Colours of a Raga

Behag

The colourful and romantic bhashanga raga borrowed from Hindustani music.

1:07:32
RJ: Mahadevan

Behag

The colourful and romantic bhashanga raga borrowed from Hindustani music.

Bhashanga ragas tend to have a certain beauty of their own, and Behag has the same quality. With its usages that have double nishadas and double madhyamas, its quintessential phrases and sinuous traverse between notes, Behag has a character all its own. In Carnatic music, it is treated as a light raga, and any kind of elaborate treatment is limited to the occasional use in a Ragam Tanam Pallavi. Behag has not been used by the Trinity of Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri, though their contemporaries Gopalakrishna Bharati and Swati Tirunal have compositions in the raga. In concerts, Behag appears frequently towards the end, in the form of javalis, bhajans, shlokas or as part of ragamalikas. The occasional instance of elaboration of the raga also shows the appeal and range of expression that the raga has. This programme looks at Behag and its qualities, and also plays a representative selection of compositions in the raga.

Songs in this Program