which are extracted from the specific thatts. In harmony the solo or duet performances can not be judged properly. However, as a musician, I know that harmony is very much in practice and demand while composing the introduction and interludes during the songs. Various instruments such as Violin is most used to play the melody, 2nd and 3rd harmonies, this certainly enhances the mood of the song and leaves special effects on the listeners.

In western music the harmony seems to be the order of the day, it can be found in all forms of western music. There is no doubt that the instruments and the voices using the harmony seem to leave soothing pleasures of music to the listeners, specially in Christmas carols, the use of harmony is very much customary. No carol seems to be perfect without harmony. In my opinion every singer or the musician must have the knowledge of harmony, how it is sung, what best techniques can be used to further enhance it to make the Indian music rich and to be recognized internationally. This is the time when most of the Indian films are being exhibited all around the world and being appreciated and liked by millions of people, some new experiments should be applied to the primitive Indian music. In early times, even in Europe the music mostly consisted of melody only and very simple melodies were made and sung by the early people, mostly in the churches and cathedrals, to recite religious texts. these didn’t have huge amount of rhythm involved in them. Then as the time passed the composed thought of doing some experiments beyond the melodies of the songs, so they started adding other notes to the melodies and experimented different pitches and notes, and thats what we call harmony now a days. This actually gives the actual depth and color to the melody. For example if the melody starts from C note, we can change it into harmony by using the notes E and G, so when these three notes would play together it will take the form of harmony, so one note would play the melody while the other two notes would play 2nd and 3rd place.

I firmly believe that Indian composers should now do experiments on harmony, to give the primitive Indian music a new flavor and depth which is well renowned all over the world, I personally love harmony, it also sounds great if the singer is backed up by the instrument playing 2nd or 3rd.

Harmony in indian music

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indian classical music thaats

Well The Indian classical music is all based on 10 Thatts, that play vital role in learning and knowing the classical indian music. This is the basic knowledge that each one has to know if he or she is interested in indian music. This is important to know that every hindi song that we listen in the form of film playback songs, ghazals, folk songs etc have their roots from the Thatts because they are based on raags and raags belong to thatt (one of the 10 Thatts). So if the person has knowledge about the thatts he can easily find out, in what raag the particular song has been composed. Now-a-days the Indian Classical music has become popular all around the world and many foreigners come to India and Pakistan to learn Indian music. So in this Article we will discuss about 10 Thatts, their formation and other related information. Thatt is in fact a combination of seven notes. The combination of black and white notes, they differ in each thatt. The very first thatt is known as Bilawal Thatt, It has all the white notes. The second thatt is known as kamaj thatt, The third Thatt is Kafi, the fourth Thatt is Asavari, the fifth thatt is Bhairvain, the sixth Thatt is Bharon, the seventh thatt is Kalyan, the eighth Thatt is Marwa, the ninth Thatt is Poorvi while the last and the tenth thatt is todi. The description of thatts is given as under:

To understand The Music Theory Properly, it’s mandatory to pay close attention to the thaats

Bilawal Thatt

All the seven notes of this Thatt are white which means: C D E F G A B (all white notes)

Khamaj Thatt

The seven notes of 2nd Thatt, which is Khamaj are: C D E F G A B(Flat) ( only one note that is B Flat is black in this Thatt)

Kafi Thatt

The seven notes of 3rd Thatt are C D E(Flat) F G A B(Flat) which means there are two black notes in Kafi Thatt and they are E (Flat) and B (Flat)

Asavari Thatt

The seven notes of 4th Thatt are C D E(Flat) F G A(Flat) B(Flat) this means there are three black notes i.e E (flat) A(flat) and B (flat)

Bharvi Thatt

The seven notes of Bharvi Thatt are C D(Flat) E(Flat) F G A(Flat) B(Flat), so there are four black notes in Barvi Thatt i.e D(flat), E(flat), A(flat) and B(Flat)

Bharav Thatt

The seven note of Bharav thatt are C D(Flat) E F G A(flat) B, so there are only two black notes in this Thatt and they are D(flat) and A(flat)

Kalyan Thatt

The notes for the Kalyan Thatt are C D E F(sharp) G A B, this means there is only one black key and that is F sharp

Purvi Thatt

The seven notes of purvi thatt are C D(flat) E F(sharp) G A(flat) B

Todi Thatt

the notes for Todi Thatt are C D(flat) E(flat) F(sharp) G A(flat) B(flat)

The music of India sounds quite exotic to the European audience. Two major reasons for this are the differences between the two traditions in tuning and scales.
We can also say that even the singing styles are entirely different. Even the traditional instruments used in Indian music make it so different from the western instruments. The Indian music is mostly based on melodies that are not dominated by the hard beats of Drums and Guitars (as in western music). Furthermore the western music depends lot on harmonies, 2nd and 3rd harmonies whereas in Indian music stress is given only to the melody of the song, but in recent times, some composers are turning towards the harmonies too. No doubt they should do experiments to give new innovative flavors to the songs to make it different from the primitive singing styles.

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THE CONCEPT OF THATTS IN INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC & List of 10 Thaats in Indian Classical Music


The thatts play the vital role in learning the Indian classical music. This is known to be the basic knowledge of each person who wishes to learn or know about the Indian classical music. There are 10 basic Thatts on which all the music scholars and the Great Ustad agree. They feel that these 10 Thatts should be enough to cover the entire knowledge of Indian classical music. Well these 10 thatts are as follows:

1. Bilawal

2. Kafi

3. Bharavi

4. Kalyan

5 .Khamaj

6. Asavari

7 .Bairav

8. Marva

9. Purvi

10. Todi

Each student has to know the formation of these thatts.

Bilawal (=Ionian mode): S R G m P D N S’ –

Kafi (=Dorian mode): S R g m P D n S’

Bhairavi (=Phrygian mode): S r g m P d n S’ –

Kalyan (=Lydian mode): S R G M P D N S’ –

Khamaj (=Mixolydian mode): S R G m P D n S’ –

Asavari (=Aeolian mode): S R g m P d n S’

Bhairav= double harmonic: S r G m P d N S’ –

Marva: S r G M P D N S’ –

Purvi: S r G M P d N S’ –

Todi: S r g M P d N S’ –

A thāt must have seven tones out of the twelve tones [seven natural, four flat (Re, Ga, Dha, Ni), one sharp (Ma)]

It is very important that the tones must be in ascending sequence: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni

A thāt, unlike a raga, does not have separate ascending and descending lines
(as most of you must be knowing that each raga has its own formation to make it separate from others)

A thāt has no emotional quality (which ragas, by definition, do have) (A that only lets you know the boundaries or the limits in which one emotional raga should remain)

We all know that Thāts are not sung but the ragas produced from the thāts are sung.

The Indian classical music is unique in many ways. It has vast canvas on which every mood of life can be painted. Each raga has its own time, and according to the lyrics the melody of the song is composed (sad or joyful mood).

Bilawal is the first basic of all the ten thaats. All the notes in the thaat are white or all in the natural scale. Bilawal as a raag is not sung these days however a small variation of the raag called Alhaiya Bilaval is very common. This is a morning raag and this is note worthy that many religious melodies are composed in this raga. its very easy to sing and even the person who has very little knowledge of music can easily cope with it. Since all note are natural it makes for the singers to sing it effortlessly. it has also been observed that my rhymes for kids are composed in this raga to make it very very easy for the kids to learn it. The most famous ragas in this Thatt are Deshkar, Hamsadhwani, Bihag, etc

The next thaat is Khamaj and it can be obtained by replacing the white Nishad of Bilawal by Komal Nishad. The raags of this thaat are (romantic) hence this raag is mostly used in the form of light classical thumris, tappas, horis, kajris etc. Some people still believe that the origin of this raga is China. Well it must have come from there through travelers or otherwise. The most famous ragas in this thaat are : Rageshree, Jhinjhoti, Des, Mishr Khamaj, Tilang, Tilak Kamod, Jaijaiwanti, Khambavati, Kalavati etc.
this raag is mostly rendered in the form of light classical thumris, tappas, horis, kajris etc

Kafi thaat makes use of the Komal Gandhar and Komal Nishad. So basically it adds Komal Gandhar to the Khamaj Thaat. raag Kafi is one of the oldest raags and its intervals are described as basic scale of the Natyashastra. Thus in ancient and medieval times, Kafi was considered as natural scale. Kafi is a late evening raag and said to convey the mood of spring time.

Raags in Kafi Thaat : Dhanashree, Dhani, Bahar, Bhimpalasi, Pilu, Megh Malhar, Bageshree, etc.

We shall discuss other Thatts in forthcoming Articles.

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The Indian classical music is very old and its roots can be found in Vedic literature. by the passage of time the Indian Music has been undergoing changes due to the influence of the western music and some of the folk musics of other civilizations. Perhaps now a days it is hard to find it in its purest form..Most of the people may not know the revolutionary changes it has undergone. It was in its purest form in the 13th century as can be determined from the sanskrit text Sangita-Ratnakara. The actual Indian classical music was regarded as full time involvement . It was taught by the Ustad (Masters of music) to the students who could serve the masters in different form such as their obedience and respect. At that time there was no technology that could pass on the information about the formations of different raags, their time and the ways to perform it. Therefore they had no other option but to serve the master to get the knowledge of Hindustani music and the Carnatic music traditions. The Indian classical music has two basic foundations or pillars, the first known as raga (the raag or the melody of the lyrics) and tala (known as rythm). without these two elements the Indian classical music can not exist. but our classical music also has the influence of neighboring countries such as Iran, Eqypt and even Arab. Many styles are being fabricated while keep the basic demand of the raag. It has made the indian classical music more rich by improvising it with different traditional styles of different civilizations. In recent compositions the music directors love to mix western with classical indian music to make it more relaxing and entertaining for the public. These changes had to be brought to keep the classical music alive. No one has the time to listen to the classical music for hours and hours as it used to be in the ancient times.


The Indian music has multiple varieties of classical music, ranging from folk music of different provinces, Indian rock music, Indian pop music and the film music. In fact now a days the film music directors are making efforts to make the melodies as simple as possible, so that every person can sing it. They need to do it to make the melodies popular among all classes of people, from the richest businessmen to the poorest laborers who work in the field the whole day. But not to forget that the melody is certainly based on some raags which orginates from the classical music. The music in the Indian sub-continent began as integral part of social-religious life and till date its shades are prevailing all over the world because the lovers of music are to be found in each corner of the world. The western music specially the rhythm(beats) are used abundantly with the base guitars to enhance the real beauty of melody. In many case, specially in old film music during 70 and 80 era there are numerous examples of such blending. The common people seem to enjoy such music more. The reason being that it becomes more familiar to people from others countries as well.

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