• Raag Lanka Dahan Sarang •


‘Lanka Dahan’ refers to a famous tale from the Ramayana – as per Rajeev Taranath’s preface to a recital of the raga: “Ravana’s demonic horde set fire to Lord Hanuman’s tail; and the Monkey God sent the entire city of Lanka up in flames with it. But Rama’s consort Sita, an avatar of Lakshmi, was also being held captive there. Hanuman became worried about her safety, and in that poignant state of mind, the Monkey Grammarian created a raga called Lanka Dahan [‘the burning of Lanka’] to console himself” (depicted below). The raga’s present-day incarnation is appraised by Tanarang as “a ticklingly dynamic melodic form…manifested by incorporating shuddha Dha and komal ga in the avroh of Brindabani Sarang”, presenting poorvang shades of Desi and Jaijaiwanti. Renditions continue to vary by performer and gharana, particularly around the treatment of Dha and shuddha Ni – refer to an excellent breakdown by Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar.

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Aroha: SRmPNS
Avroh: SnDP; mPDP; gRgRS, NS

Chalan: signatures, e.g. mPS; nP; mP; RgRS; nPmP; NS (Tanarang)


—Rajeev Taranath (2009)—

[jor, e.g. 5:14] RmPPP, PPP, P/nnn, n n(DPD) D(P)P, RmP(nP) m(RSn) SR g/mRS; R(PmP)P, R(mRm)m, R n(DP)P, D(n)n, nS/R, n/S…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Hanuman Burns Lanka—

“A scene from the Ramayana: sent as an ambassador to Lanka, where Rama’s wife Sita has been kidnapped by the demon king Ravana, Hanuman is seen imprisoned and bound. Having wrapped Hanuman’s tail with cloth, the rakshasas [demons] march Hanuman through a gate. One beats a drum, leading the procession, as another one threatens him with a weapon. The demons then set Hanuman’s tail alight in an effort to kill him. To their surprise he escapes, and jumps from building to building, setting the entire city on fire with his tail. The demons are quite varied in appearance, underscoring the fact that not all demons look alike…” (Punjab Hills, c.1830)


• 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: Miyan ki Malhar, Ahiri Todi, Bageshri Bahar, Bahar, Barwa, Hussaini Todi, Sindhura, Sughrai


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRgmPDnNS
Reverse: SrRgmPDnS
Negative: 5-3-2-2
Imperfect: 2 (Dha, Ni)
Detached: 1 (Ni)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Miyan ki Malhar set

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


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Kapi/Kannada)
Jazz: Dorian double 7th
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o • o • o • o o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Lanka Dahan Sarang, Lankadahani Sarang


—Manjiri Asanare Kelkar (2020)—



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