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Gurbani Raag Majh


This raga is attributed to Guru Nanak, who developed it from a Punjabi folk tune. It does not appear in the Ragmala nor does it seem to be a classical raga today. Possibly it has been reserved purely for Gurbani Sangeet. Majh was the setting for compositions by Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan. This is a regional raga of Manjha- the central portion of the Punjab-and is sung in the afternoon. Here Guru Nanak has given an account of social, cultural and religion conflict between the Hindus and the Muslims in his age. Guru Arjan has composed the calendar- Barah Maha-in this raga. He has dwelt on the characteristics of different months, and the importance of water and milk in the agricultural economy of the punjab. Metaphorically these two things respectively signify that man without devotion and kindness is no good at all.

Aroh : Sa Re Ma Pa Dha Sa

Avroh : Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa

Vadi : Ma

Samvadi : Sa

 

Introduction :

The raga is sung to describe the lacerations of a beloved in the memory of his/her lover. The shabad of Guru Arjan 'mera maan lochey.... is the best example to describe the depth of this raga. The notes used in this raga are:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa re ma pa ni sa (omitted notes are -ga, dha)
Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni-(soft note) dha pa ma ga-(soft note) re sa
The vadi (most popular) note is 're' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'pa'.

Raga Majh is sung at the third part of the day i.e., from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The season of its recitation is rainy (varsha) i.e., during July and August.

This raga is not listed in any of the Ragamala (there are 11 of such Ragmalas available in the Indian musical circles) including the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib. It is believed that this raga was formed/invented by the Sikh Gurus.

In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 94-151 (157 pages).

The Composers:

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

Gurus:

  • Guru Nanak Dev
  • Guru Angad
  • Guru Amardas
  • Guru Ramdas
  • Guru Arjan Dev

Bhagats:

There is no Bhagat bani in this raga.

The structure:

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

Gurubani:

  • Shabads (4 padas)
  • Shabads - Ashtpadis
  • Specialist compositions titled 'Baramah' and 'Dinrein'
  • Var
The word 'Shud' is written at the end of the var.

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 93
Ik-ongkar Satnam Kartarpurkh Gurprasadh = 1 at page 137
Ik-ongkar Satguru Prasadh = 4 at pages 109, 132, 133, 136

Placement and count of rahau verse/s:

The (chaupada) shabads have no rahau verse/s in them except one shabad on pages 96-97 which has four rahau verses in it.

The ashtpadis of Guru Nanak, Guru Amardas and Guru Ramdas have one rahau verse in each one of them placed after the first padas. The rahau verses in the ashtpadis of Guru Arjan are as follows:

  • First and third ashtpadis have a rahau verse placed after the first padas.
  • Second and fourth ashtpadis have no rahau verses.
  • Fifth ashtpadi has one rahau verse placed in the beginning of the ashtpadi.

The two specialist compositions, Baramah and Din rein, have no rahau verses in them.

Diversified headings/subheadings used in this raga:

Page no

Heading

Page no

Heading

94

Raga Majh chaupadas
Ghar 1 Mehla 4

96

Majh Mehla 5 Chaupadas
Ghar 1

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

1 (27

pauris)

45

Angad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Amardas

 

 

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

 

 

6

Ramdas

 

 

7

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

2

Arjan Dev

 

 

43

 

 

5

 

Baramah

(14 pds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinrein

(4 pds)

 

 

 

 

* Sloaks are included in the var. *Comment 'shud' is recorded at the end of var

 

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

 



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