• Raag Enayetkhani Kanada •


Invented by sitarist Vilayat Khan as a tribute to his father, legendary Imdadkhani innovator Enayet Khan (although when the raga first surfaced, circa 1981, he was calling it ‘Vilayat Khani Kanada’ instead…). As per fellow Imdadkhani sitarist-scholar Deepak Raja’s excellent analysis, the raga runs along the lines of “Darbari with the addition of two ‘alien swaras’ in the ascent [shuddha Ga & Ni]…Phrases with the alien swaras are always sandwiched between typical Darbari phrases, and blend into the new melodic entity with a distinctive emotional flavour”. He also details how Darbari’s character “is preserved by keeping the raga firmly anchored in the lower half of the melodic canvas, with very sparing development in the upper tetrachord and higher octave”. Khan’s most prominent recording is laden with long, ponderous meend, which occasionally render the adjacent niNi positions consecutively. Seemingly unperformed by anyone besides its creator (also see his other inventions, e.g. Madhuvanti, Sanjh Saravali, and Pancham se Pilu).

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—Vilayat Khan (2001)—

[gat, e.g. 47:43] SR (m)g/m R, n(RnSn) n\d n\d, P, mPn\d, NNS, R(SR) G, (m)g/m R(S), SR (m)g/m RS, R\d(nd) n\d n\d…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Enayet Khan (1894-1938)—

“In Ustad Enayet Khan‘s style, one is stuck by a introspective, devotional undercurrent. He learned from dhrupadiyas Allabande & Zakiruddin Khan, adding a contemplative quality to his own romantic personality. In alap, we discern pleasing khayal-type murkis, and in gat, he added swift sapat taans. He introduced khandarbani gamaks, peshkars, and tihais on the sitar, and on surbahar we notice elongated meend covering an entire octave. No other artist of his time had such depth, mastery, and knowledge, and the ability to organize and systematize the instrumental style…”


• 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: Chandranandan


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRgGmPdnNS
Reverse: SrRGmPdDnS
Negative: 4-5-3
Imperfect: 2 (Re, Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Rang Malhar (on ma)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Amrithavahini)
Jazz: Aeolian (dbl. 3rd/7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o o o • o o • o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (or none)
• Names: Enayetkhani Kanada, Enayet Khani Kannada (originally Vilayat Khani Kanada)


—Vilayat Khan (1981)—



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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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