One translation of Raaga means ‘to colour mind ‘ . But this is expands to infusing the atmosphere with emotion and giving us access to deep emotions with the heart .
Here is a clip of just one of many many Raagas within Indian classical music.
Raagas are musical ‘ entities’ each with their particular emotion or set of mixed emotions. Many are set to the various times of the day and night and also some for certain seasons . Within Indian classical music there are many many Raagas and a musician selects a Raag in his repertoire that he feels suitable for the situation . Practically speaking each Raaga has a set scale and theme – almost like an extremely flexible song with a huge range of almost endless possiblitys to improvise within the particular frame of the Raag.
In performance a Raaga is shown with a big scope of speeds and rhythm . Beginning with non rhythmic ‘ free time’ improvisation to establish the emotion and feeling into full complexity of rhythm and timing played with Tabla accompaniment.