August 22, 2020


A Composition in raga Hamsadhwani which is in Teen taal is given here. The Composition, Alaap and the Taans are given along with bansuri. This Yaman composition for bansuri flute is composed in Dadra taal (6 beat rhythmic cycle). In the following style this composition is played. Bansuri: raag bhupali – introduction & 1st composition. The aroha (or the ascent) is sa re ga pa dha sa’. Aroha: sa re ga pa dha sa. Bhupali is a pentatonic raga.

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It is such a delight to write about the W onderous Bansuri of North Indian music.

Bansuri Learning Raga Yaman | Flute Bansuri-Official Site

It has been said to be one of the most serene and sensual instruments to come out of India. This instrument is known to display the beauty of very slow and meditative forms known as alap in North Indian music as well as very fast and complicated passages.

The word Bansuri is actually the conjunction of two words — Baans bamboo and Sur musical note. Other places such as Hawaii are also sources of suitable bamboo that fulfill the requirement of having long sections between nodes of the bamboo.

Legend has it that years ago Lord Krishna wandered an area known as Vrindavan and mesmerized all with his Bansuri. It is said animals and humans alike would stop all their activities and enter into states of divine bliss.

The gopis female devotees of Krishna would leave their homes and husbands and follow Krishna, compositiins so the myth goes. This simple bamboo flute is usually played with just 6 or 7 holes sometimes a 7th hole with the right hand pinkie. The open holes allow for a great compositons of expression in terms of intonation Indian music uses many microtones and also the gliding effects and other effects that imitate the voice and other instruments.

It was felt that this instrument was not able to express the full import and richness found in the classical ragas of Indian music and was mainly for light music or short classical pieces. With the innovations brought about by Pannalal Ghoshwho was a disciple of the great Indian master Allaudhin Khanthe bansuri was extended to a larger instrument of more than 30 inches.


This much deeper tone and the great expansion of technique developed originally by Pannalal Ghosh has made the bansuri into the very well respected instrument it is today within the classical music world of North Indian music. What is especially unique about the bansuri is that it is able to draw on both the vocal and instrumental traditions of Indian music.

Musicians such as Pannalal Ghosh drew more intensely from the vocal tradition of North Indian music, while more recent innovators, such as Pundit Hariprasad Chaurasia have drawn much from instrumental technique.

bansuri – Samvad

With the extensive recordings and touring of Hariprasad Chaurasiathe North Indian bansuri is now known all over the world as a special instrument with unique expressive abilities. It should be noted that the Bansuri of North Indian music also known as Hindustani music is quite composition than the Bansuri used in South Indian music also known as Carnatic music.

The approach, structure and exposition of these 2 forms are quite different although there are many similarities as well and so for this babsuri, it should be understood that the musical context is that of North Indian music. Even within North Indian music there are many varied schools and approaches taken. The tone Hariprasad produces is so rich and his expression so pure, precise and musical, I was instantly converted.

Flute Compositions & Ragas

At that time I did not know anyone who could teach bansuri nor did I know where to get a proper bansuri so I did my best imitating the effect on western flute which I have played since I was 13 years old. It can be said that much of the effect of Indian music can still be made on a western flute, but also it is true that the nuance and effect is more profound on the actual bansuri.

Finally flr I was able to meet an accomplished bansuri teacher banwuri also helped me obtain a good b ansuri named Debu Prasad Banerjee. Debu Prasad was from the Pannalal Ghosh style of playing, which emphasized a more vocal approach and was a wonderful teacher as well.

Finally in I embarked on a trip to India to go deeper into the music and to go deeper into the bansuri. Beyond my wildest dreams, I was able to meet and begin studies with Hariprasad Chaurasia himself and spent many long hours and days in his company in Mumbai learning the art and craft of the bansuri.


Over the course of 2 years in India, much was covered and in I enrolled at the Rotterdam Conservatorium where Hariprasad Chaurasia had started teachingand over the next 12 years continued at the Conservatorium until I had obtained 2 degrees. What I began nansuri feel was that this beautiful instrument is very well suited to Indian music but also is wonderful in other types of music.

Because my background is also in western classical music as well as jazz and other forms, I have begun playing the Bansuri in many musical contexts. In fact, I am now working on some western classical flute literature on compsitions bansuri such as the J.

Bach flute sonatas and find they are very beautifully rendered on the Bansuri although much practice is needed to make the correct intonation on these pieces. Thankfully, due to the internet and YouTube, many good recordings and demonstrations composiions the Bansuri can be seen or heard, for example http: Or what if JS Bach had gone to India?

This piece of cor references J. I recommend spending time searching for some of the names mentioned here on YouTube and other internet resources to get a firsthand feeling of this wonderful instrument and in future articles we can go deeper into individual artists, styles and techniques associated with the wondrous Bansuri. Flute studies with Roger Mather at the University of Iowa were followed by consciousness studies at Maharishi International University.

He went on to study with the bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasiain India fromand later at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Since then, while compositkons with his own group Facing Eastworking with such musicians as Paul horn, Paul McCandless, Larry Coryell and Jack DeJohnetteand issuing six recordings under his own name, Wubbenhorst fod refined his concept of world and ethnic fusion music to include classical and chamber musics, modern jazz, fusion and new age genres.

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