• Raag Bhinna Shadja •


Often summarised as the ‘older form’ of today’s Kaushik Dhwani, Bhinna Shadja’s lineage stretches back over 1000 years, appearing in Matangamuni’s ~8th-century Brihaddeshi and other lakshanagranthas: Sarangdeva’s 13th-century Sangita Ratnakara describes the raga in remarkably similar terms to its modern incarnation (“Bhinna is devoid of Rishabh and Pancham, has Dhaivat as its initial and fundamental note, and Madhyam for its final note”). The name refers to its presumed origins as an offshoot of the ancient ‘Shadja-Grama’ base mode (‘Bhinna’ means ‘differentiated’, i.e. ‘differentiated from the Shadja-Grama scale’ – as per the Sangita Ratkanara, “Bhinna is differentiated with reference to four factors: sruti, jati, swara, and purity…”). While its phraseologies are relatively free, the shuddha ma vadi exerts the strongest melodic gravity – and some, including Kishori Amonkar, include shuddha Re as part of ornamental flourishes in avroh.

Raga Megalist (365+) •
Search | Glossary | Tags
Hindustani Raga Index •


Aroha: SGm, DNS
Avroh: SND, mGS

Chalan: e.g. SDNSGm; m; mGS; (N)DNSGm; GmDGm; mGGm(N)D; D; DN; NS; SD; GmGSG; mDNS, DNSG; mGS; SD; NDm; GmGS (Ramrang)


—Kishori Amonkar (1989)—

[motifs, e.g. 0:39] m, mG, N/G m/D(ND)G, G(R)Gm, (SG)m, G(m), G(RS), N/G G/m m/D(NSN), NN DG(m), m, mG…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Shadja Grama: Ramkrishna Das (2018)—

“Between 200 BCE to 200 CE, Bharat documented the performing arts traditions of his contemporary India in his famous Natyashastra: describing a tuning system called ‘Shadaj Gram’, considered as a slight modification of the ‘Sama Gana’ scale. In this period, music was likely played on 8-string harps tuned to Shadaj Gram, Madhyam Gram, and related scales. Over time, more sophisticated instruments came into being, adding capabilities to bend, slide, and shake notes. Through their murchanas, jatis, and lakshanas, this era created a precedent for raga bhavas and identities…” (Sadharani)


• 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: Kaushik Dhwani


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SGmDNS
Reverse: SrgPdS (=Bhupali Todi)
Negative: 3-1-1-3-1-1-2 (e.g. Amrut Ranjani)
Imperfect: 2 (Sa, Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Gunkali (on Ga)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Hindolavasantham)
Jazz: Major (no 2nd/5th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • • o o • • • o • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma (+Dha)
• Names: Bhinna Shadja, Bhinan Shatraj, Bhukosh, Bhookosh, Bhavkosh, Bhavkauns, ‘Audav Bilawal’, Kaushik Dhwani


—Kala Ramnath (2019)—



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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
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Ragatable: Analytical connections •
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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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