Raga Maru Bihag
Dr. Prabha Atre made Maru Bihag famous: The raga gained it's fame with the increasing popularity of the recordings of classical singer Dr. Prabha Atre of raga Maru Bihag. Thereafter, the Classical singers Dr. Prabha Atre, Vasantrao Deshpande|Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and many others have widely spread it through their performances & in short period of time, Maru Bihag became very & popular in the audiences & singers. The Sargams used by Dr. Prabha Atre during her concerts along with Aalap, Taans and Boltaans also had a significant impact on listeners & the raga made it's place in the music listener's heart.
Raga Maru Bihag is a very melodious raga. While singing M G R S, Rishabh should be sung as a meend starting from Sa. Maru Bihag is a complex layered raga, one which appeals emotionally due to some key passages overlaid on a base structure.
Maru Bihag has two base ragas:
Raga Bihag on the way up: Aaroh (ascending): Bilawal Ang
Raga Yaman (Kalyan) on the way down (descending): Kalyan Ang
Maru Bihag can show shades of ragas like Bihag and Nand. Unlike in Bihag, Re is emphasized in Maru Bihag. Also, the sharp Ma is emphasized in Maru Bihag and phrases like G M GR-S and M G M G R S help keep it distinct from other raga. Raga Maru Bihag was a popular raga, which is used in light classical music, Thumris, in particular.
Pt Rajan Sajan Mishra opinion that Maru Bihag is the product of an ancient raga Maru (which is still performed in the Dhrupad tradition) and Bihag. A raga by the name of Maru also is found in the Sikh religious literature of the Guru Granth Sahib.
In raga Darshan, the author Manikbuwa Thakurdas speaks of an older raga Maru as its progenitor. Be that as it may, the MaruBihag in currency is widely acknowledged to be a product of Atrauli-Jaipur founder Alladiya Khan‘s prodigious imagination.
A shloka of raga Maru Bihag is 'Vikrut Madhyam Shudha swar gawat Raga Maru Bihag,
Gani Samvad, Pratham Ratri Manat Kalyan Thaat'
The shloka means that raga Maru Bihag is a delightful night melody. This raga originates from Kalyan Thaat and it’s a blend of raga Kalyan and raga Bihag and hence this raga is named as raga Maru Bihag. It is sung between 9PM to 12AM or the second part of the night.
Raga Maru Bihag, is more cheerful and frisky. Ideally, this raga is taken as a romantic or exotic one. It’s a Shringara raga more within the panorama of beloveds or their charm.