• Raag Ahir Lalit •


Introduced by Ravi Shankar, drawing from the swara material of three morning ragas: Ahiri, Ahir Bhairav, and Lalit. As per Deepak Raja, “for most listeners, Ahir Lalit will be unable to escape the shadow of Ahir Bhairav over the Lalit facet of the raga…since Ahiri is heard mainly as a Bhairav / Ahir Bhairav variant”. Nevertheless, the raga’s distinctive ‘double-Ma, no Pa’ structure (said by some to function more like a ‘komal Pa‘) allows for unmistakeable flavours of Lalit – and, being a rare and recently-created raga, its phraseologies remain largely uncodified, with fresh melodic expanses open to the individual interpretation of performers.

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Aroha: SrGmM, DnS
Avroh: SrnSnD, GmMm, rGmG, GrS

Chalan: e.g. SDnD; DnSr; nrS; rGmMm; MD; MDn; DnrS; rnSnD; MDGmMm; rGmG; GrSnD; DnrS (Shankar/Raja)


—Ravi Shankar (1971)—

[refrain, e.g. 10:33] D D D, MMD, nnS(rS), r, r(/GMG), G\r, S, rGm/M M\G, rS, n SS, Dn(Dn), D D D…


• Classifiers •

Explore hidden inter-raga connections: swara geometries, melodic features, murchana sets, ragangas, & more (also see the Full Tag List):

Swaras: -4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10+

Sapta: Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

Poorvang: SRGM | SRG | SRM | SGM

Uttarang: PDNS | PDS | PNS | DNS

Varjit: Re | Ga | Ma | Pa | Dha | Ni

Double: rR | gG | mM | dD | nN

Thaat: 10 | 32Enclosed | Inexact

Chal: All-shuddha | All-komal | Ma-tivra

Gaps: Anh. | Hemi. | 3-row | 4-row | 5-row

Symmetries: Mirror | Rotation | Palindr.

Aroha: Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

Avroh: Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

Jati: Equal | Balanced | Av.+1 | Av.+2

Samay: Morning | Aftern. | Eve. | Night

Murchana: Bhup. | Bihag | Bilaw. | Charu.

Raganga: Bhairav | Malhar | Kan. | Todi

Construction: Jod | Mishra | Oddball

Origin: Ancient | Carnatic | Modern

Dominance: Poorvang | Uttarang

Prevalence: A-list | Prachalit | Aprach.


• Prakriti: (none found)


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGmMDnS
Reverse: SRgMPdNS (=Simhendra Mad.)
Negative: 3-1-4-1-3 (e.g. Bibhas)
Imperfect: 3 (Sa, re, Ga)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (m—N)
Murchanas: Bhairav set

Quirks: ‘komal Pa‘ (=mMP) • centred‘ (constellation balances at the wheel’s centrepoint)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Bhujangini
Jazz: Phrygian Dominant (b5)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o o o • • o o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma
• Names: Ahir Lalit, Aheer Lalitha


—Hariprasad Chaurasia (2000)—




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Hindustani Raga Index

An open-ended project seeking to bring North Indian raga closer to all who approach with open ears. Combines direct input from dozens of leading Hindustani artists with in-depth insights from music history, global theory, performance practice, cognitive science, and much more! [out 2023-24]

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George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher (guitars, sitar, tabla, & santoor). Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the voices, cultures, and passions behind them. See Homepage for more, and hit me up for Lessons!

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