• Raag Ahiri Todi •


While the title ‘Ahiri Todi’ is often used interchangeably with Ahiri, the former raga has a more complex historical lineage: comprising both an Ahiricongruent form which many consider indistinct from the main raga (SrgmPDnS) – and an older, near-extinct version which approximates the shape of Asavari (SRgmPDnNS). Agra vocalist Khadim Hussain Khan’s intriguing recording of this second form – one of only a few I can find – displays an unusually strong poorvang-dominance, revolving around phrases such as S(n)S, Sg, (m)g, RSR. Dha is skipped in aroha, and touches of a ‘mid-sruti Ni’ manifest in how root motifs blur the distinction between S(n)S; S(N)S. To add further intrigue, a third ‘Ahiri Todi’ variant seems to have once existed, with Subba Rao’s Raga Nidhi listing a raga with this name under the swara set ‘SrgmPdnNS’ (…possibly implying that it may have been a ‘bridge’ between the two forms mentioned above: although the komal dha vadi puzzles me…maybe a relic from a lost Todiang?).

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—Khadam Hussain Khan (~1970s)—

[alap, e.g. 0:07] (S)g\nS SS, m\g(m)g R(S)RS Sg, S, S(N)S, SS SSS, m\g(m)g, gg (RS)R, Sg (RS)R, Sg, (g)R RS, g\nS SSS, SSS, S(n) S(n)S, gm…


• 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 | 910+

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: Miyan ki Malhar, Bageshri Bahar, Bahar, Barwa, Hussaini Todi, Lanka Dahan Sarang, Sindhura, Sughrai


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRgmPDnNS
Reverse: SrRgmPDnS
Negative: 5-3-2-2
Imperfect: 2 (Dha, Ni)
Detached: 1 (Ni)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Miyan ki Malhar set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Kapi/Kannada)
Jazz: Dorian double 7th
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o • o • o • o o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Ahiri Todi, Ahir Todi, (~Ahiri)


—Ajay Prasanna (2017)—
(^ following the Ahiri-prakriti swara-set of SrgmPDnS)



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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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