Mand or Maad, as considered by all, is the most sophisticated folk music of Rajasthan. The distinct wavy pattern of the singing style, in fact, had it included in the list of semi-classical music of India. Similar to Ghazal or Thumri, it is now considered as a fusion of classical Raga and Rajasthani folk.
The appeal of this blending Rajasthani music is such as, that numerous of the recognizable national hits have adopted it. ‘Tu Chanda main Chandani’ and ‘Ab toh hain tumse har khushi’ by Lata Mangeshkar, are two of the many masterpieces in Mand that world still hum by.
In Rajasthan, the most famous Mand song is the “Kesariya baalam” sung by Padma Shri Award winner Allah Jilai Bai of Bikaner. The song has even won her Sangeet Natak Akademi Award-1988 in Folk Music. The other singers who earned recognition in Maad are Mangi Bai Arya from Udaipur and Gavari Devi from Jodhpur.
Traditionally, folk music is considered somewhat limited to a locality; Maad, however, surpasses all such conventions and has earned recognition world-wide. It is a well-recognized singing style in India, and is somewhat a symbolic representation of exotic Indian music, identical to other well-known carnatic classicals.
The original Mand Raga, as it is known in the southern region of India, has seven notes (or Swaras) named as Antara Gandhara, Chatusruti Dhaivata, Pancama, Kakali Nishada, Shadaj, Suddha Madhyama, and Suddha Rishabha. Apart from these conventional swaras, Maad is often jazzed up with foreign notes in order to produce sweeter melodies. Incidentally, thus reformed Maad is prefixed with the term ‘Mishra’, which is literal for sweet.
Indeed, the beauty of such a rich singing style is indescribable in words. Watch this video here to experience the feisty music of original Maad music.