Raag Malkauns – Bombay 1968

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar & Zia Fariduddin Dagar

An Evening Raga in the Dhrupad Tradition.
Rudra Veena: Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar
Vocal: Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar
Tamboura and supporting vocals: Ritwik Sanyal

This wonderful album (CE02) is sold out. You can get it digitally from digital sources, see links above.
There is however a new album where Ustad is accompanied by Pandit Taranath on pakhawaj. Later on in 2023 this album together with their morning ragini Miyan ki Todi will be released on vinyl by the italian label Black Sweat Records that has issued a couple of other albums from Country & Eastern, notably Bahauddin Dagar’s Ahir Bhairav and Bitter Funeral Beer Band in Frankfurt.


  1. Raag Malkauns (1:09:17)


Rudra Veena: Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar
Vocal: Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar
Tamboura and supporting vocals: Ritwik Sanyal

more info

Raag Malkauns is an ‘audhav’ raag of the bhairavi thaat. Rishabh and pancham are not present (varjit). The vaadi is of shudh madhyam. This raag is very suitable for alaap. It belongs to the 3rd cycle of the night.

By nature this is a very straight kind of raag which can be recognized very easily by the presence of a clear madhyam. A good musiacian would touch rishabh and pancham in the avrohi in such a way so as to enhance the feeling and beauty of this raag without going out of the raag.

Aarohi:  sa ga ma dha ni sa
Avrohi:  sa ni dha ma ga sa


Link to a fabulous review by Warren Senders

FOLK ROOTS, MARCH 2006: “COUNTRY AND EASTERN’S INAUGURAL RELEASES ARE LIKELY CONTENDERS FOR BESTS-OF 2006. Country & Eastern’s second release is another archival gem. Made in February 1968 in Bombay, the principal musicians are rudra veena maestro Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and the vocalist Zia Fariduddin Dagar. The Dagar name signals that this must be a dhrupad recital. In matters of dynamics, dhrupad has a different and more highly abstract sensibility to more modern forms such as khayal that have supplanted it. Over almost 70 minutes they unfurl their raag of choice in a manner not dissimilar to a gardener when it comes to patience and preparation. They prepare their ground comprehensively, advancing almost in slow motion, syllable to syllable rather than word to word. Hot-blooded listeners may find it nigh on torpid in its awakening. That’s germination in spontaneous composition for you. Trust, this is an exquisite recording to savour, a time capsule with its crowd appreciation noises and tangible physicality, and one of the greatest dhrupad releases ever to come my way. Ritwik Sanyal accompanies on tamboura and vocals. Both releases would have benefited from more detailed notes, but do strive to hear them.”

JAZZWIZE, FEBRUARY 2006: “This duet, almost 70 minutes in length from one of the greatest dhrupad dynasties of modern times is a complete joy and education. This recording (with its coughs, whoops and a physicality that begs you to reach out and touch) captures dhrupad’s reality like no other recording to my knowledge. Exceptional, can’t say clearer than that.”

GLOBAL RHYTHM, FEBRUARY 2006: “No effort was made to “clean up” the tracks or minimize any extramusical sounds, adding to its sense of authenticity. Z.M.’s veena is highly expressive; despite the age of the recording, it was captured well here. Its frequent pondering ruminations sound similar to a fretless bass, evincing the weight of the raag. Listeners, including those not well acquainted with Indian classical music, will readily sense why raag Malkauns is reserved for the late night hours.”

INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC, REVIEWS: “Raag Malkauns” is a type of raga which is associated with a late night-midnight mood, and this is indeed exactly the feeling it creates, and in which it develops. Most of the track sounds like a delicate tuning into this mood. It uses a pentatonic scale with two series of five notes, with some notes to bring grounding and a few others to open up and liberate the sphere. Thoroughly the mood evolves from a confirming sphere, with an adding depth to the expression of a rather dreamy slumbering late night sphere, to a more clarified rhythmical-melodious form of comfort. Near the end, and after having so calmly started, the energy has built up some fire from within, getting to a great dual inflicting energy to conclude within a calm contemplative nature. A great track, which sounds like the real thing, as I read it described elsewhere.”