Darbari Kanada

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"Raag Darbari" redirects here. For the novel, see Raag Darbari (novel).
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Hindustani classical music



melody: VocalsSitarSarodSurbaharRudra veenaViolinSarangiEsraj/DilrubaBansuriShehnaiSantoorHarmoniumJal tarang

rhythm: TablaPakhawaj

drone: TanpuraShruti boxSwarmandal


classical: DhrupadDhamarKhyalTaranaSadra

semiclassical: ThumriDadraQawwaliGhazalChaitiKajri



Darbari Kanada, or simply Raga Darbari, (pronounced darbāri kānada), is a raga in the Kanada family, which is thought to have originated in Carnatic music and brought into North Indian music by Miyan Tansen, the legendary 16th-century composer in emperor Akbar's court. This tradition is reflected in the name itself; Darbar is the Persian derived word in Hindi meaning "court." As the most familiar raga in the Kanada family, it may sometimes also be called Shuddha Kanada or pure Kanada. It belongs to the Asavari thaat.[1]

It is also sometimes written as Durbari and Durbarikanada.[2]

In Hindustani classical music[edit]

Darbari is a grave raga, played deep into the night, considered to be one of the more difficult to master, and with the potential for profound emotional impact.[3]

The ascension of aroha is in the lower and middle octaves. In the avroha the note Ga (gandhar) komal is used in a weak manner and a slow vibrato (andolan) on this note. The association of the notes Ni and Pa sounds pleasing. Its Vadi swar is Re and Samavadi is Pa.

aroha: S R (R)g, (R)g M P d n S'

avroha: S' d n P M P (M)g, (M)g M (S)R, S

For reference, the set of notes in the Asavari thaat is S R g M P d n, and for Darbari, the role of the komal gandhar is crucial, as is dwelling on the lower komal dhaivat for some time.

Other ragas in the Kanada family include Abhogi Kanada, Nayaki Kanada, Shahana Kanada, Kaushi Kanada and Adana. (see Adana is part of the Kanada Raga group)

Abdul Wahid Khan performs Raga Darbari Kanada in 1947

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Important Recordings[edit]

In Carnatic music[edit]

It is an ubhaya vakra sampurna rāgam derived from the 20th melakarta rāgam Natabhairavi.[4] Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on the notations used):

This scale uses the notes chatusruti rishabham, sadharana gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, shuddha dhaivatham, kaisiki nishadham.[4]

Health benefits of Raga Darbari[edit]

Raga Darbari is reputed to cure insomnia and induce sleep. In an interview with News X, the well known singer Pandit Jasraj recounts a Doctor friend of his in Pune having used Raga Darbari at his Gynecological Nursing home. Allowing the patients to listen to this Raga allowed them to reduce the dosages of Pethaline injections for pregnant women, from 150 grams to just 50.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hindustani Sangeetha Paddhati (4 volumes, Marathi) (1909–1932). Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. Sangeet Karyalaya (1990 reprint). ISBN 81-85057-35-4. This book, which establishes the Thaat system, has been widely translated.
  2. ^ Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
  3. ^ Rajan P. Parrikar (2000-12-11). "The Kanada Constellation (Part 1/3)". South Asian Women's Forum. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
  5. ^ Singh, Jujhar. "Interview with Pandit Jasraj". You Tube. Art Talk Series. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 

External links[edit]