• Raag Bangal Bhairav •


A distinctive Bhairav raganga offshoot with uncertain origins, summarised in poetic fashion by MeetKalakar: “Being Nishad-taboo, its caste is shadav. Dhaivat and Rishabh are used softly…which are respectively the plaintiffs” (n.b. the ultra-rare Meghranjani is the only other ‘shadav Bhairav’ raga I can definitively trace). Performed by only a handful of khayal vocalists (e.g. Abhirang, Purnima Sen, and Yunus Hussain Khan) – but remains a staple of the Dagarvani Dhrupad: listen to a pakhawaj-less rendition from the 1980s by Nasir Aminuddin Dagar (“after the death of [his brother] Moinuddin in 1966, Aminuddin sang alone…He also changed the pitch of his singing far lower…”), and another by his nephew Wasifuddin Dagar (from a 2007 concert at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris: a city which has arguably become Dhrupad’s ‘second home’ over the past half-century or so).

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—Priyanshu Ghosh (2022)—

[refrain, e.g. 1:13] G(PmP) m(Gm) G\r, GmP (n)d, d/S (n)d (d)P, G(mGm)P, G(PmP) m(Gm) G\r, GmP (n)d, d/S…


• 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: SrGmPdS
Reverse: SGmPdNS
Negative: 3-1-3-3-1-1
Imperfect: 3 (Ga, Pa, dha)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Kannada Bangala
Jazz: Double Harmonic (no 7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o o • o o • • • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Bangal Bhairav, Bengal Bhairav, Bhairav Banghal


—Wasifuddin Dagar (2007)—



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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]

Megalist (365+ ragas)
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Tags: Classifying the ragascape •
Glossary: Raga jargon demystified
Murchanas: Swara-set rotations •
Thaat: Bhatkhande’s base scales •
Ragatable: Analytical connections •
Tanpuras: Divine overtonal drones •
Quotes: Musings from raga artists •
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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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