• Raag Madhukauns •


A curious ‘Dhani tivra Ma’ scale introduced by vocalist Amir Khan via a ‘ma-murchana’ of Chandrakauns (listen to his sargam-demo of the process below). Full of inescapable tension, with 3 of the 5 swaras being imperfect, and the disbalancing Mani sangati on stark display. Sometimes considered identical to Khan’s Chandramadhu, created as part of the same rotational process: but, while both take the same swaras, Madhukauns seems to place less emphasis on the tivra Ma, focusing more on the Kauns-bound nSg range instead – as per Ibrahim Ali’s excellent Amirkhani Khayal site, “Ni, salient in Chandrakauns, becomes [Chandramadhu’s] Ma” (i.e. Khan may have seen Chandramadhu as a ‘direct murchana’ of Chandrakauns, and Madhukauns as a more ‘inherently’ Kaunsi raga: also hinted at by their names). Rao’s 1965 Raga Nidhi also notes a second form of ‘Madhukauns’, apparently absent from today’s ragascape (a MadhuvantiMalkauns jod with swaras SgMDnS), with both scales being enclosed by the rare heptatonicMadhukant’ (SRgMPDnS). To add further confusion, Khan’s raga is different to Madhurkauns, although both were invented around the same time.

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—Amir Khan (~1960s)—

[murchana demo in sargam, e.g. 0:01] Chandrakauns: Sgm(Nd)N, d mgSgmdN(dN)S, NdmgS > Madhukauns/Chandramadhu: PnSgM(gM) P, MgSnSgn (n)SgM gS; PnSgMP M nP(M)gS…


• 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.


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: S-g-M-P-n-S
Reverse: SRmMDS (=none)
Inverse: Ni; SRgmMDnS (=none)
Imperfect: 3 (Ma, Pa, ni)
Detached: 1 (Ma)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Chandrakauns (on Pa)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Samudrapriya
Jazz: Minor Pentatonic (#4)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • o • • o o • • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+ga)
• Names: Madhukauns, Madhukans, Madhukos (not Madhurkauns)


—Hariprasad Chaurasia (1996)—




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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]

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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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