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Article: Terms: Pakad

By Haresh Bakshi
  Pakad has been variously translated as motif, catch phrase, defining phrase or characteristic pattern of a raga.

The PAKAD of a raga is a group of notes, or a group of phrases of notes, which bring out the most characteristic expression of that raga. The word "pakad" means 'the catch', 'the grip'; it 'catches' the atmosphere of the raga; it gives us a grip on how to best represent the raga.

A pakad has the potential to illustrate the grammar and aesthetics of a raga. Thus, it may include the vadi, and/or samvadi of a raga. it also may illustrate the anga (poorvanga, the lower tetrachord, or uttaranga, the upper tetrachord) in which a raga is more extensively elaborated. In fact the anga (tetrachord) which dominates the improvisation, and the time at which a raga is performed, are both determined by the location of the vadi: If the vadi of a raga is situated in the poorvanga (lower tetrachord), (i) that raga is dominated by development in the mandra-madhya saptaka (lower-middle octave); (ii) that raga is performed at any time EXCEPT morning. Conversely, if the vadi of a raga is situated in the uttaranga (upper tetrachord), (i) that raga is dominated by development in the taar-madhya saptaka (upper-middle octave); (ii) that raga is performed in the morning. These are, of course, guiding generalisations. Note that vadi and samvadi are never located in the same anga (tetrachord). Further, the pakad of a raga often illustrates the order in which the notes are taken. It also may demonstrate the emphasis on certain notes.


Raga Yaman

Pakad: 'N-R-G-M-P, R-G-R, 'N-R-S (three phrases of note-groups) Yaman data:- vadi G, samvadi N, important anuvadi P; it is NOT sung in the morning (so, it is poorvanga-pradhan, and has its vadi in poorvanga); the note Sa is omitted when ascending. It aptly illustrates the important "aesthetic jump" from Pa to Re.
Question:- Are the details about Yaman, given above, illustrated by the pakad? The answer, clearly, is Yes.

There are certain features NOT demonstrated by the pakad. For example, the pakad does not illustrate the fact that Yaman omits the note Pa in ascending: It goes like 'N-R-G-M-D-N etc. Such details can be included in a more comprehensive format like the chalan. Pakad is shorter than chalan (outline). Chalan is more expanded, being designed to illustrate the movement of the raga in all three octaves.



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