• 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. Also compare to his proximate Amirkhani Kauns (the same scale with shuddha Ga).

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—Amir Khan (~1960s)—

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


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Amir Khan & group—

“Ustad Amir Khan’s first belief is that ‘the more delightfully the swaras are applied, more effective becomes the raga‘. Because of this, his music shows a dominance of delicate feeling. He considers the impression of the whole gayaki, and he does not believe in uncontrolled embellishments…” (Ibrahim Ali)


• 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: Chandramadhu


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SgMPnS
Reverse: SRmMDS
Negative: 2-1-2-1-3-1-2 (e.g. Nat Bhairav)
Imperfect: 3 (Ma, Pa, ni)
Detached: 1 (Ma)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Chandrakauns (on Pa)

Quirks: ‘tivra Ma, komal ni‘ (rarest pairing)


–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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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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