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Bhairon

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Bhairon is an India musical raga (composition) that appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Sikh holy scripture the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or SGGS for short. Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes that can be used; which notes can be used; and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. In the SGGS, the Sikh holy Granth (book) there are a total of 31 raga compositions and this raga is the twenty-fourth raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 43 pages from page numbers 1125 to 1168.

Bhairon was an important raga at the time of Guru Nanak and has continued to retain its significance and popularity. Bhairon (not to be confused with Bhairavi) appears in the Ragmala as husband/wife of Bhairavi and four other raginis. Today it is the head raga for one of the ten thatas. The "Raga Sagara", a journal of circa 8th century, describes this raga as awe-inspiring and as expressing the "fulfilment of the desire to worship." Mesakarna (1509) calls this morning melody of the autumn season one of awesome grandeur.

Performed before sunrise, this raga was used by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, and Guru Arjan for 99 hymns.

  • Aroh: Sa Re, Ga Ma Pa Dha, Ni Sa
  • Avroh: Sa Ni, Dha Dha Pa, Ma Ga, Re Re Sa
  • Vadi: Dha
  • Samvadi: Re

The vadis are performed with a slow, wide vibrato which may begin with the vadi itself or the highest limit to which it will extend. In descent the vibrato must begin with upper limit. Otherwise Bhairon has few characteristic phrases.

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