The two major ragas of thumri are Desa and Tilaka Kamodare found in the mainstream classical genres. Jhinjhoti and Bhairavi also belong to this category. They are minor ragas in the mainstream vocal genres. The melodic framework of the genre derives from a group of relatively undifferentiated modal entities, almost certainly of folk origin.
Most of these ragas have a relationship of tonal geometry and phrasing similarity especially Khamaja, Bhairavi and Kafi. Khamaja, Bhairavi and Kafi are three popular ragas of thumri. This makes it possible for a phrase from one raga to be sung in the other ragas in a different scale-base. It creates a reappearance of the melodic contours through the genre, making the genre more accessible and thereby contributing to its stylistic distinctiveness.
The manner in which melody is treated in Thumri reflects their coherence within well-defined melodic settings. Though there is grammar informality, the crossing of boundaries is judicious. Thumri cannot be rendered in a raga-malika manner.
The commonly used ragas in this genre are Pilu, Kafi, Khamaj, Gara, Tilak Kamod and Bhairavi. It is said that less weight ragas are used in Thumri. In form, it bore a close resemblance to chhota khayal and was often set to spacious ragas like Yaman, Darbari and Malkauns.
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