• Raag Lakshmi Kalyan •


An enchanting but seldom-heard raga, taking the swara set of ‘Kalyan double-Ma’ (n.b. ‘Lakshmi’ refers to the Hindu goddess of power, prosperity, and fortune). Described by slide guitarist Deepak Kshirsagar as “a combination of Shuddha Sarang and Shyam Kalyan, [although] some combine Shuddha Sarang and Kamod..or use [the swaras of] Shyam Kalyan in the Sarang chalan…It is sung in the evening…Shri Vamanrao Bhat conceived the raga in memory of his mother” [n.b. it is unclear who ‘Vamanrao Bhat[t]’ may be: the only semi-plausible name-match I’m able to trace is a 1930s Marathi film director, noted for his “tales of the absurdities of middle class existence”]. Kirana vocalist Arshad Ali Khan, one of only a few to have made a raga by this name a regular part of their repertoire, also includes komal re and ni, allowing for chayas of Vachaspati (nDnPMG) and Puriya Kalyan (NrGrS) – and Maihar surbahar artist Indrajit Banerjee also features both these extra swaras, restricting use of komal re to emphatic descending lines (NSG(M)P, MG, MGrGrS), and mostly avoiding komal ni. Further information is hard to come by: don’t hesitate to send me what you know!

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—Deepak Kshirsagar (2019)—

[alap phrases, e.g. 4:56] G\R(GR) P\M(PM), (P)MP/N N(DP), R(MR)P (M)P/S\N, S(NSN)S, (M)P/N\S, S S, S(NS), P/S(NSN)R, R R, P/S(NSN)R S(NS) N, P(MPM)D M(PMPM)m(G), G(mGmG)…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Goddess Lakshmi—

“Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she is said to have taken different forms in order to be with him in each of his incarnations. Thus, when he was the dwarf Vamana, she appeared from a lotus and was known as ‘Padma’ or ‘Kamala’ (both of which mean ‘lotus’); when he was the axe-wielding Parashurama, the destroyer of the warrior class, she was his wife Dharani; when he was King Rama, she was his queen Sita. In the most prominent account of Lakshmi’s birth, she rose from the churning of the ocean of milk, seated on a lotus and holding another in her hand…” (Britannica)


• 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: Bihag, Nand, Hameer, Kamod, Maru Bihag, Pat Bihag, Chayanat, Gaud Sarang, Shyam Kalyan, Khem Kalyan, Sanjh Saravali


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRGmMPDNS
Reverse: SrgmMPdnS
Negative: 3-2-5-2
Imperfect: 1 (Ma)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (mM—NS)
Murchanas: Bihag set

Quirks: maximal‘ (swaras are optimally ‘spread out’)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Behag
Jazz: Lydionian
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o o o • o • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Lakshmi Kalyan, Laxmi Kalyan


—Arshad Ali Khan (2019)—



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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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