Raga Yaman Kalyan


Bollywood songs from the beginning have been based on Indian Classical Music. Indian Classical Music is of 2 types on the basis of where it originated. Classical Music, which originated in the South of India, is called Carnatic Music while the one originating in the North is called Hindusthani Music. With this information, we began exploring the Bollywood creations based on Indian Ragas. Here we contacted classical singer Bhavani Ram, who has learnt both Hindustani and Carnatic; for some information about Raga Yaman Kalyan.

Raga: A raga is a framework of music which one uses using the seven notations i.e. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Da Ni.

The specific notes within a raga can be restructured or modified the way a musician wants it. Each raga has a unique quality an array of melodious structure that can evoke emotions of the audience with accordance to time, moods and season. Each Raga has an Ascending (Aaroh) or descending notations (Avroh) to describe it more specifically. How and where to stress certain notations and uplift the weaker one is specified in the Aaroh and Avroh.

Raga Yaman Kalyan: Yaman Kalyan also called Jamini Kalyan is loved by one and all and is extremely popular both in the Hindustani and Carnatic Music – Yaman Kalyan in Hindustani and Yaman Kalyani in Carnatic. This Raga is one of the grand ragas and is universally popular with vocalists, instrumentalists and among the beginners. This is one of the most fundamental ragas in Hindustani Music and is one of the first ragas taught to the students. Even professional singers choose this raga during performances as it captivates the audience and evokes beautiful emotions within them. The beauty of this raga is that it starts from the lowest notation Ni and in the direct descent both Sa and Pa are omitted.

History: Yaman Kalyan isn’t an ancient raga. In fact, this raga was mentioned in the late 16th Century the earliest by which time it became popular. This Raga was one of the favorite ragas of the Arabs.

Nuances: This raga must be rendered during the first quarter of the night. This raga can be sung, according to the moods, time and ambiance. It can transport you to various states of emotions. Melancholy, happiness, love or soothing feeling, this raga can stir the very soul. When I hear certain songs in Yaman Kalyan I am either misty eyed or extremely happy. Each raga has its charm and Yaman Kalyan tops it.

Bollywood and Yaman Kalyan: Few songs based on this raga are: Chandan sa badan, Jab deep jale aana… (Chitchor – 1976), Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par… (Junglee 1961), Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare… (Chitralekha – 1964), Bhuli hui yaadon… (Sanjog – 1961) and Ja re badra bairi ja… (Bahana – 1960).

When the music director composes music based on a raga, he composes it according to the situation in the movie. The scope of singing is wide and the swaras can be changed according to the mood of the song, but without changing the raga.

Bhavani’s Take on the Raga: She says, “This raga according to me is one of the finest and my favorite one at that. It leaves me in an introspective state. When I render a song based on this raga, I feel like singing more and the more I sing it, the more I fall in love with this raga. To say it’s a grand raga is an understatement. For me, this raga is the king of all ragas.”


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