Yaman (raga)

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Time of dayEarly night, 9–12
ArohanaSa Ni Re Ga Ma(Kori Ma/tivra Ma i.e. Ma#) Pa Ma Dha Ni Sa'
AvarohanaSa' Ni Dha Pa Ma((Kori Ma/tivra Ma i.e. Ma#)) Ga Re Sa
PakadNi-Re-Ga-/Re-Ma(Kori Ma/tivra Ma i.e. Ma#)-Pa-/Ma(Kori Ma/tivra Ma i.e. Ma#-Pa-Dha/Dha-Ni-Sa'(upper octave)
SimilarYaman Kalyan

Yaman (also known as Imaan,'Emann', 'Kalyani' in Carnatic classical music) is a heptatonic (Sampurna) Indian classical raga of Kalyan Thaat.


Yaman emerged from the parent musical scale of Kalyan. Considered to be one of the most fundamental ragas in Hindustani tradition, it is thus often one of the first ragas taught to students.


Yaman's Jati is a Sampurna raga and in some cases Shadav; the ascending Aaroha scale and the descending style of the avroha includes all seven notes in the octave ( When it is Shadav, the Aroha goes like N,RGmDNS' , where the fifth note is omitted; Pa but the Avaroha is the same complete octave). All the scale notes (called swaras) in the raga are Shuddha, the exception being Teevra Madhyam or prati madhyamam. The notes of the raga are considered analogous to the western Lydian mode, which was the predominant scale used in classical antiquity, before being usurped by those of the pre-Modern era.

Not to be mistaken, Raag Yaman is slightly different from Raag Yaman Kalyan. Both have almost the same base, but they are sung differently. The Aroha and Avaroha of Yaman Kalyan goes like this: SRGMDNS' S'NDPMGRS

Avarohana S' N D P M+ G R S

Vadi and Samavadi[edit]

Vadi is ga, Samvadi is ni.

Pakad or Chalan[edit]

Kalyan has no specific phrases or particular features, many musicians avoid Sa and Pa in ascend or treat them very weakly. You often hear N0 R G M+ D N S' in ascent and S' N D M+ G R S in descend[1]).
Sa is avoided in beginning the ascend such as N0 R G M+ P D N S'

Organization and relationships[edit]

There is some discussion whether Yaman and Kalyan really just are different names for the same raga, or that these are actually 2 ragas. Joep Bor says "Kalyan (today usually referred to as Yaman)",[2] Kaufmann[3] says that Yaman and Kalyan are just different names, but insists that rāga Yaman-Kalyan is different as there natural Ma is occasionally inserted between two Ga, like Ga Ma Ga Re Sa, while in all other instances tivra Ma (Ma+ is used as in Kalyan). S. Bagchee[4] agrees with Kaufmann. Bor : If natural Ma is occasionally added in a concluding figure leading to Sa, the raga is known as Yaman-Kalyan.[2]
Kalyan is mixed with several ragas:

Thaat: Kalyan is type raga of Kalyan thaat. In thaat Kalyan, all notes are shuddha (natural) except teevra (sharp) Ma.


Yaman is regarded one of the grandest and most fundamental ragas in Hindustani music. It is one of the first ragas taught to students but it also has great scope for improvisation.

Samay (Time)[edit]

Ragas in the Kalyan thaat, including Yaman, should be performed during the first quarter of the night.



Kalyan is described by Meshakarna(1570) as "lord in white garments and pearl necklace on a splendid lion-throne, under a royal umbrella, fanned with whisk, chewing betel"[2]

A song text is:[2]

Hey friend, without my lover
I don't find peace
At any moment of the day;
Since my lover went away
I spend my nights counting the stars

Historical Information[edit]

Yaman is not an ancient raga. It is first mentioned in the literature in the late 16th century, by which time it was very popular: The Sahasras contains 45 dhrupad song-texts for Kalyan and five for Iman-Kalyan. According to Venkatamakhin(1620), Kalyan was a favourite melody to the Arabs, and Pundarika included Yaman among his 'Persian' Ragas.[2]


Important recordings[edit]

Film songs[edit]

  • "Zindagi bhar nahin bhulegi barsaat ki raat" in "Barsaat Ki Raat" (1960)
  • "Aansoo bhari hai yeh jeevan ki raahen" in "Parvarish" (1977)
  • "Chandan sa badan, chanchal chitvan" in "Saraswati Chandra" (1968)


  1. ^ Kaufmann(1968)
  2. ^ a b c d e Bor 1997
  3. ^ Kaufmann 1968
  4. ^ Bagchee 1998


Bor, Joep (1997), The Raga Guide, Charlottesville,Virginia: Nimbus Records
Kaufmann, Walter (1968), The Ragas of North India, Calcutta: Oxford and IBH Publishing Company.
Bagchee, Sandeep (1998), Nād, Understanding Rāga Music, Mumbai: Eshwar (Business Publications Inc.).
Bhatt, Balvantray (1964–1974), Bhāvaranga, Varanasi: Motilal Barnasidas.
Gandharva, Kumar (1965), Anūparāgavilāsa, Bombay: Mauj Prakashan.
Patwardhan, Vinayak Rao (1961–74), Rāga Vijñāna, Poona: Sangeet Gaurav Granthamala.
Srivastava, Harichandra (1973–79), Rāga Paricaya, Allahabad: SangeetSadan Prakashan.
Telang, Gokulanand; Bhartendu, Banwari Lal (1962), Sangīta Rāga Aṣṭachāpa, Hathras: Sangeet Karyalaya.
Thakar, Vasant Vaman, Sangīta Rāga Darśana, Prayag: Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal Prakashan.
Rao, B. Subba (1964–66), Raganidhi, Madras: Music Academy.

External links[edit]

Moutal, Patrick (1991), Hindustāni Rāga-s Index, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, ISBN 81-215-0525-7.

External links[edit]