raag yaman

I am tune-deaf.

This coming out of someone who indulges in classical dance is well, not a respectable confession by any shot. When I say am tune-deaf, it means am not very successfully adept at listening to a piece and recognizing the raag(raagam). I absolutely enjoy carnatic and classical music, something I listen to at least once a day, so yes, it’s a bit tragic that I haven’t developed that skill. I am good at picking up the tune, to replicate and then transfer it around, know my bases and can choreograph based on the nuances of instruments and the layers within. But ask me to spot a raaga and I sadly am in a quandary.  Guess 4 years of learning Sa re Ga ma Pa Da Ni sa didn’t help, coz I was doing it for my parents’ sake than out of my own interest. Interestingly, both dance and music go hand in hand and though the theory hasn’t drilled itself into me, I am thankful am not tone-deaf!

In our forthcoming ballet, there is one scene that moves me completely. Not scene per se, but the song that the scene is set to. The ballet is mythological and so the characters are Rati Manmadha doing their usual frolicking around. Over the past few rehearsals, I have had the opportunity to sit back and just watch during that part, instead of running around doing whatever it is that I do, and the divinity and joy of it sunk in slowly and completely. Last Sunday, I sat on the steps behind the stage and I teared.

Art has that power. Music surpasses it all when one can get submerged in the aksharas, the waves that synch it all and the harmony it produces. (Secretly I even thought for a second there that perhaps I was borderline Stendhal-ic!)

The song has been buzzing in my head for a while now and since we don’t have the recorded version and the orchestra is live, I walked up to the singer and asked her for the raagam. She said ‘Yaman’. Looking at my quizzical expression, she said  “have you heard SaraswatiChandra – chandan sa badan?” I drop my jaw. That song tops my favorites since 2000 (when a friend mailed it to me, yesyes, I am a cheat, I always get my songs over mails :-)) and now I know why I love it too. As soothing as it is, there was a peacefulness and romance that touches.

Got home and after some fair amount of googling, listening and reading up (and needless to say that’s all I’ve been doing), humming, listening consciously, counting beats, and figuring out the thread that ties all the songs together. A pleasant surprise that all of the bollywood numbers below are on my “Serenity Now!” playlist.

Raag: Yaman in Bollywood

  1. Chandan sa badan, chanchal chitavan – Saraswati Chandra
  2. Aansu bhari hain ye jeevan ki raahein – Parvarish
  3. Jab deep jale aana, jab shaam dhale aana – Chitchor
  4. Zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi – Barsaat Ki Raat
  5. Bhooli huyi yaadon, mujhe itna na sataao – Sanjog
  6. Nigahen milane ko jee chahata hai – Dil Hi To Hai
  7. Is modpe jaate hai – Aandhi

Here’s a fine introduction and rendering of the raag yaman.


and continues on here:

..and then listen to this cutie!


Delightful? I leave you with a soulful melody.

[youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMZMM0LIU-4]

ps: Am hoping to start back on my Friday song feature that apparently people liked enough to bug me consistently about it! 😉

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59 replies on “raag yaman”
    1. says: rads

      The beauty of any classical piece is in its enjoyment, the theory can come along slow imho.
      Just heard it, Very sweet and peaceful, unlike the usual holi gaana 🙂

  1. says: sachita

    I call identifying Raaga, pattern-matching. Atleast that is what I do and I can only identify 10(i know athuku entha peela:)).

    Didnt know Raag Yaman, now I can probably add it to the list. Also, chandan sa badan featured in the futura ad with mahima choudary, that is how I got to know the song featuring nutan. Sad.

    1. says: rads

      haha, 10 is a large number from where I stand!

      Sometimes the most frivolous avenues are necessary for higher realizations 😉

  2. says: Praveen

    Wow! I loved this. Thanks for considering rads! 🙂

    I am raaga challenged too.
    I think Yamunai Aatrile form Dalapathi is Yaman, Is mod pe from andhi is another one.
    The popular number Ghar se Nikalthe hi is also Yaman I am told.

    Ilayaraja’s latest based on Yaman (have emailed u long ago 🙂 )

    Can someone list tamil songs by IR and ARR based on yaman?

    Neha, are u reading??

  3. says: Mahendra

    Hmm…really tranquil isn’t it? I love Kishori Amonkar’s rendition the most.

    You’ll find many more lists of film songs based on Yaman and other ragas, as well as ready playlists, with this Google query:

    1. says: Mahendra

      @Praveen: Ya…I started out with Kishori and Kumar Gandharva, and unfortunately didn’t venture much beyond them as I shifted focus to western classical!

      And hey, this is not fair. The gems of your comments are hijacking the limelight from the main post! 🙂

    1. says: rads

      Rt, as M mentioned, Kalyani-Yaman has the two M’s.

      Kalaivaani is too?! Wow, that’s a lovely song, though since I donno any better, I wouldnt have thought it as Yaman.

      People are loving the songs Praveen, thank you so much 🙂

  4. says: My3-The Tone Deaf

    Very soothing raag. Raag Yaman is Kalyani, I think in Carnatic. Much like you I “learnt” music for my mom’s sake who is an awesome singer. My sons are both learning music and I just love listening to them practice. I can recognize that certain songs sound similar but may be hard-pressed to recognize the raagas. What a lovely way to start the day. Muchos thanks. And your commentators are awesome. I will spend all afternoon listening to the music they have added 🙂 Many many thanks.

    1. says: rads

      haha, I somehow couldn’t manage to stick to it since dance took over. Though recently discovered that the son’s quite the tune-picker!

  5. says: jaya

    i am the same case as you. barely managed to get a dimploma is hindustani classical music, but now i cannot remember a song beyond the first line. i hate ipods, cannot remember one song if you ask me wats my fav.
    dad wanted me to learn and i learnt till i learnt to say “NO”
    but for some strange reason booboo seems to be quiet interested in music and he infact composes his own songs, like the one where he wants to eat a banana, believe me, there is a song for that.

    1. says: rads

      wow. diploma in hindustani? 😐

      music isn’t necessarily sitting still and singing u know, it’s the ear tuned to it. Trained or otherwise. 🙂

  6. says: Praveen

    Digged out a few more 🙂

    A Mohan number composed by IR

    Another IR number

    This one is by Deva

    AR Rahman’s

    These songs are partly Yaman



    Have been reading lots of forums and digging out songs 🙂
    Thanks for this post.

    1. says: rads

      omigodomigod, ‘yaar veettu roja’ is soooo coool! LOVE that song, and of crse coz it’s Mohan! 😀

      vellai Pura 🙂

      Thanks so much praveen.. such gems! You really had fun didn’t ya! 🙂

  7. says: Gradwolf

    Brilliant! I did not know about this raagam at all! Love it and the fact that Rahman has used it so much. Thanks to Praveen too. Super post!

  8. says: rads

    wow thanks for enlightening this tune n tone deaf :)…guess Praveen has done more research than you :D…nice list of songs…loved the ARR ones as those are the only ones I’ve ever listened to and liked…the oldies though I’m listening to for the first time.

    1. says: rads

      Yea, Praveen is a music aficionado . Thanks to him my music collection’s grown tremendously.

      Oldies are the best part. Always. 🙂

  9. says: Praveen

    @ the rads just above me: lady would u kindly use the “r” on your name with capitals when you comment at other’s space..esp @ rads? 🙂
    It would avoid a lot of confusion u know.

    If I could suggest a few options;
    Rads, r a d s (if you still want to stick to small letters)

    Thank u 🙂

    Its high time wp allows fonts for the name field!

  10. says: M

    Lovely Ragam…someone upthread pointed out, yes, Hindustani Yaman is the Carnatic Kalyani. Krishna Nee Begane Baaro is in Yaman-Kalyan, not Yaman – difference is in the Ma used (YK has two, Y has one).


  11. says: kusublakki

    Really nice post rads. Yaman is one of my very favorite ragas too.

    If you are into learning about ragas then you should check out raga ranjini on youtube by pravin godkhindi (flutist).I got a lot of knowledge on various ragas and film songs linked to them, through this show 🙂

  12. says: keshav

    Thank you so much for sharing the beauty and basics of raag Yaman, and readers bringing out various songs (old and new). I am great lover of Indian classical music, but unfortunately, I did not learn. The blogs like yours are great source for people like us to learn the basics and enjoy the beauty of the raags.

    Here is one of the best Kannada songs in raag Kalyani/Yaman, sung by Bhimsen Joshi, Balamuralikrishna and S Janaki (3 solos) all embedded in one video.


    1. says: rads


      Keshav, am just another casual blogger, nothing subject specific. 🙂
      Am learning too, so yes, the comment sections’ what adds on the charm.. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. says: Namrata

    Hey…all of them absolutely soulful melodies..and are all my favourites..Now I can identify Yaman easily..thx a lot for sharing..cheers! Share more

  14. says: shoba

    First time commenting here. I could relate to the post as being tune-deaf despite loving music.
    I remember Yesudas mentioning Kalyani as his favourite ragam in some interview. It is indeed a beautiful raaga. And, it was lovely to listen to all those old gems..Cool..

    1. says: Praveen

      @ Vishal: Idhu Yaman raaga antha yaar helidhu nimage 🙂 ??
      but yes good compositon by mano murthy and good singing by Sonu Nigam. And I hate Puneet and cant stand that aunty.

      1. says: some body

        if this song is typical of his acting, i won’t stand puneet either. and, in all fairness, i hate ganesh and her too.

        – s.b. uncle (to you) 😉

      2. says: Sharatchandra Bhargav

        This is Definitely Yaman. Some other very popular Kannada songs in Yaman are – Hoovinda Hoovige Haaruva Dumbi, Baanallu Neene’ Bhuviyallu Neene’, Nambide Ninna Nada Devate, Sum Sumne Nagthale…Tunthuru Alli Neera Haage

  15. says: dipali

    After some thirty five years of untrained listening, I still rarely venture to name a raga that’s playing on the radio, but I have thrilled myself to pieces when I’ve successfully identified a raga. Some like Kedar and Nand and some types of Bhairavi are more familiar than others. Known or not, listening to classical music gives me great great pleasure:)

  16. says: Sandip

    I am learning Raag Yaman these days. It’s really wonderful raag. It can evoke so many emotions. In general, I guess it primarily evokes karuna / bhakti ras. I would like to add to the list, by posting Yaman played wonderfully by Prasad Bhandarkar:

  17. I agree, some music can make you tear up… and soemtimes the dance just brings it alive! When I watch a dance drama/ballet my face always reflects the mood of the scene. I can’t visit youtube at work, but I’ll check out the links tonight 🙂

  18. says: Aakarsh

    Yaman is probably the ‘Done to Death’ raaga in Indian films. Or say in Hindi films. There are tons and tons of songs in this raaga and it is absolutely difficult to list out the best songs. I normally dont like Laxmikanth Pyarelal much but even they gave some fantastic compositions in Yaman like “Aap Ke Anurodh Pe” etc. Roshan was another composer who belted out many in Yaman.Come to thank of it, even “Abhi Na Jaao Chod Kar” has shades of Yaman. But what a killer composition that is.

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