• Raag Hemavati •


Adopted from the 58th Carnatic melakarta, Hemavati matches the swaras of ‘Kafi tivra Ma‘, ‘Madhuvanti komal ni’, or ‘Vachaspati komal ga’. Prominently associated with Hariprasad Chaurasia, although it is unclear who may have first borrowed the scale from the South: Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan also recorded it, as has Amjad Ali Khan, with broad melodic variance evident between each individual interpretation. Refer to an engrossing compendium of Chaurasia compositions by his nephew Rakesh, a santoor interpretation by Sandip Chatterjee, and a double-Ni take by Bhimsen Joshi (although some releases title this track as ‘Madhuvanti Malhar’: see Tanseni Madhuvanti) – plus Southern interpretations from L Subramaniam and Mandolin Srinivas. Also see the prakriti (and often distinguishable) Madhukant, as well as Harikauns, Tivrakauns, and Madhukauns: a trio of audav ragas which share Hemavati’s curious ga/Ma/ni combo.

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—Hariprasad Chaurasia (1998)—

[refrain, e.g. 12:23] (R)gR n(Dn)P S, gMP S, PnSgR(gR) n(DnD)P, (R)g(RSn)R, (R)gR n(Dn)P S, gMP 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: Thaat #13, Madhukant


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRgMPDnS
Reverse: SRgmMDnS
Negative: 2-3-1-3-3
Imperfect: 3 (Ma, Dha, ni)
Detached: 1 (Ma)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Kirwani set

Quirks: ‘tivra Ma, komal ni‘ (rarest pairing)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: Hemavathi
Jazz: Dorian Diminished
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o • • o o • o o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+ni)
• Names: Hemavati, Hemvati, ‘Goudi’


—Rakesh Chaurasia (2012)—




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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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