• Raag Dhani •


Despite its ‘Minor Pentatonic’ scale form enjoying global popularity as the predominant mode of blues, rock, pop, and countless other guitar-driven genres, Dhani is comparatively rare as a raga in its own right – with its swara set mostly being heard as the ‘aroha of Bhimpalasi’ rather than in isolation (…it may be the least-performed of all five Bhupali murchanas: and only joined this set in the modern era, having previously allowed Re in avroh). Renditions are relatively ‘rule-free’ within the bounds of the five swaras, although komal ga and ni tend to assume a natural prominence. Often described as ‘lively, playful, sprightly’, in spite of its ‘all-komal’ status. Also see nearby audav ragas including Jog, Tilang, and Madhukauns.

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Aroha: nSgmPnS
Avroh: SnPmgS

Chalan: e.g. SnSgS; nS(m)gmP; gmPnPg; mPnP; PnS; (R)SnP; (m)g(R)S; nSgS (Bor/Sadolikar)


—Satish Vyas (2001)—

[refrain, e.g. 0:06] SnPnSg, gmPm gSnP SgSn Sg


• 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: SgmPnS
Reverse: SRmPDS (=Durga)
Negative: 2-1-2-2-2-1-2 (e.g. Bhimpalasi)
Imperfect: 1 (Pa)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (m—N)
Murchanas: Bhupali set

Quirks: ‘atritonal‘ (no available tritones) • maximal‘ (swaras are optimally ‘spread out’)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Suddha Dhanyasi
Jazz: Minor Pentatonic
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • o • o • o • • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+ga)
• Names: Dhani, Dhanee, Dhauni


—Malini Rajurkar (~1960s)—



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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]

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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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