Raga Darbari Kanada has often been described as the “emperor of ragas” and the “raga of emperors”. These descriptions recall the raga’s association with Miya Tansen at Akbar’s court, and the majesty of the Mughal empire at its zenith. But such imagery could not have either surfaced, or survived through the centuries, if it had not also been supported by the melodic character of the raga.

The key to the majestic aloofness of the raga lies in the ponderous deliberateness with which it has to be rendered. This “ponderous deliberateness” of musical expression owes itself primarily to the andolit or oscillated treatment of two swaras – komal Ga, and komal Dha – in the ascent as well as the descent. These two oscillations are fundamental to the sculpting of the two phrases which virtually define the melodic personality of Darbari Kanada – (g M R) and (d n P).