Resources from Asian Arts Academy

scrapbook iconShri Malyaban Chatterjee - Raga Yaman

Raga Yaman, also known as Raga Iman, is a night raga which is very romantic in nature. Some say its origin is from the Persian mode “Ei’man” from which “Yaman” came about. Others say it has Vedic origins as Raga Yamuna which through time had its pronunciation altered as Yaman. Nonetheless, this raga is often taught to beginners in North Indian music.

There is another similar raga called Yaman Kalyana, which is the exact same structure, except there is an addition of suddha ma which is so skillfully sandwiched by a suddha Ga and suddha Re.

Raga Name: Yaman

That Name: Kalyana

Aroha: ‘N R G M D N S’

Avaroha: S’ N D P M G R S

Jati: Sadava – Sampurna

Vadi: G

Samvadi: N

Swarupa: ‘N R G M P R G R ‘N R S

Prahar: 6th Prahar (6 PM to 9 PM)

scrapbook iconShri Malyaban Chatterjee - Raga Jhinjhoti

...the remembered sweetnesses that attend the beginnings of any new love.... Raga Jhinjhoti

Jhinjhoti is a raga that immediately conveys a simple and pure joy, happiness, and effusiveness. It is a late evening and night raga (9 – 12 pm) that is performed often among contemporary performers and is widely appreciated by audiences.

Jhinjhoti belongs to Khamaj Thaat.


Thaat: Khammaj
Jaati: Audav-Sampoorn
Vadi/Samvadi: Sa/Pa
Prahar: evening
Mood: shringar (love, romance)
Arohi: Sa Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Sa
Avarohi: Sa ni Dha Pa ma Ga Re Sa
Chalan: Dha Sa Re ma Ga, Re Ga Sa Re ni Dha Pa Dha Sa

The aroha and avaroha are as follows: S R G M P D N (komal). However, in practice we rarely hear the gandhar being sung in a straight arohi pattern. Similarly, we do not normally hear komal nishad being used in arohi phrases as well. Some of the most defining phrases of Jhinjhoti are: D S R M G, S R N D P D S; M P D N D S. Gandhar is a focal note in development, serving as a point that is frequently visited during development.

scrapbook iconShri Malyaban Chatterjee - Raga Puriya Dhaneshree

Raga Puriya Dhanashri is the musical personification of India.
Remote and inaccessible to the uninitiated, it showers worlds of sublime meaning upon the devotee. The difficulty newcomers have listening to Puriya Dhanashri stems from its unusual combination of swaras, plus an elusive rasa

scrapbook iconShri Malyaban Chatterjee - Raga Puriya Dhaneshree

Asian Arts are extremely grateful to our well-wishers who could not attend, supporters and sponsors for their kind donations


What are characteristics of Kirana gharana?

The name of this school of music derives from Kirana or Kairana, a village in Haryana state of central India. It is the birthplace of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872-1937), who was one of the most important musicians of this Gharana and of Hindustani music in the twentieth century. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is the long-reigning King of Hindustani classical vocal music. Loyal to Kirana tradition, yet innovative, he has systematic elaboration of a Raga, improvisation in the vilambit laya, and slow spacious alaps employing meendkari with clear gesticulations.

What were the specialties of the gayaki of Ustad Amir Khan?

The revolutionary spirit, progressive outlook and creativity brought about radical changes in the style of presentation of classical music by Amir Khan who disregarded, conventional traditions, and with his intelligence and talent evolved an entirely original style of presentation, keeping 'Merukhand' gayaki at the center. Considering Gharana system curbed the freedom of the musicians, so he believed that an influence should not be rejected just because it came from a different Gharana. ditation, maintains the same position till the end of concert, total lack of gesticulation or facial distortion, absolute concentration on the song, and the slow, gradual build-up of a Raga. An atmosphere of solemnity and tranquility prevails concerts. Bandishes were chosen very carefully and had spiritual lyrics.


Malyaban Chatterjee is an extremely talented musician who presents Ustad Amir Khan’s style with crystal precision-oriented tunefulness. Performing over 200 solo performances Malyaban Chatterjee is an extremely talented vocal musician who has created a huge impact in the world of Hindustani Classical Music. Malyaban started his initial training at the tender age of five under Sri Sunil Neogi, a foremost disciple of Pandit Narayan Rao Joshi. Later he had the priviledge of receiving extensive taleem for fifteen years from Pandit Manas Chakraborty.


scrapbook iconThe Language of Dance

Bharatanatyam dance is derived from the ancient Hindu tradition of Cathir, the art of temple dancers.

A complex and beautiful art originally only performed by women, Bharatanatyam is now practiced by men and women, Hindu and non-Hindu alike.

scrapbook iconKala Ramnath - Composition in Raag Desh (1

To the ear of the western violin player Indian music, and perhaps the Indian violin in particular, is one of the most exotic and mysterious of sounds.

The biggest difference between Indian and Western Classical music is that the former is based very largely on improvisation, with emphasis on the creativity of the performer rather than on the exact reproduction of a composer's work.

Raags were originally based mainly around the vocal tradition, and are not instrument-specific; indeed it is remarkable to hear the similarity in tone and ornamentation when comparing vocal and violin performances of a raag.

Indian violin
The violin may have been introduced to India around 1790 by military bandsmen in the East India Company, many of whom were Irish.
It has also been suggested that the violin came somewhat earlier, brought by Portugese Christian missionaries, and taught to converts for use in church services. Either way, the instrument was quickly found to be ideal for use in Indian classical music, with its closeness in timbre and range to the human voice. The violin is played sitting cross legged, the instrument pointing to the ground with scroll resting firmly on the ankle of the right foot. Traditionally fingering is based around the middle finger (which slides up), and the index finger (which slides down); these slides or portamenti, called meend in carnatic music, are sometimes facilitated by oiling the fingers. Open tunings, such as DADA or FCFC are commonly used in order to incorporate the drones which are such an important part of Indian music. The bow is held more in the folk than western classical style. Vibrato is not used as in Western music, though there are slow, deliberate oscillations (andolan) and faster oscillations called gamak.

The aim of tone production is to imitate the Indian singing style. Grace notes (sparsha svara or krintan) are frequently used. Hindustani music alone has over a hundred categorised ornaments. There is extensive use of micro-tones, and a choice of alternative tunings to utilise drone notes; the violin is often tuned in fourths rather than in fifths, eliminating the need to use the fourth finger.

"The purpose of Indian music is to refine one's soul, discipline one's body, to make one aware of the infinite within one, to unite one's breath with that of space and one's vibrations with that of the cosmos."

scrapbook iconKathak - Glimpses of Pt Chitresh Das' Intricate Choreography


The word kathak means "to tell a story". It is derived from the dance dramas of ancient India. When the patronage shifted from the temples to the royal court, there was a change in the overall emphasis. The emphasis shifted from the telling of religious stories to one of entertainment. Today, the story-telling aspect has been downgraded and the dance is primarily an abstract exploration of rhythm and movement.

Read more here -

The Chitresh Das Dance Company is one of the world's leading Kathak dance companies, performing throughout the U.S., India and internationally. The company is comprised of dancers whose abilities exemplify Pandit Chitresh Das' emphasis on the technical, graceful and dramatic aspects of Kathak dance. Principal Company members have become established artists in their own right, performing internationally to great acclaim. With a repertoire ranging from the exploration of the rhythms of North and South India (Pancha Jati), stories and moving images of the lavish courts of India (Darbar) to the pure dance energy of Tarana, the critically acclaimed Chitresh Das Dance Company continues to captivate audiences on their international tours. Through the choreographic vision of Pandit Chitresh Das comes work that is evocative and powerful, bringing both the richness of ancient India and a fiery, contemporary sensibility.


scrapbook iconWhy use Ragas for achieving a Healthy Lifestyle?

Ragas are an ancient tradition and could be a safe alternative for many medical interventions.

What is the science and art of Raga music?
According to an ancient Indian text, Swara Sastra, the seventy-two melakarta ragas (parent ragas) control the 72 important nerves in the body. It is believed that if one sings with due devotion, adhering to the raga lakshana (norms) and sruti shuddhi, (pitch purity) the raga could affect the particular nerve in the body in a favourable manner.

Why is a Raga used for health and healing?
A Raga is a scientific, precise, subtle and aesthetic melodic form with ascending and descending movement consisting of only 5-7 notes. A combination of such notes has a collective frequency which when understood can be used to heal the body.

What is the difference between Western music and Ragas?
Rock, pop, jaz, rap and disco types of western music have become very popular especially amongst the youth. Although, listening to such a music for five-ten minutes removes lethargy and instantly generates new alacrity, listening to it for longer periods frequently has damaging effects on the ear drums and the spinal column, and disturbs the smooth and balanced flow of several important physiological fluids leading to different kinds of physical ailments.

The corresponding effects on the organs and the physiological system of the body as a whole are obvious consequences. Such varieties of fast and high-beat music are found to have detrimental effects on health in the long term.

Although Western classical music is also being used in some studies, its applications are limited to certain kinds of diseases/disorders and are also of much lesser significance in terms of the intensity and impact of positive effects as compared to the Indian classical music.

A group of London based physicians has scientifically experimented on different aspects of music therapy. In their views, the shastric ragas could induce healing of all kinds of ailments. They argue that the immediate benefits these ragas offer is mental peace by alleviating tensions and providing an enchanting and creative diversion to the mind.

The field of health care by Music Therapy has evolved. Simple iterative musical rhythms with low pitched notes are capable of leading to relaxation (evidenced by alpha-levels of the brain waves and favourable hormonal changes (Crandall, 1986). Somatic or physiological impact of ragas (Sairam, 2004b) recently shown benefit, for cancer patients, children with ADHD, pain management, reduce depression, to calm and to ease muscle tension. Because of its fast remedial effects, music therapy based on classical ragas is being used or advised these days for the treatment of insomnia, migraine, hypertension, chronic headache, anxiety.

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