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Sunday, June 1, 2008



Definition (ve.nkaTamakhin)

AhirI sA tu saMpUrNA
Sa grahA shrOtra ra~njanI
gitOkta mELa maRgENa
bANa yAmE pragIyatE
(ve.nkaTamakhin – caturdaNDi prakAshika – anubandham 20-10)
Ahiri is usualy considered a janyam of mElam 8, hanumathodi (but opinions differ, and it can be placed under 14, vakuLAbharaNam, 17 sUryakAntam, or 20 naTabhairavi – see remarks below).
ArOhanam: sa ri sa ga ma pa dha ni Sa (S R1 S G3 M1 P D1 N2 S)
AvarOhaNam: Sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa (S N2 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S))
The svarams featured are (mELam 8): SaDjam, shuddha riSabham, sAdhArana gAndhAram, shuddha madhyamam, pa~ncamam, shuddha dhaivatam, and kaishiki niSAdham. Since antara gAndhAram, and kakaLi niSAdham appears in several places, Ahiri becomes a bhASA.nga rAgam. It is an Arohana vakra sampUrNa rAgam.
The jIva svarams are ga, dha, and ni.
The chAya svarams are ri, ma, and ni.
The svarams shudda ri and ga are kampita svarams.
Ahiri is a gamaka vArikA rakti rAgam.
A tristAyI rAgam exhibiting a number of subtle shrutis in kaRNATik music.
It is therefore featured in k.rtis, operas, dramas and various dance forms.
The ga in Ahiri is very delicate. The well pronounced antara ga occurs very rarely. In most places it slips own to the sAdharaNa ga level. Even the catushruti dha occurs strikingly in phrases like “p{d}nSnddnDp.
A scholarly ragam that can be properly rendered only with suitable lakSya j~nAnam
Ahiri is a very early morning rAgam (ve.nkaTamakhin says bANa kAlam, which is second yAmam after evening/night). It portrays shOka and karuNa rasam (pathos, and compassion).
In Tamil paNN music, Ahiri is known by the name pa~ncamam.
Ahiri belongs to the 19 pUrva prasiddha mElams declared by “pUrva AcAryas”, and is the eight mELam described by ve.nkaTamakhin. It has been mentioned in many treatises including Sa.ngIta samayasAra.
Sa.ngIta sampradAya pradarshini of subbarAma dIkSitar places Ahiri as a bhASA.nga janyam number 2, under the (asaMpURNa mELam) rAgam 20, rItigauLa. The mUrccana given there are:
ArOhaNam: sa ri sa ga ma pa dha ni sa
AvarOhaNam: sa ni dhA pa ma gA ri sa
SubbarAma dIkSitar adds that the elongated ni, dha and ga are the jIva svarams; trishruti and pa~ncashruti riSabham, sAdhArana and antara gAndhAram, trishruti and pa~ncashruti dhaivatam, and finally kaishiKi as well as kAkaLi nishAdams occur.
The boiok gives a lakSya gItam in tripuTa tALam by ve.nkaTamakhin as usual, followed by muttusvAmi dIkStar’s AvaraNa k.ri “shrI kamalAmbA jayati”, a padam, “ mOsamAyegadvE” in mishra Eka tALam by pollavaramuvAru“, concluding with a sa~ncAri by subbarAma dIkSitar himself.
Some musiclogists prefer to place Ahiri as a janyam of mELam 14, vakuLAbharaNam, or even mElam 20, naTabhairavi. The presence of antara ga, kAkaLi ni, catushruti dha even make one feel that it can be placed under mELam 17, sUryakAntam. The difficulty of fixing a proper mElam for Ahiri is due to the fact that in certain sa~ncarams, touches of ri, ga, dha and ni, other than those defined in the scale are found to occur.
The rules concerning the use of foreign notes are rather vague, and performers allow themselves with various liberties. A general guideline is as follows:
Shuddha ri – usually employed in descent
Catushruti ri – used in skips
sadharaNa ga – mainly in descent
antara ga – usually in ascent, particularly before ma
shuddha dha – used in descent
catushruti dha – appears in ascent, usualy before ni
kaishiki ni – can appear in ascent or descent
kAkaLi ni – used in ascent before sa.

In Hindushtani system, a number of “Ahir”-prefixed rAgams exist (Ahir bhairav, Ahir tODi, etc). Here, “Ahir” imples it belongs to a “gauLa’ group. According to sa.ngIta kalpadruma, Ahiri is a combination of bhairav in, and kAfi in Svarams of Ahiri are kOmal ri, tIvra ga, shuddh ma, tIvra dha and komal ni. Vadi is Sa, and samvadi in pa. It is a morning rAgam.

Ahiri is featured in numerous rAgamAlikas and rAgamAlika shlolams, but tillAnAs in Ahiri are hard to come by; also renditions of pallavis in this scholarly rAgam is unheard of (since it is a difficult and scholarly rAgam).

The emotional composition " Maayamma yanire" by Shyama Sastri epitomizes Ahiri and it is a sheer pleasure to listen to a rendition of this materpiece by stalwarts. Dikshiter's nineth Aavarana krithi in the Kamalambaa Navaa varana series " Shir kamalaamba jayathi" employs all eight vibhaktis of the sanskrit language and has some lengthy and windingword constructions.
The pallavi is in the nominative case, the first three lines of the anupallavi are in the accusative case and the rest of the anupallavi in the instrumental case. The charanam begins with dative case and the consecutive lines are set in ablative, genetive and locative cases. The last two lines, to be sung in madhyamakalam are again in the nominative case, in order to return to the main pallavi line. The composer skillfully employs the phrase "sEvitaramaahari" to yield the Raaga mudra in a slightly altered form.

There is some taboo attached to singing Aahiri. Musicians of older generation feel that if this Rtaagam is performed at a wrong time ( Aahiri is baana yaama kaala raagam) the singer will be unable to find food for the rest of the day/

A look at various compositions in Ahiri reveals that mishra cApu tALam is featured more often. I do not know why; but, strangely, shyAma shAstri, who often indulges in mishra cApu, deviates here in his Ahiri masterpiece, by setting it to Adi tALam.
( Courtesy: Raaghanubhava - P.P. Narayanaswamy)

  • Maayamma - T. M. Krishna

  • Veekshegam - T. N. Seshagopalan

  • Maayamma - Bombay Jayashree

  • Sompaina manasutho - S. Janaki

  • Maayamma - Aruna Sairam

  • Veena beri - M. S. Subbalakshmi

  • Maayamma - Maharajapuram Santhanam

  • Maayamma - Nithyashree

  • Maayamma - Gaayathri Venkatraghavan

  • Peelapaaanbu - Maharajapuram Santhanam

  • Mosamaaye - Sowmya

  • Sri Kamalamba Jayathi - S. Rajeswari

  • Sri kamalamba - Bombay Jayashri

  • Maayammaa - T.N. Seshgopalan

  • ( If there is any problem in downloading in mediafire try these also)

    Sri kamalamba - Ahiri - Bombay Jayashri ( You need not download simply click and enjoy)

  • Sri kamalamba - Bombay ayashree ( Under rapidshare)
  • Aahirbhairavi

    Ahiri bhairavi (Ahir bhairav)

    1. Sri Jagadeeswari - S.P.Ramh
    2. ki ankhien - Sudha Raghunathan
    3. Pibare raama rasam - P. Unnikrishnan
    4. Sri Jagadeeswari - Bombay Jayashree
    5. - Bombay Jayashree
    6. Pibare raamarasam - Nithyashree
    7. Viruththam followed by Kandhaa nee - Nithyashree
    8. Pibare raamarasam - Sudha Raghunathan