Raag Sur Malhar

 The painting reflects the notes of the bandish below in Raag Sur Malhar. The Raag is supposed to be performed any time during the rains. Hence the color palette reflects the colors of water which usually are blue.

The painting reflects the notes of the bandish below in Raag Sur Malhar. The Raag is supposed to be performed any time during the rains. Hence the color palette reflects the colors of water which usually are blue.

Sur malhar (also called Surdasi malhar) is regarded as a combination of 2 raags - Sarang and Malhar

Tone material: Sa Re ma Pa Dha ni Ni

Pa and high Sa are important notes.  Dha features only in the descent. Natural Ni is used in the ascent while flat Ni is included in the descent. The general movement of the raag is around the high Sa. In fact many compositions in this raag commence on the middle Sa but soon take off to high Sa. Re /Pa is a characteristic glide indicative of its Malhar association.

Some characteristic phrases:
ma \ Re Ni Sa /Sa (high Sa)
Re ma Pa ni Dha Pa
Pa ma\Re

Some musicians, especially from the dhrupad tradition, use flat Ga in this raag (ibid), however, this is not a common practice. When used, Ga features in a phrase- g m R S. The texts of vocal compositions are full of vivid descriptions of the rains. the composition presented here also depicts the same theme.

The ascent in Sur malhar is very similar to that of raag Brindavani sarang (vide). However, the phrase  S-n D m P n D P  in the descent  makes it distinct from the latter.

Time: Any time during the rainy season