• Raag Annapurna •


From my 2018 Darbar interview with bansuri maestro Rupak Kulkarni: “I lately composed…Raag Annapurna: dedicated to Maa Annapurna Devi, my grand-guru [teacher of my teacher]. It is a combination of morning and evening ragas, so can be played at either of these times”. In 2022 I asked Kulkarni for more info: he described it as “a mixture of Todi and Shree, blending multiple elements from both ragas” – also sending me a mellifluous alap (below: as far as I can tell, the only recording out there!), full of haunting ornaments and odd dissonances, with Sa rendered durbal, and komal dha often skipped in wide up-jumps from Pa (PS(N)S, PrN, P(M)P…).

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—Rupak Kulkarni (2019)—

[alap phrases, e.g. 0:42] P/S S(NSNS), (S)NSr, PS(N)Sr\N N(Sr), PrNd P, P(M) P(M)PN(d), PS(NSd)P, PS S(NS), SNSgr(gr)Sr(S), Sr Srgr(S)N Nrg(rN), PrN PrNd P…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Annapurna Devi (1927-2018)—

“Last week, an extraordinary musician died: by many accounts, an artist who may have been the best Indian classical artist of the 20th century. But this superlative talent chose to erase herself from public life more than 60 years ago. As a surbahar player, Annapurna Devi was hailed in the 1940s as a virtuoso, in possession of a singular musical sensitivity. How and why she withdrew from the public eye is a complicated and tragic tale…” (NPR)


• 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: Todi thaat, Todi, Multani


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrgMPdNS
Reverse: SrGmMDNS (=Lalita Sohini)
Negative: 4-2-1-4-1 (e.g. Kaushik Dhwani)
Imperfect: 2 (ga, Pa)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Todi set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Shubhapantuvarali
Jazz: Lydian b2 b3 b6
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • o • • o o o • • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Annapurna


—Allauddin Khan teaches Annapurna Devi (~1940s)—



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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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