Raag Ahir Bhairav

The painting reflects the notes of the bandish below in Raag Ahir Bhairav. The color palette is a part of early morning colors which is when the Raag is supposed to be performed.

This appealing raag is supposedly a mixture of the now obsolete Ahiri and the well known Bhairav. Since the melodic movements in the lower half of the octave reflect the distinctive features of Bhairav, raag Ahir bhairav is often included in the Bhairav group of raag-s. Some musicians regard it as a mixture of Bhairav (lower tetrachord) and Kaafi (upper tetrachord).

Tone material: Sa re Ga ma Pa Dha ni
Pa is sometimes avoided in the ascent. The descent can be direct, as in Sa ni Dha Pa ma Ga re Sa, especially in the fast passages, but often it is : Sa ni Dha Pa ma, Ga ma \ re Sa or even Sa ni Pa ma Ga ma\re Sa with a slight oscillation on flat Re, to express the character of Bhairav. Pa and Sa are the important notes in this raag, however Ga can be sustained as well, especially as in re \ni Sa re Ga-
Some characteristic phrases:
ni Sa Dha ni re – Sa
re \ni Dha
re \ni Sa re Ga-
ni Sa re Ga ma \re Sa

Due to the presence of the flat Ni in the upper tetrachord of Ahir bhairav, it is natural to have some impressions of Kaafi or Khamaaj. However, with the inclusion of flat Re, and the characteristic passage Dha ni /re, the image of Ahir bhairav can be maintained.

Time: Early Morning