Saw an email from Sri Subodh Chandra Agrawal (IAS) inquiring about a rendition of Bade Ghulam Ali –it is a fascinating composition (wish it were longer than 3:26 mins 😦  –thank him for sharing.

(undercaps – g m d – denote flat notes).
At the very onset, I would like to share that the best person to say anything about the raga is the singer him/herself and we do not have the legendary Ustad with us. I wonder if his grandsons, Khans Jawad, Mazhar or Raza Ali, sing this – will check and revert back (see here for updates later). The reason is that at times the singers take plenty of liberty while singing a composition especially set in light music or folk forms. Nevertheless, after having carefully heard the composition, I am sharing a few thoughts:

It is indeed a Kafi (Sufi text) in Sindhi language and not the raga (kafi) self.
One very rare ragini, bilavali (not bilaval) has very similar dagar-s (paths) – S R G R S – G P D N S’ – Gm Pm R S.
It is to be noted that bilavali, taught to me by Maharaj Thakur Singh, is said to be a blend of raga-s asa and bilaval.
Then comes a spaat pattern S R G m P D followed by the usage of tivra madhyam (Gm R M RS) at 00:33 seconds marker, which is fascinating and skillful. As it (tivra madhyam) does not come again, wonder if it is a momentary pause.
The stanza seems undoubtedly like that of bilavali –  G P D NS’ while the descendent pattern N S’ D P, Gm Pm R S also reminds me of the Sindhi Sorath (towards the higher register). Instead, bilavali would descend with a S’ D m, P G S R G, S pattern.

Now, to have a look at a few other examples in order to breifly reflect on raga maand.
Jagjit Singh’s phirat is to be noted in the link below, R M P in ascendance and komal n and m in descent are to be noted, which are absent from Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s rendition:

While Manganiar exponent, Lakha Khan, is at his pure best:

Lastly, view Qader Baksh Baloochi, whom I recorded in 1997 during my first visit to Lahore, sing a love song 🙂 posted here for some similarities.

The rendition by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan could simply be a version of raga maand or even asa…

05/05/2012 at 14:18pm
Sri S C Agrawal (IAS) chanced upon the following link which is an example of bikaner maand sung by the fabulous Padma Sri Allah Jilai Bai who passed away several years ago. Out of the three grand ladies of the area only one, AklaaN Devi, is left and I have plans to go sometime this year in Rajasthan carrying my cameras and recorders. Her sister Rukma Devi who sang while playing the Dhol passed away last year. They are natives of hamlet Duda Beri, District Barmer, Rajasthan.
This rendition (Moomal), although very close to raga asa, is raga bikaner maand. There is a composition of Bhagat Kabir in raga asa in which a similar (not exact) usage of dhaivat is present. Asa, a favorite of Guru Nanak, was a major raga once upon a time for it is present in so many ragasdevgandhari, maand, maaru, des, sorath and others.