Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rasa & Bhava in Indian Music - 04 of 06

Bollywood Rewind is a one-hour special segment series that's played every Sunday morning between 8am to 9am on Bahrain's only Indian Radio Station - 104.2 Your FM. It discusses the influence of Indian Classical and Folk music in the vintage era of Hindi Film industry. You can tune-in to listen to the station live at

This segment has been extremely popular with the audiences since it started airing in August 2014 and I have been happy to be a part of this journey with the morning show hosts, Hemang and Neeti. Although Bollywood Rewind as the name suggests is broadly based on music from the Hindi Film industry; in each episode we select a topic and try to dig deep into various cultural and artistic influences that would have inspired the popular music of yesteryears in India. Although the show is in Hindi, we use a significant amount of English in our conversation for the benefit of those listeners who are not extremely comfortable in Hindi.

Last month, for the first time I posted links of an episode of Bollywood Rewind on this blog, the first three of the six-part special, Rasa & Bhava in Music. In short, rasa & bhava are the fundamental ingredients that form the true essence of music, where the performer and the audience fuse into one.

To keep it simple and easy to understand, the conversation has been essayed from the perspective of a performer vis-à-vis from the audience’s point of view and references have been used from classical music than popular music.

Following is the flow of the fourth of the six-part special, Rasa & Bhava in Music:

- snippet of madhuban mein radhika (Kohinoor, 1960)
- Explaining how some compositions express a bhava that does not match the primary rasa of the raga – like, a particular composition which is a veer-rasa-pradhan raga has the potential in its swar-sangati to evoke the veer rasa in the mind of the listener. But this cause-and-effect relationship cannot be applied every time without conditions.
- This is because a bhava is created out of aesthetics accompanying the creation of the swar and music therefore is only the combined effect of swar, laya, taal, raga and bandish. Together it creates a beautiful mahaul.
- While music is universal, yet the meaning of music is not universal. The meaning of music differs from person-to-person as it largely depends on one’s perception. Musicians usually consider their own music to be good quite simply because they understand it. If the listener is unable to understand it, he may not like it, even though it may be good. This is what I would call the ‘mental make-up. And this mental make-up plays an important role in appreciating music.
- A swar has no independent identity. It is identified always in relation to something. Standing alone, we do not know whether it is a dhaivat or a pancham. It is only with respect to a particular shadja that you can identify a dhaivat or a pancham or any other swar in the saptak.
- Similarly, when it comes to language; alphabets do not come with a pre-conceived emotion. Like A, B or C, they doesn’t mean anything. But words do. Sentences do.
- snippet of nainon mein badra chaaye(Mera Saaya, 1966)

Hope you enjoy listening to the show, Bollywood Rewind: Rasa & Bhava in Indian Music (04 of 06) –

I do not own rights for the songs and the visuals used in this video. If any concerned individual or an organization has an objection to the music or visuals used here, kindly notify me and I’ll promptly pull it down.

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