• Raag Bageshri •


An ancient raga of the late night, Bageshri is associated with vipralambha – the profound shades of longing felt by a separated lover. These sentiments are reflected in its multipolar phraseology: artists may resolve towards Sa for a clustered, inward-turning feel, or towards shuddha ma for a more open, expansive sound – often seen as symbolising two lovers, or perhaps competing waves of emotion within a single soul. Prakriti with Bhimpalasi, Shahana, Raisa Kanada, and other Kafi-shaped ragas – although Bageshri should be tuned to its own distinct set of sruti.

Raga Megalist (365+) •

Search | Glossary | Tags
Hindustani Raga Index •

Context | Melodics | Classifiers | Listenings | More


Aroha (6): SnDnS, SgmD, gmDnS
Avroh (7): SnDm, mPDmg, mgRS

Chalan: SnD DnS; Sgm gmD gmnD gmDnS; Sgm mgRS; SnDm, mPD mg; mgRS DnS mgRS


–Shahid Parvez Khan (2017)–

“Bageshri is an old and ‘big’ raga…It finds mention in the older treatises as ‘Vageeshwari’…The ma is powerful, the melodic centre of gravity…[and] the touch of Pa occasions moments of delicious frisson…” (Rajan Parrikar)



Origins, myths, quirks, & more


[more coming soon!]


–Amir Khan (1970s)–

“The reflective temper of Amir Khan is well-matched to Bageshri’s expansive space. The rich, measured strokes of his vocal brush hold us captive to this séance. He picks up a traditional vilambit composition – Bahu guna ka mana – and tops it off with a tarana…” (Rajan Parrikar)



Swaras, geometries, movements, characteristics…




–Shivkumar Sharma (2007)–

“Suppose I’m playing Bageshri. After tuning the Sa, the next note I will tune is Ma. Then the next [is] Dha, then Ga and Re. I’ll play phrases, tuning in relation to the other swaras…then you get the exact microtones of that raga. If you tune Bageshri like Kafi [i.e. in aroha order], then maybe you will not get the correct Gandhar…” (Shivkumar Sharma)


—Swara-Set Similarities—
Prakriti: Kafi, Bhimpalasi, Shahana, Desi, Dhanashree, Raisa Kanada, Mudriki Kanada, Hussaini Kanada
Rageshri = ‘Bageshri shuddha Ga
Patdeep = ‘Bageshri shuddha Ni
Ahiri = ‘Bageshri komal re
Darbari = ‘Bageshri komal dha
Sindhura = ‘Bageshri double Ni
Lankeshwari = ‘Bageshri double Ga


–Around the World–


—Ma No Pa (India/UK)—
(Shakti, 2005)



• 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 | 32 | Enclosed | 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.


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: S-R-g-m-P-D-n-S
Reverse: SRgmPDnS (=itself)
Inverse: Ni; SRmPDS (=Durga)
Imperfect: 1 (Dha)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (S—M)
Murchanas: Bilawal set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Kharaharapriya
Jazz: Dorian
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o • o • o • o o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma (+Dha)
• Names: Bageshri, Bageshree, Bageshwari, Vageeshwari



A brief selection of superb renditions

–Hariprasad Chaurasia (1967)–

  • Call of the Valley (10m):

[refrain, e.g. 2:37] S m, SmgmR(g)S, R (nDn)D n(D); S m(gmS), SmgmR(g)S…


–Nirmalya Dey (2015)–
  • Dagarvani Dhrupad (20m):

[refrain, e.g. 9:20] (S)m\gm, (mS)D(SD) Sn (Dn)D, m(D)PD, (m)g R(gm)S, nD (n)DSS, (S)m\g(mg) g/m, (m)D, m/n(Dn)D D(Pm), mm(DP)n D(nD) mg(m)R, S; (S)m\g/m…


Further Recordings
  • Shahid Parvez Khan (90m): astonishing rendition from a 2002 Australian show, featuring magical interplay with Anindo Chatterjee’s tabla
  • Shivkumar Sharma (25m): a spellbinding tintal gat, featuring stronger use of Pa in many passages
  • Ramakant Gaikwad (5m): filmed by Darbar in the Maharashtra desert



Further info: links, listenings, learnings, etc

  • Separation songs:




Like everything on my site, the Raga Index will always remain 100% open-access and ad-free: however, anti-corporate musicology doesn’t pay the bills! I put as much into this project as time and finances allow – so, if you like these resources, you can:

Support the Raga Index! •

…and hasten the project’s expansion…
—Riyaz-focused notations & bandish—
—Resurrecting rare and ancient ragas—
—Further melodic & geometric analysis—
—Engaging with Hindustani performers—
—Ensuring that high-quality raga knowledge will remain open to all, at no cost: free from commercial motive!—


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]

Megalist (365+ ragas)
Search: Find your new favourite •
Tags: Classifying the ragascape •
Glossary: Raga jargon demystified
Ragatable: Analytical connections •
Thaat: Bhatkhande’s base scales •
Murchanas: Swara-set rotations •
Quotes: Musings from raga artists •
Tanpuras: Divine overtonal drones •
Talas: Hindustani rhythm cycles •
[Random Raga]

—Search the Raga Index—

Feedback / Contact •

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!

Learn raga on any instrument! •

everything 100% ad-free and open-access