Bilaskhani Todi : Introduction
Bilaskhani Todi is a Hindustani classical raga. It is a blend of the ragas Asavari and Todi.
Research on the musical theory of Indian classical music is fraught with complications, largely because there have been no set, formal methods of written notation. Indian music is an aural tradition, and therefore writing is not an essential part of attaining talim (knowledge).
Behavior refers to practical aspects of the music. It is complicated to talk about this for Hindustani music since many of the concepts are fluid, changing, or archaic. The following information cannot be accurate, but it can attempt to reflect how the music existed.
Certain ragas have seasonal associations.
Legend has it that this raga was created by Bilas Khan, son of Miyan Tansen, after his father’s death. It is said that Bilas composed the raga while grief-stricken at the wake itself, and that Tansen’s corpse moved one hand in approval of the new melody. (There is a similar legend, differing only in detail, about Tansen’s Todi.)
Amir Khan, Ragas Bilaskhani Todi and Abhogi, HMV/AIR LP (long-playing record), EMI-ECLP2765 Nikhil Banerjee, Morning Ragas, Bombay 1965, LP record, Raga Records. (Audio CD released June 1996; iTunes 2000).
Ustad Rashid Khan
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