• Raag Gunkali •


An enchanting morning raga, matching the swara set of ‘Bhupali komal re/dha’ (or ‘Shobhawari komal re’), described by Tanarang as “essentially an epitome of bhakti and karuna…straightforward, and can be freely expanded in all three octaves”. While audav at its core, some renditions may include shades of shuddha Ga in avroh, bringing hints of a Bhairav-ang – and Kumar Gandharva’s unconventional take also features varied use of both Ga and Ni. Also refer to a concise demo by Ajoy Chakraborty, a superb performance by Kedar Bodas (below), and a captivating bandish by Ramrang (“describing Shiva’s visit to Brindavan to see the baby Krishna. The text verbalises the Great Yogi’s response to an apprehensive Jashoda”). Generally considered distinct to Gunakri, despite considerable overlap – with their basic SrmPdS scale shape also forming an exact Ga-murchana of Kaushik Dhwani – and approximating the ‘In / Miyakobushi‘ mode of Japanese court music.

Raga Megalist (365+) •
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—Kedar Bodas (2015)—

[bandish, e.g. 7:43] d P m, (P)m\r, rS(rS) PP, (S)dd P(d)P m(P)m\r(m)r S, Pm r(m)r S(r)S d(S)dS, rrS S(PmP)m m\rr rS S\dd rS (S)PmmP, dPdmPdd, Pdd, Pdd P m…


• 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: Gunakri


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrmPdS
Reverse: SGmPNS
Negative: 3-1-1-2-3-1-1 (e.g. Todi)
Imperfect: 2 (Pa, dha)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Kaushik Dhwani (on dha)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Salanganata
Jazz: Phrygian (no 3rd/7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • • o • o o • • • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+dha)
• Names: Gunakali, Gunakari, Gunkeli (not Gunakri?)


—Ajoy Chakraborty (~2000s)—




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Hindustani Raga Index

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)
Search: Find your new favourite •
Tags: Classifying the ragascape •
Glossary: Raga jargon demystified
Murchanas: Swara-set rotations •
Thaat: Bhatkhande’s base scales •
Ragatable: Analytical connections •
Tanpuras: Divine overtonal drones •
Quotes: Musings from raga artists •
Talas: Hindustani rhythm cycles •
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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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