• Raag Imratkauns •


Devised by Imdadkhani sitar and surbahar virtuoso Imrat Khan, with a swara set resembling ‘Charukeshi no Pa’. This mid-scale space gives a strong poorvanguttarang separation, amidst the strange geometric regularity of the consecutive ‘2-2-2-2’ run (dnSRG: just a ma-to-Ma nudge from matching the whole-tone scale, a.k.a. Sehera). Ga is strong throughout, often setting up Re via slow meend, and Khan’s originals often bring out hints of a mamurchana. His student Chris Stephens compares it to the near-prakriti Mohankauns: “The main difference is that Mohankauns sometimes sprinkles a komal ga in the mix, and Imratkauns uses shuddha Re more frequently…Imratkauns is most similar to ‘Rageshri komal dha’, and Mohankauns to ‘Malkauns with shuddha Ga’…”. Also performed by Imrat’s son Wajahat Khan on sarod, who reportedly describes his interpretation as “a combination of Malkauns and Rageshri”.

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—Imrat Khan (2011)—

[refrain, e.g. 14:57] n\dnS G, GGm, (Gd)Gm, n n\d n/S, n\d, G, G\R, S(RS), S(mGP) m(Gm), G\R, SS, n\dnS G, GGm…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Imrat Khan (1935-2018)—

“Understanding that he had to carve out a musical identity distinct from his more celebrated brother, Imrat Khan revelled in playing unusual ragas. His compositions too reveal individuality – his son Nishat speaks of a ‘gat’ in Gaoti, which was ‘the smallest gat ever composed: the mukhda was in just 2 matras‘…His training on the surbahar gave him an awesome command of the sitar, and the wazan of his right hand – the fluid bolkari [strokework], and the extensive use of gamak taans – were distinctly his own…” (Shailaja Khanna)


• 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: SRGmdnS
Reverse: SRGPdnS
Negative: 2-2-3-1-2-2
Imperfect: 4 (Sa, Re, Ga, dha)
Detached: 3 (Re, Ga, dha)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none

Quirks: fragmented‘ (at least half the swaras are detached)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Charukeshi)
Jazz: Mixolydian b6 (no 5th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o • • o • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma
• Names: Imratkauns, Imrat Kauns


—Wahajat Khan (2011)—



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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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