Darbari Kanada, is also called as Darbari. It is a raga in the Kanada family, probably originated in Carnatic music. Occasionally it is called Shuddha Kanada or pure Kanada and belongs to the Asavari thaat. Frequently Raga Darbari Kanada is portrayed as the Supreme in Ragas.
It was the 16th century, when Mughal Emperor Akbar’s celebrated musician Miyan Tansen introduced it into North Indian. This anecdote can be justified in its name. Persian word ‘Darbar’ is has the meaning as royal court. It’s not only this connection, but its original pleasant-sounding element that made this raga the Himalaya in Ragas.
Raga Darbari is serious by nature and is played late night and is believed to be a complex raga to learn.
In this raga, aroha is in the lower and middle octaves. In the avroha, komal Ga is used in a weak manner and a slow vibrato (andolan). But the union of Ni and Pa leave pleasing effect on the listeners. 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
The notes in the Asavari thaat are S R g M P d n. In this raga, komal gandhar places on the lower komal dhaivat for some time and it has a key role herein.
Its heaviness makes this raga somewhat difficult to master.
This heaviness in this raga is because of the two andolit (oscillated) swaras – komal Ga, and komal Dh, in the ascent and the descent. These two andolit swaras create the two phrases [g M R] and [d n P] that make Darbari Kanada’s harmonious tunes.
These two andolit swaras (komal) Ga and Dh have a great importance in this raga. As per some traditions, Darbari does not have common (komal) Ga and Dh pitch-ratios to base-Sa, but uses their concealed micro-swaras (shrutis). As per this belief, these shrutis are reachable only as implications from andolit swara between the natural Re and the flat Ga (for komal Ga) and between Pa and the flat Dh (for komal Dh).
Conservative musical masters have repeatedly used an unclear lingo, while instructing their disciples the harmony to these tones. But, if we take the shelter of acoustic principles, these andolit swaras can easily be recognized.
Re-Pa and Ma-Ni are the initial and the concluding swaras in these phrases. They have a ratio of 1.333 between them, with an ideal first-fourth association. But, the connecting komal Ga and komal Dh swaras have a ratio of 1.367 between them and are only in near-perfect association with.
For the balance between the lower and upper halves of the Darbari Kanada scale, the two fundamental phrases have to be in a faultless phraseological equivalence. This is possible only when komal Ga and komal Dh are ideally (and acoustically) in association with each other. The artistic need of this tonal geometry might be the reason of great musicians supporting slow rhythms in this raga frequently.
Raag Darbari Kanada by Ustad Rashid Khan