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Pancham Raga

Updated: Mar 9

This article delves into the intricacies of Pancham Raga, the fifth melody in Indian classical music. Before commencing my discourse, I would like to share some fascinating information about this genre. In a previous article, I elucidated that ancient seers were inclined to identify comparable objects whenever they deemed it necessary to create metaphors and relied heavily on nature to formalize them. While I intend to expound on the world's first grammatical concept of painting in future articles, it wouldn't be amiss to touch upon it briefly in this chapter as well.


Consider the following notion: How did the earliest philosophers ascertain musical scales for the first time? What ancient principles guided the development of actual musical scales? The answer lies in animal voices! Initial ideas concerning musical scales arose from animal sounds. Conversely, natural soundscapes aided them in identifying ideal musical scales.


In Indian classical music, the scales are structured in seven steps, from the lower scale to the higher scale. These scales are known as SAA, RE, GAA, MAA, etc. The ancient sages of India discovered seven scales, which are used to compose a melody.


Here is a list of the animals and birds whose voices establish the perfect musical scales.


SAA originated from the resonant cry of the peacock, while RE was derived from the lowing sound produced by a bull. GAA has its roots in the melodious bleating of a goat, whereas MAA emanates from the distinctive call of a heron. PAA was inspired by the unique vocalization of a cuckoo bird, and Dha emerged as an echo to the majestic neighing of horses. Lastly, scale NEE evolved from the resounding trumpeting sounds made by elephants.


pancham-raga-indian-ragamala-painting-artique-blog
Pancham Raga 1680-1690

The ancient Indian sages were truly innovative and ahead of their time. They had such a deep connection with nature that they could understand its language and emotions. It's incredible to think about how they gained fundamental knowledge simply by observing the world around them. I can only imagine how amazed you were when you discovered the depth of their observation. We can all learn from and strive to emulate their passion and admiration for nature. It isn't my typical words, instead of my realization.


It was discovered that the world's first musical text was encrypted in the 1st to 4th century AD, but the time of discovery of those musical scales was between 200 BC and 200 AD.


Nevertheless, this chapter contains intriguing details regarding Indian classical music that merit further discussion. To begin with, let us revisit the subject of Pancham Raag, the fifth rhythm in Indian classical music. Pancham itself signifies "fifth." Furthermore, it's worth noting that a previous Indian musician named Rahul Dev Barman was widely known by his nickname—Pancham. This particular form of music seeks to replicate the feeling evoked by the autumn season.


This painting in my series was quite a challenge for me. I spent hours researching Pancham Raga, but very little information was available. All I could find was a brief mention that Pancham Raga's body color was blush and that he had large red eyes. I also discovered that his wife's body color was blackish and that she deeply loved the sound of the flute. But there was no description of their activities or their story.


It's a very emotional season, profoundly impacting the human mind, instilling a sense of purity, and beckoning us to venture into unknown worlds.


The ancient belief held that music, visual art, dance, and song were all divine art forms equivalent to prayer. In the oldest grammar book of painting, I came across a captivating declaration by an author who encouraged artists not to employ their talents for mundane purposes or seek personal gain through their craft. Instead, singing, dancing, visual art, and other creative expressions should be viewed as acts of devotion and must uphold their lofty and virtuous nature in reverence to God.


The reason for such anticipation is rooted in the influence of music and other established artistic forms across various contexts. In my previous write-up on Megh Raag, I presented a narrative demonstrating how our natural surroundings respond to the vocal fabric of music. While this may seem supernatural at first glance, upon deeper reflection, it becomes evident that our environment is a living entity capable of yielding positive or negative outcomes based on our actions. As such, ancient Indian sages recognized a correlation between planetary colors and musical rhythms.


Based on their information, -

 

'SAA,' the first scale, is the symbol of the planet Mercury and indicates the color -  green.

'RE,' the second scale, is the symbol of the planet Mars and indicates the color -  red

'GAA, ' the third scale, is the symbol of the sun, and its color is golden.

'MAA,' the fourth scale, symbolizes the Moon - color - white or yellowish tint.

'PAA' on the fifth scale is the symbol of the planet- Saturn - The color is blue or black.

'DHA,' the sixth scale, is the symbol of the planet Jupiter, and its color is yellow.

'NEE,' the seventh scale, is the symbol of the planet Venus, which is multicolored.


I am uncertain of the method used to determine these connections, but astrological theory posits that planets influence human physiology and nature. Through this observation, it is possible that they uncovered a previously hidden link between music, color, and planetary alignment.


Finally, the famous musicians Pd Ravishankar and Allah Rakha show a beautiful demonstration of Raga-Pancham in Sitar.




Please share your thoughts on the music and accompanying articles. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you find this article insightful, please consider sharing it with your social circle. Thank you for your time and consideration.




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