Ustad Bismillah Khan (Urdu: استاد بسم اللہ خان صاحب; March 21, 1916 – August 21, 2006) was an Indian shehnai maestro. He was the third classical musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna (in 2001), the highest civilian honour in India and gained worldwide acclaim for playing the shehnai for more than eight decades.
A Raga of immense popularity, this is essentially a night melody. It is pentatonic in structure since it permits only five notes both in the ascent (aroha) and in the descent (avaroha). The Second Note 'Re' (Rishabh) and the Fifth NOte 'Pa' (Pancham) are completely omitted in its exposition. The Third Note 'Ga' (Gandhar), the Sixth Note 'Dha' (Dhaiwata) and the Seventh Note 'Ni' (Nishad) are all flat (Komal). The mood of the Raga varies according to the mood of the performer. A bold aggressive treatment gives it a character of manly vigour but more often than not, - this is transformed into an atmosphere of sublime urge and appeal; Maestro Bismillah Khan depicts these changing shades in the mood at times by a frontal attack on the notes with his powerful blowing and at other times displays superb delicacy by taking captivating slurs (Meends) which thrill and hold the listeners spellbound. The rhythm employed is Teental consisting of 16 beats (Matras) In a cycle.
Raga : Des Thumree - Tilak - Kamod
On this side, Bismillah Khan offers two pieces - the first one is rendering ijn Raga Des, a night melody. It creates an atmosphere of separation and poignancy. A touch of pathos therefore runs through its exposition. This composition is confined to a rhythm of 16 beat known as Teental.
This is followed by a short and short and sweet Thumree based on Raga Tilak-Kamod. It has a lilt which goes very well with the romantic mood that is created by the superb artistry of the Maestro on the magic lute.