The first time I came across the phrase ‘graha bheda‘ was in  a book called Sangeetha Darpana by Prof. Ramaratnam. For someone who exactly knew the aarohana and avarohana of three or four raagas, a detailed discussion of graha bheda, it’s possibilities and limitations were too much to swallow. What? Getting Kalyani from Shankarabharana and todi?

Luckily, I had the luxury of having my grandma’s old harmonium at my disposal. Using that, and testing out some of the things in that book, I was able to make sense of what the professor was saying!  But over the years, and after becoming a somewhat serious listener of Indian music, I am glad to say  the topic excites me today, as much as it did so many years ago.

To cut a long story short, I was asked to present about some topic that could be of interest to students of music at Mahati School of Music in Cupertino, CA last week. And I chose to talk about graha bheda, as used in Karnataka sangeetha.

I tried to intersperse it with some examples which I sang myself, and some examples from professional performing artists. I could not cover all the clips I had, and also some of  the other points that I wanted to bring up for want of  time, but the participation of kids during the presentation was really very encouraging, to say the least.

Here is a recording of the lec-dem. It is about 50 minutes long, and starts around the 3rd minute marker.I did not have time ( or patience) to edit it,  and so it is posted as it is🙂

Comments are welcome, more so if they are in the form of other nice graha bheda examples!

-neelanjana