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Kedara

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Kedara (Gurmukhi ਕੇਦਾਰਾ) 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 twenty-third raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 7 pages from page numbers 1118 to 1125.

Kedara is an old raga dating from Guru Nanak's time or even earlier which has become a very important and popular North Indian raga today. It is supposed to possess magical qualities, if correctly performed, which can heal the sick. In the Ragmala, Kedara is a putra (son) of Megha but currently is in the Kalyan thata. Kedara was used by Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan for a few short hymns. Several forms of Kedara have been and still are in use. Thus considerable freedom of choice may be exercised by the performer as to how this raga be performed in association with a given text. In the most commonly used form, Kedara is performed during the first quarter of the night and is particularly auspicious when the moon is visible, a planet with which it has long been associated. The mood is one of contemplation associated with a sort of ascetic idealism. The sadness expressed in Ragmala paintings suggests the longing of man for the Supreme Being when this raga accompanies a shabad. The Kedara scale is vakra (crooked) with unusual intervals:

  • Aroh: Sa Ma, Ma Pa, Dha Pa, Ni Dha Sa
  • Avroh: Sa Ni Dha Pa, M'a Pa Dha Pa Ma, Ma Re Sa
  • Vadi: Ma
  • Samvadi: Sa

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