• Raag Gauri •


Described by Deepak Raja as “difficult to render in its purity”, Gauri is associated with viraha shringara (‘the piety arising from the separation of lovers’). The raga had at least two distinct forms as far back as the 16th century, and continues to manifest in several variations – spanning a main Bhairav-angshuddha maincarnation to various Poorvi-angtivra Marenditions (often “treacherously close to Puriya Dhanashree“). In the former, mandra Ni is a prominent nyas (in Kalingada style), while re and dha should not be paused on – while some omit Ga and dha in aroha. Considered a sandhiprakash raga, but (unlike Bhairav) best suited to the dusk hours.

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Aroha: SrNS, SrGmPdP, PdNS
Avroh: SNdPmG, rGmGr, SrNS, dNdSNS

Chalan: e.g. GmPdP; mPmdPmG; mGm; PPmGrG; rGrmGrSN; SrGmG (Tanarang)


—Sharad Sathe (1995)—

[bandish, e.g. 3:52] SG(mG)rP GrS(S), S(N)S; N S(NSd)NS PGrS, S(N)S; SGmP, Gr/G, m (G)rS, dNS, GrS…


• Ragmalas •

Historic miniature paintings (learn more)

“Gauri Ragini holding a veena, with female attendant…” (Penn, c.1800)

“Gauri Ragini, with later repainting: The Sanskrit inscription reads, ‘Sprays of the heavenly wishing-tree in hand, adorned with a girdle of sweet-toned bells, and beauty enhanced by a splendid robe, she, whoever pleasure gives…Here, the heroine carries flower wands while strolling in the woods by a stream. A peacock gazes at her, enraptured…” (Bikaner, c.1605) / “Gauri, first wife of Malkos: Gauri is a soulful winter melody, expressing the lamentation of a heroine over her unfaithful lover. The intertwined tree trunks on the right symbolize the heroine’s longing for love. The Sanskrit header reads, ‘She is putting on her ears ornaments of mango blossoms, made beautiful by the voice of the cuckoo. She has a shining complexion, and a sweet and delicate voice’…” (Deccan, c.1675)


• 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: Bhairav thaat, Bhairav, Kalingada


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGmPdNS
Reverse: SrGmPdNS (=itself)
Negative: 4-1-3-3-1 (e.g. Bibhas)
Imperfect: 3 (Pa, dha, Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (S—M)
Murchanas: Bhairav set

Quirks: ‘palindromic‘ (same intervals forwards & backwards) • centred‘ (constellation balances at the wheel’s centrepoint)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Mayamalavagowla
Jazz: Double Harmonic
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o o • o o • • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Ni)
• Names: Gauri, Gari, Shuddha Gauri (Bhairav-ang)


—Kedar Bodas (2015)—
(^ taking the Poorvi-ang)



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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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