• Raag Bibhas •


The pentatonic Bibhas (or Vibhas) appears in at least three present-day forms: typically tilted towards either the Marwa, Bhairav, or Poorvi frameworks. The former takes a shuddha Dha, while the latter pair render it komal (thus drawing focus to Pa, which is often treated as a nyas). Prakriti with Reva in its komal dha incarnation, the raga is differentiated via a pakad of PddP, PGP, GrS, as well as a weaker treatment of komal re (this form is probably the most popular ‘audav Bhairav’ raga: also see Gunkali, Devranjani, & Zeelaf). Parrikar highlights Jitendra Abhisheki’s rendition of He Narahara Narayana, a bandish composed by Bhatkhande (“whose colophon ‘chatura’ is cleverly wedged in the antara”: see Mohankauns for a sargam-rooted spin on the same idea, as well as my Alphamelodics: global word-melody article). Possesses the rare property of ‘centredness’ (i.e. its ‘constellation’ balances at the swara wheel’s exact centre).

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Aroha: SrGPdS
Avroh: SdPGrS

Chalan: e.g. SrGrGP; GPdP; GPdPS; rSdP; GPGrS (Bor/Vyas) | or, in its Marwa-inclined form, e.g. GPD; DPGr; SPGPD; PSD; SrS; DP (Parrikar)


—Shruti Sadolikar (1992)—

[refrain, e.g. 1:07] S (S)G (G)P (P)D, D D\P G\r S; S/r\S, S\D/S(r)S…


• Ragmalas •

Historic miniature paintings (learn more)

“The lovers share a close embrace, as a peacock, perched on the roof, disrupts them with its loud cries. To silence it, the nayaka prepares to shoot it down. While the moon indicates that it is not yet dawn, the peacock cries as though it is early morning…” (Bundi, c.1860) / “Vibhasa Ragini: opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper” (unknown, c.1760)

“Vibhasa Ragini, portrayed by the blue-skinned Krishna and his lover Radha; closely intertwined as their embrace is interrupted by the call of a bird. Krishna brandishes his arrows, constructed entirely of blossoms, to shoot down the disruptive bird. The flowery bow-and-arrow recall Kamadeva, god of love and lust…” (Rajasthan, c.1720) / “Vibhasa Ragini: opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper. A loving couple sits on a raised bed, as he shoots a lotus as an arrow from a flower-covered bow. A peacock standing on the pavilion’s roof, the sun shining in the background…” (Mewar, c.1775)


• 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: Reva


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGPdS
Reverse: SGmdNS
Negative: 3-1-2-1-3-1-1 (e.g. Rasikpriya)
Imperfect: 3 (Ga, Pa, dha)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: mirror (G—n)
Murchanas: none

Quirks: centred‘ (constellation balances at the wheel’s centrepoint)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Revagupti
Jazz: Phrygian Dominant (no 4th/7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o • • o o • • • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Dha)
• Names: Bibhas, Vibhas, Vibhāṣa (historic)


—Manas Kumar (2020)—



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