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Raags are often used as the basis for popular songs. But popular songs may not necessarily follow all the rules of the raag that the composer may have used as the foundation to convey the emotion in the song or situation in the movie.

 

So it is often difficult to pinpoint which raag was used while composing the song. Typically, one looks for phrases or part of the melody that identify with the “chalan” of the raag, or with the way some notes are omitted when ascending (aaroh) or descending (avroh), or the way certain notes are sung or used as embellishments.

 

For instance, O Duniya Ke Rakhwale is based on Raag Darbaari and the initial alaap by Rafi Saab sets that feel with the strong "andolans" on certain notes. Similarly, the sitar pieces in "Hungama Hai Kyon" do the same job.

 

There are also times when the composer may have used a particular raag when composing but ultimately ended up breaking some of the rules of the raag, and maybe even moving to a different raag in order to come up with a musical arrangement that suits the movie situation or perhaps something that is likely to be more popular!

 

If you want to learn more, read my book Khaas Baat - A Rhythm Guitarist's Companion available on Amazon. 

Now Available on Amazon!  Click here for more details

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