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Gurbani Raag Kanara


The modern name for this raga appears to be "Kanada", probably a mattcr of transliteration from its original name. Under the Kanara spelling this raga was prevalent in the classifications of 16th and 17th centuries. However, in one instance, Kanara and Kanada both appear in the same ragmala. This would indicate that at one time these were two distinctly different ragas. Kanara was used by Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan for 69 hymns, a var, plus numerous slokas. In the Ragmala, Kanara is a putra of Dipak. The modern Kanada is one of a group of many Kanada ragas which are combinations of Kanada with other ragas; one of the most popular is Darbari Kanada classified under the Asavari thata. Assigned to the night hours, its mood is quiet and full of majesty. Darbari-Kanada is performed in slow tempo and is a popular concert form today. The details of this raga:
Aroh : Sa Re Ca, Ma Pa, Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa, Ni Pa, Ma Pa, Ga Ma Re Sa

Vadi : Pa

Samvadi : Sa

Introduction :

It is a not a very ancient raga. It became famous in the medieval historical period. Tansen, one of the most famous musician of Emperor Akbar, who was contemporary of Guru Amardas, Guru Ramdas and Guru Arjan Dev, used this raga in the court of Akbar, thus this raga became famous as Darbari (court) Kanra.

Kahn Singh Nabha has given 17 variations of this raga:

  • Darbari
  • Nayki
  • Kaski
  • Varetsi
  • Nut
  • Kafi
  • Kolahal
  • Mangal
  • Sayam
  • Tunk
  • Nagdvani
  • Adana
  • Shahana
  • Suha
  • Sughar
  • Hussani
  • Jay jayant

This raga is mentioned as a son of raga Deepak in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib.

The scale and notes of the raga are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa re ga, ma pa, ni sa

Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni pa, ma pa, ga ma re sa

The vadi (most popular) note is 'pa' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'sa'.

This raga is sung in the first part of the night i.e., 6 p.m. 9 p.m. The season of its recitation is summer (grikham) i.e., during May - June. In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 1294 - 1318 (25 pages).

The Composers:

The composers of bani (hymns) in this raga are:

Gurus

  • Ramdas
  • Guru Arjan Dev

Bhagats:

  • Namdev

The structure:

The sequence of the structure of compositions in this raga are:

Gurubani:

  • Shabads (2 - 4padas)
  • Ashtpadis
  • Chhant
  • Var

Bhagatbani:

  • Shabads ( 2 padas)

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

  • Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 1294
  • Ik-ongkar Satgur Prasadh 15

Placement and count of rahau verses:

In all shabads and ashtpadis the numbered rahau verse are is in the beginning of the compositions.

In the Bhagat Bani the rahau verses have numerals and are also placed in the beginning of the shabads.

Diversification of headings & subheadings in this raga:

Page number

Heading/Subheading

1294

Raga Kanra Chaupadas Mehla 4 Ghar 1

1312

Kanra Chhant Mehla 5

1312

Kanra ki var Mehla 4 Mussae ki var ki dhuni

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Specialist

Ashtpadis

Specialist

Chts

Sohle**

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

Titled

8 (padas)

 

 

 

 

 

Ramdas

6

 

6

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

15

pauris

30

Arjan Dev

38

2 1

10

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Bhagats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namdev

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts taken from:
Guru Granth Sahib: An Advance Study
Dr Sukhbir Singh Kapoor
Vice Chancellor World Sikh University, London

 



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