Rare Indian Instrument – the Taus (‘Peacock’) | Sandeep Singh | Raag Ahir Bhairav | Music of India



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  • Video Views: 207038
  • Published On: 2015-09-16 12:14:53
  • Video Published/Author: darbarfestival
  • Video Duration: 00:03:36
  • Source: Watch on YouTube


#darbarfestival | Sandeep Singh plays the early morning Raag Ahir Bhairav on the taus (or mayuri veena), a rare instrument associated with Sikh saints and devotional music.

Learn more about the music:

Sandeep Singh plays the dilruba and taus, bowed instruments long associated with Sikh spiritual music. Featuring feathers and ornate paintwork, the taus (‘peacock’) may seem to be as much sculpture as instrument, but the sound is striking. Played with a sarangi-like bow, it produces a clear, unadorned tone, impressively similar to the cry of the bird. It is rare today, despite the superb accomplishments of musicians such as Sandeep.

Ahir Bhairav is an early morning raga that blends ideas from North and South India. The Ahir are a caste of cowherds, milkers, and cattle breeders, and the raag is said to imitate the ringing of small cowbells in the early morning. It is often said to be a mixture of the Hindustani Bhairav and the ancient Carnatic Raga Ahiri, although the exact lineage is unclear. It ascends as SrGmPDnS, sometimes omitting Pa and Sa, and descends using the same notes, often oscillating on the komal Re to bring out the character of Bhairav. nDnrS is considered to be an essential phrase, and the vadi [king note] is usually taken as Ma or Sa. It resembles the modern Carnatic Chakravakam, but this may be down to convergent evolution rather than direct influence.

Recorded by Darbar on location in India:
-Sandeep Singh (taus)
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