Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes that can be used; which notes can be used; and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. In the Guru Granth Sahib, there are a total of 31 raga compositions and this raga is the twenty-fifth raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 29 pages from page numbers 1168 to 1197.
Basant is Pali/Punjabi word for "spring". The word is much older than the Sikh religion and any usage of the word in relation to melody or Sikh tradition is a later rendition of the word.
During spring season of the year Basant may be performed at any time of the day or night. Otherwise, it is reserved for the time between 9 p.m. and midnight. The Ragmala gives Basant as a putra (son) of Hindol, also a spring raga. Today it belongs to the Purvi thata. The only variant noted in the Holy Book is Basant-Hindol. Basant is a very old raga dating from the 8th century. Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadar composed Shabads in this raga. Performed in slow tempo, this gentle melody depicts quiet joy. The descending scale is usually found at the beginning of a composition with the ascending form follows later. The occasional use of Shuddha Ma and the characteristic Aroh (Sa Ga Ma Dha Ni Sa) differentiates it from a similar raga Puriya Dhanashree.
- Aroh: Sa Ga Ma Dha Ni Sa
- Avroh: Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma, Ga Re Sa
- Vadi: Sa
- Samvadi: Ma