Pt. Pathak has sung a little of Raag Bilashkhani Todi. Here is a small story about this raag, which begins with the esteemed musician and singer, Tansen, a renowned musician at the court of 16th Century Indian Mughal Emperor Akbar.
The Emperor awarded Tansen the honorific title Miyan and recognized Tansen as one of the Navaratnas or Nine Jewels of Akbar’s court. After an extraordinary musical life, Tansen died at around the age of 90 in 1589.
On the somber morning of Tansen’s death, his son Bilash Khan stood before the funeral bier overcome with grief. Bilash sang, pouring out his heart, his sadness and love into a raag composed as he knelt before his father and Guru. From that day, with his father’s blessing, the Raag became famous as Bilashkhani Todi.
This raag’s chalan, the combination of notes which set the tone of the raag, is very sweet and embodies the minor mood of the Raag as it moves. Especially sweet are the descending minor notes “da, ma re” in this poignant morning raag with its sweet and soft nature.
Bilashkhani Todi is very much a favorite of Guruji, Pt. Binay Pathak.
Raag and Rhythm
The raag is a unique and central feature of classical Indian music tradition. Each raag is an array of melodic structures with musical motifs considered to have the ability to color the mind and affect the emotions of the audience. There are hundreds of recognized classical raags each with its own unique melodic personality.