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Archive for February, 2023

A – Raga CDs of the Months (02/2023): Pentatonic Ragas… part 1 & 2: Five Tone Scales, Raga Malkauns (King of Raags)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 26, 2023

part 1…

The pentatonical ragas (scale of notes with five tones) are far common in India, equally in North Indian Classic (Hindustani) as in South Indian Music (Carnatic). The pentatonical ragas create a multi layered spectrum, a musical taste which can be regognized easily by the listeners. A magical power is being attributed to these ragas …

The material of notes originally was used for religious ceremonies and rites in many cultures all over the world… first it had consisted of only two tones, was developed to three tone scales and progressed in the antique Greece to a scale of four tones (tetra chord system).

A more differentiated scaling form of the five tone music (so called pentatonic) was formed particularly in East and South Asia, in front in China, Japan and India. Also in Blues and Afro American music the 5 tone scheme is in practice.

dates of broadcasting…

26th February 2023 – 05:00-05:58 p.m. EST (11:00-11:58 p.m. CET) @ Radio FRO (A)
(premiere: 25th December 2006 @ Tide Radio 96.0)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

part 2…

Raga mAlkauns (or Malkosh) is in North Indian Classical music (Hindustani) very popular with the audience and musicians. In the South of India Malkauns is well known as Ragam hindOLam (Carnatic Music). It is a 5 tone Raga with a 300 to 400 years old history and multivarious development.

dates of broadcasting…

12th March 2023 – 05:00-05:58 p.m. EST (11:00-11:58 p.m. CET) @ Radio FRO (A)
(premiere: 5th February 2008 @ Tide Radio 96.0)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Raga Malkauns (Malkosh) - King of Ragas

Contrary to our western music culture the Indian Classical Music and the raga-s aim at an atmospheric sound picture by instrumental or vocal improvisation to connect with certain feelings, tendencyfully paintings conveying a special atmosphere and with emotional expressions.

The 5 tone raga Malkauns for example reflects a portrait of the dark, secret one and is helping to a menthal stabilization. The Raga Durga carries the names of the ambivalent, semi terrible hindustic goddess Durga. The penthatonic raga Bhupali is awarded a healing, positive effect, which shifts the listener into an easy, joyfully and relaxed tension.

Malkauns is played to the late evening hour as midnight raga. The tendency of this majestic Raga is meditative and introverted, it’s modality is unique.
ascending and descending scales of Raga mAlkauns (Bhairavi Thaat):
audav-audav | ‘n S g m d n S’ – S’ n d n d m g m g S ‘n S
Raga CDs des Monats (02/08): Malkauns… King of Ragas
Ragam hindOLam (Melakartha system No. 20: naTabhairavi): S G2 M1 D1 N2 S – S N2 D1 M1 G2 S

Indian music maestros award to this Raga supernatural forces. By Malkauns even bad spirit can be driven out. The Indian Author V. Murthy who is living in Bangalore calls mAlkauns “king of the Ragas“.

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DE – Raga CDs des Monats (02/2023): Das Erbe von Sultan Khan – Die Zukunft der Sarangi (Kurzversion)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 20, 2023

Das Erbe von Ustad Sultan Khan (1940-2011) – Die Zukunft der Sarangi

In 2011 hatte die weltweite Gemeinschaft von Freunden der indisch-klassischen Musik neun herausragende Meister verloren. Darunter befindet sich Ustad Sultan Khan. Er verstarb nach einem Nierenversagen an einem Sonntag-Nachmittag, am 27. November 2011 (Anm.: Ustad Sultan Khan war Diabetiker und in den letzten vier Jahren seines Lebens Dialysepatient.)

Von der Fangemeinde wurde Sultan Khan (1940-2011) liebevoll der “Sultan der Sarangi” genannt.


20. Februar 2023 – 21:00-23:00 Uhr CET (04:00-06:00 p.m. EST) @ (DE/Hamburg)
(Premiere: 15. Januar 2012 – 15:00-17:00 Uhr @ radio

broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Sarangi… Stimme der 100 Farben.

Die Sarangi (abgeleitet aus Sau-Rang: Stimme der 100 Farben) gehört zu den Streichinstrumenten der indischen Klassik; es ist die indische Fiddel. Die Geschichte der Sarangi geht bis in’s 13. Jhdt. V. Chr. Geburt zurück. In antiken Schriften werden Lauteninstrumente beschrieben, die von ähnlicher Struktur der uns bekannten Sarangis sind, wie die Pinaki Veena.

Die Stimmung des klobig wirkenden Instruments ist eine Kunst für sich. Auf den Sarangikörper, der aus einem massiven Holzstück ausgehöhlt und mit Ziegenhaut als Resonanzdecke bespannt ist, werden 39 Saiten aufgespannt. Davon sind 35 Rsesonanzseiten, die sich in vier Gruppen gliedern. Die 3-4 Hauptsaiten sind aus Darm geflochten undwerden von einem mit Rosshaar bespannten Bogen aus Rosenholz gestrichen. Wer sich mit der Geschichte der Sarangi näher befassen möchte, dem empfehlen wir unsere Sendung “Das Sarangi Projekt – Die Stimme der 100 Farben“.
Sie können diese Sendung wie alle IMC-Sendungen in unserem Online-Archiv nachhören und nachlesen, unter (Moderationsskripte s. )

10 Generationen Sarangi… Die Khan Familie.

Sultan Khan (1940-2011) & Sabir Khan (son)

Sultan Khan (1940-2011) & Sabir Khan (son)

Ustad Sultan Khan wurde zunächst von seinem Vater Gulab Khan ausgebildet. Im Jahre 1951 war Ustad Sultan Khan 11 Jahre alt und präsentierte sich bei der All-India Conference. Der Musikerklan Khan um Sultan Khan spielt die Sarangi aktuell in 10ter Generation. Sabir Khan ist der Sohn von Sultan Khan und tritt in die Fusstapfen seines Vaters. Seit Anfang der 90er Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts spielt Sabir Khan auf der Bühne. Lange Zeit begleitete er seinen Vater im Duett. Sabir wurde von seinem Vater und von seinem Onkel Ustad Nasir Khan ausgebildet. Auch sein Cousin wurde Sarangispieler. Dilshad Khan stellte sich in Europe im Juni 2007 dem Publikum vor, beim ersten indischen Festival in Grenoble. Und da wäre noch Sultan Khan’s Neffe Imran Khan. Imran ist zwar Sitarspieler geworden, dem Wunsche seines Vaters folgend; doch auch er wurde von Sultan Khan ausgebildet.

Instrumentalspiel… Gayaki Ang (Vocal Style)

Die Besonderheit von Ustad Sultan Khan’s Spiel auf der Sarangi ist die Imitation des Gesangs der indisch-klassischen Musik. Sultan Khan wurde maßgeblich von dem Gesangstil der Gesangslegenden Ustad Amir Khan, Faiyaz Khan und Bade Ghulam Ali Khan beeinflusst. Die besondere Spielweise, instrumental den Gesang zu interpretieren nennt man “gayaki ang”, quasi das Singen mittels Instrument. Ustad Imdad Khan (1848-1920) auf der Surbahar war einer der ersten, der diese Technik auf einem Saiteninstrument einführte.

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DE – Raga CDs of the Months (02/2023): Women in Indian Classics – Vocalists, Wind and String Instruments (part 1 & 2)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 18, 2023

With reference to the “International Women’s Day” (IWD) which takes place annually on 8th March we present the radio show “Women in Indian Classics“.

International Women’s Day 2023 Theme: DigitALL … Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Indian Classical Music – especially the North Indian Classics (Hindustani) – experienced a noticeable change. Before it had been a courtly art part of the activities of the courtesans (Tawaifs). Indian Classics developed in the 19th and 20th century to an appreciative art form, which is learned by young girls and women from respected families and practiced as occupation.

The Hindustani music particularly stood in the early Indian Middle ages under Persian influence. A Patronage at the court of the Mughals in the 16th century promised the courtly arts and artists prosperity. Many young girls were trained in performing arts, the Kathak dance and Indian Classical Music, literature with poetry forms like the Ghazals and Thumris.

The Thumri form is a genre of the light classical music, frequently sung at the spring fest and to the colors of Hori celebration. Originally the Thumri-s were expressing emotional expressions by gestures and facial expressions (mimics), so called Abhinaya. In the further development this presentation form disappeared and remained for Indian dance. The singers switched over to purely vocal improvisation forms without lyrics, the so-called Bol Banav-Ki Thumris.

On 29 August 2009 the documentary film „Rasoolan Bai – The other song“ (Das andere Lied) had its show case in the Bangalore Internationally Centre (Bangalore). Rasoolan Bay (1902-1974) from Varanasi formed together with Badi Moti Bay of Benares, Siddheswari Devi (1907-1976) and Begum Akthar (1914-1974) the quartet of the singing queens.

The rebel Gangubai Hangal (Gaanewali) had broken the gender-specific barriers in North Indian Classics. Gangubai is called „the father of the Khayals “, the modern vocal style of Hindustani music. When the singer Gangubai Hangal died in July 2009 at the age of 97 years after long illness critical voices had been heard which manifested that the era of the woman power in Indian classical music came to its end.

Moti Bai
Hangal with young daughter Krishna in the 1930s


In our Western understanding in India exist a transfigured woman picture of the eternally female divine: Already in the epical times no religious rituals were hold without participation of the women. With the Ashtanayikas, the eight heroins appear a woman picture till today we find in India.

In the South Indian Classics (Carnatic) the practice of the art was particularly reserved to the members of the Brahmins, a kind of priesthood. Women had it very difficult to attend the stage and appear with music in the public. In the beginnings of the phono industry women hardly found male companions for disc recordings.

Under the influence of the Hindu myths one can meet in Indian the opinion that the trinity of the goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati revealed themselfs to the humans as avatars in form of the singing virtuosos DK Pattammal (1919-2009), MS Subbalakshmi (1916-2004) and ML Vasanthakumari (1928 – 1990).

Their arrival terminated male dominance in South Indian classics. It began an era of the divine, creativity and innovation within the borders of traditional values.

They were artists, who completely got carried away in music, not because of success, fame or the money. These women were masters of multitasking, fulfilled various tasks in most different roles, as mothers, wives, sisters, teachers or grandmothers.

D.K. Pattammal
M.S. Subbalakshmi
M.L. Vasanthakumari


While today many artists seem to live most different identities at the same time, Pattammal, Subbalakshmi and Vasanthakumari were led only by one identity.

Typical for Asia the presence and function of a selfless, divine love (Bhakti) was for these mistresses their driving power, in order to overcome steadily largest social discrimination up to their artistic acknowledgment.

dates of broadcasting…

part 1:Women in Indian Classics – Vocalists
part 2:Women in Indian Classics – Wind  & String Instruments
19th February 2023 – 09:00-11:00 am EST (03:00-05:00 pm CET) @ radio (DE / Berlin)
(premiere: 16th Nov 2009 + 24th Aug 2012 @ Tide Radio)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Rasoolan Bai

Rasoolan Bai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In part 1 of our series “Women in Indian classical music” we have met the singing queens of India, like the vocalist from Varanasi Rasolan Bai (b. 1902). Her life moved again into the public consciousness with the documentary “Rasoolan Bai – The other Song” (2009) and thus of the Tawaifs, the courtesans. They practiced the arts in the courts of the maharajas till the 60s of 20th century. At the Moghul courts, rulers of Persia who occupied the north of India in the 14th to 16 century girls had been trained in the performing arts, as in Kathak, the North Indian dance, in Indian classical music and literature and poetry forms, such as Ghazals and Thumri-s.

English: Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009) and daugh...

English: Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009) and daughter Krishna (c. 1929-2004) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In southern India, however, the pursuit of the arts was reserved for members of the Brahmins, a priestly caste. The women had a hard time to perform with the arts in public. One of the first independent artists in South India was Nagaratnammal Bangalore (1878-1952). For her publishing of erotic literature written by the courtesan Muddu Palani she was front Indian Court in 1911.

In our recent time great singers like Dr. Gangubai Hangal (1912-2009) have broken the gender barrier and paved access for women to the workforce in Indian music.

But still the image of women is glorified. Thus, prominent singers like DK Pattammal, MS Subbalakshmi and ML Vasanthakumari are seen as avatars, as triumvirate of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. This ‘Era of the Divine’ helped at least to break the male dominance in the South Indian classical music.

In the part 2 of our series “Women in Indian Classical Music” the promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic presents female musicians of wind & string instruments. E.g. the Shehnai, Saxophone, Indian flute (Bansuri) and Indian lutes (called Veena-s) and Sarod, Surbahar (bass sitar) and Vichitra Veena.

f.l.t.r.:  Bageshwari Qamar – Shehnai, Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar – Bansuri,
MS Subbalaxmi & MS Lavanya – Saxophon Sisters (Photo credit:,,

f.l.t.r.: Annapurna Devi – Surbahar, Sharan Rani Backliwal (1929-2008) – Sarod, Dr. Radhika Umdekar Budhkar – Vichitra Veena
(Photo credit: Private collection of Mohan D. Nadkarni/Kamat’s Potpourri,,

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DE – Raga CDs of the Months (02/2023): A Legend on the Sitar…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 16, 2023

IMC OnAir presents @ radio (Berlin) and worldwide as webradio another show “Raga CDs of the Month” with the topic: “A Legend on the Sitar” (Eine Legende auf der Sitar) … a portrait show about the largest talent for Indian Classical Music in the 20th century of India on the world-wide most well-known Indian instrument, the Sitar:

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee

This outstanding music master till today is for the multiplicity of lovers of Indian Classical Music, within the musician circles of India and far beyond a legend for the instrumentalinterpretation of Indian Raga-s.

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee (2)

Nikhil Banerjee (14th October 1931 – 27th January 1986) was born in Kolkatta and originates from a Braman family. In his play Banerjee succeeded with a brilliant finger and notice technique and a maximum of security for difficult Coloratures to bring the complex Raga scales to the ears of the listeners lightly and by transparency. – Nikhil Banerjee was oriented on the traditional form of the North Indian Classical period, the Hindustani music.

Nikhil Banerjee*: “Music is the best form of art. – Music has two different sides. One has to entertain music. The other side is: Through music find out the supreme truth or find out the supreme soal…

dates of broadcasting…

16th February 2023 – 04:00 pm EST (09:00 pm CET) @ radio (DE / Berlin)
(premiere: 6th November 2007 – 09:00 pm CET @ Tide Radio 96.0 FM (DE))
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

The Indian Ragas are classified according to the Thaat system of the India’s music scientist V.N. Bhakthande and are played at certain day and night times.

The Sitar legend Pandit Nikhil Banerjee leads us through the 24 hour time cycle by different Raga scales: the morning raga Nat Bhairav of the Bhairav Thaat and further sound documents, e.g. Raga Deshi, Chandra Kauns, Bhatiyar and Raga Pilu in the Thumri style, which is an example of the Indian Light Classical music.


*) …Interview for the Irish Times in June 1985 during a concert tour in Europe at the Carysfort College, Blackrock.

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UNESCO: World Radio Day 2023 (13th Febr)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 12, 2023

The theme for the 12th edition of the World Radio Day, to be celebrated on 13 February 2023, is “Radio and Peace“. 

War, as an antonym to peace, signifies an armed conflict between countries or groups within a country, but may also translate into a conflict of media narratives. The narrative can increase tensions or maintain conditions for peace in a given context – for instance weigh in on the rough or smooth conduct of elections, the rejection or integration of returnees, the rise or tempering of nationalistic fervour, etc. In reporting and informing the general public, radio stations shape public opinion and frame a narrative that can influence domestic and international situations and decision-making processes.

Radio can indeed fuel conflict but in reality, professional radio moderates conflict and/or tensions, preventing their escalation or bringing about reconciliation and reconstruction talks. In contexts of distant or immediate tension, relevant programmes and independent news reporting provide the foundation for sustainable democracy and good governance by gathering evidence about what is happening, informing citizens about it in impartial and fact-based terms, explaining what is at stake and brokering dialogue among different groups in society.

“… since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”

That is the reason why support to independent radio has to be viewed as an integral part of peace and stability. On World Radio Day 2023, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peace building.

Official website:

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DE – Raga CDs of the Months (02/2023): JALTARANG – Waves of Sound

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 1, 2023

Raga CDs of the Months

JALTARANG – Waves of Sound

JalTarang is the name of an antique, Indian instrument. JALTARANG is Hindi and means “waves in the water” (literate forms: Jal Tarang, JalTarang, Jal tarang or Jal Yantra).

dates of broaddasting…

2nd February 2023 – 04:00 pm EST (09:00 pm CET) @ radio (DE / Berlin)
(premiere: 1st January 2008 (09:00 pm) @ Tide 96.0 FM)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

The JalTarang had been developed from percussion instruments like Gongs and Gamelans, those played in Java, in Myanmar (earlier Burma) and on Bali. JalTarang dips for the first time in the Middle Ages (17th century) as a term in the Sangeet Parij(a)at, a scientific research work about Indian music written by Ahobal.

The JALTARANG is a percussion instrument, which belongs to the group of the “self sounder“, so called idiophones. The spectrum of this instrument type reaches from the muzzle drum, clip ring to the Chinese bell play.

The Indian JalTarang uses sound bowls for it’s periodic resonance. Depending upon the level of the instrumentalist an ensemble of 15 to maximum 22 bowls is used being made of China porcelain.

The sound is produced by slim sticks made of bamboo hitten on the bowl’s edge shifting the porcelain body in oscillations. Different sizes of bowls are used and filled with water for the accurate tuning of the single tones.

Milind Tulankar on the JalTarang Dr. Ragini Trivedi - JalTarang workshop

Milind Tulankar on the JalTarang | Dr. Ragnin Trivedi (JalTarang workshop)

Nowadays the JalTarang is played very rarely in India. It almost became extinct. Although it’s elegantly, easily sound is of large popularity amongst the audience. Outstanding Jaltarang players are Seethalakshmi, in India simply known as Seetha (Doraiswamy), Dr. Ragini Trivedi and the Indian maestro Milind Tulankar.


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