• Raag Hansadhwani •


Hansadhwani translates to ‘Call of Swans’ – a creature with rich cultural associations in the Subcontinent (Saraswati, goddess of music and learning, is often depicted atop a swan: said to symbolise purity, discernment, and the routine of breathing). Originally an import from Carnatic music, the raga’s pentatonic simplicity invites the listener towards the calm of nature, with a strong vadi-samvadi pairing of SaPa retaining a central reassurance, amidst what Jairazbhoy describes as “an inherently unbalanced scale”. Also see related forms including Shankara (add Dha), Bhupali (swap Ni for Dha), and the ultra-rare Veenavadi (komal ni instead) – as well as compounds such as Pannalal Ghosh’s Hansa Narayani, and other ragas linked to the same goddess (e.g. Saraswati and Ambika Sarang).

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Chalan: e.g. PNS(G)R; RGP(G)R; (S)RG; RSR; GP; GPN; PNS; PNSGR; (R)G(R)S; NPGP(G)R; (R)G(R)S (Bor/Vyas)


—Parveen Sultana (2018)—

[alap phrases, e.g. 0:56] (N)P/SN(SN), P/S(NSPGSNRSN), (NP)SN(SN)S, (N)S S(NPGPNRS), N(PSN)GR, NRSNPG, PGPS NRS, PS, PG, S…


• 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: SRGPNS
Reverse: SrmdnS
Negative: 3-2-2-1-2-1-1
Imperfect: 2 (Re, Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none

Quirks: ‘atritonal‘ (no available tritones)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: Hamsadhwani
Jazz: Ionian (no 4th/6th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o • • o • • • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Ni)
• Names: Hansadhwani, Hamsadhwani, Haunsadhwani, Hans Dhwani


—Hariprasad Chaurasia (~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]

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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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