• Raag Hindol •


A captivating, challenging audav raga with all swaras appearing in their highest specific positions (i.e. no komals, and Ma, if present, is tivra: also see Bhupali, Hansadhwani, & Adbhut Kalyan). The name translates as ‘swinging’: indicative of the raga’s melodic character, which is built around ‘swaying’ motions between a trio of nyas (Sa, Ga, Dha) – with Ni played weakly and often omitted in ascent (rendering it ‘surtar’). Portrayed in classical ragmala paintings with imagery of Krishna sitting on a swing in seductive pose, Hindol also has mythic links to Kamadeva, Hindu deity of erotic love and romantic desire (“a handsome young man decked with ornaments, armed with a sugarcane bow and shooting arrows of flowers”). Intriguingly, the similarly-named CarnaticHindolam’ matches the swaras of the Hindustani Malkauns: leading Jairazbhoy to speculate that Hindol’s swara set may have arisen via a “semitonal shift of the ground note” (i.e. SGMDNS = ‘SgmdnS with Sa raised a semitone’ – loosely akin to the idea of ‘altered chords’ in jazz).

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Chalan: e.g. SD; MDS; SDSGMG; SGMD; D(N)MDS; DSGS; SDMG; MGSDS (Bor/Vyas)


—Pandit Jasraj (2002)—

[refrain, e.g. 0:48] SM G, MGS, S(NS)D (N)SS; S(D) S(D)S (N)S, (S)G (G)SS; (S)MGGMD (M)SDDMG, MGS; SM(GM) G, MGS…


• 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: SGMDNS
Reverse: SrgMdS
Negative: 3-1-1-2-2-1-2 (e.g. Jogeshwari Pancham)
Imperfect: 2 (Sa, Ma)
Detached: 1 (Sa)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Shivranjani set

Quirks: ‘detached Sa


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Sunadavinodini
Jazz: Lydian (no 2nd/5th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • • o • o • • o • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Ni (+Dha)
• Names: Hindol, Hindoli (not the Carnatic ‘Hindolam‘ – although the ragas likely share historic overlap: see above)


—Pournima Dhumale (2020)—




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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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