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Dhanasari

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This is an India musical raga (composition) that appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Sikh holy scripture called 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 tenth raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 36 pages from page numbers 660 to 696 .

Raga Dhanasri appears in the Ragmala as a ragini of Malkaunsa and currently is a member of the Kafi thata. It closely resembles Bhimpalasi in musical content but the vadis and moods are different. Dhanasri is performed in the early afternoon and presents a cheerful, happy mood. It provided the setting for hymns by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadar for a total of 101 hymns. These texts stress that person reaps what he sows. Only in the Lord may be found the riches that dispel fear and ignorance and thus cause man to realize his true self.

The following represents the order of notes that can be used on the ascending and descending phase of the composition and the primary and secondary notes:

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

Pa is given considerable emphasis and Ni and Pa receive sliding approaches, a characteristic of this raga. The pentatonic ascent provides some of the melodic features of this raga.

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