• Raag Madhumad Sarang •


Running along the lines of ‘Brindabani Sarang with komal ni only’, Madhumad Sarang is among the principal incarnations of its raganga (‘Madhumad’ derives from the Sanskrit ‘madhyamadi’, meaning ‘first’: the Carnatic equivalent is similarly titled ‘Madhyamavati’). Ma and Pa are strong, and the uttarang summons natural upward momentum via clusters such as PSn, PnS, PnSRm, with crisp melodic articulations set against the scale’s palindromic form (e.g. RmRmP, nPnPm). Best explored at drut laya in madhya and taar saptak, Tanarang considers the raga as “neither deep nor playful” (adding that “the PaRe and niPa sangatis are illustrative”). Refer to a stellar khayal performance by Malini Rajurkar, as well as a seldom-heard shehnai rendition by the underappreciated Ali Ahmed Hussain – and contrast with Megh: which uses the same swaras to emphasise the Malhar-ang rather than Sarang (in particular: Madhumad Sarang’s ornament patterns tend to be ‘brisker’ than the extended fluidities of Megh).

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—Kaivalya Kumar Gurav (2015)—

[refrain, e.g. 1:23] m(R)m\R, (m)RS, nR, R(mRPm)RS S…


• Ragmalas •

Historic miniature paintings (learn more)

“Sarang: architectural depth is shown by the overlapping of elements. The artist plays with the viewer’s trust: the roofline of the pavilion and senior ascetic’s cushion overlap the frame, creating a sense of the unreal – and the floor behind the feet of the younger ascetic appears raised, making the figure float precariously…” (Sirohi, c.1680) / “Saranga Ragini: a royal woman sits cross-legged under an awning, facing a pair of musicians. Below, a group of kings lead a chariot that contains Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu; along with his consort Sita, and the monkey-god Hanuman…” (Mewar, c.1680)


• 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: Megh


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRmPnS
Reverse: SRmPnS (=itself)
Negative: 2-2-1-2-2-1-2 (e.g. Kafi)
Imperfect: 1 (Re)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (S—M)
Murchanas: Bhupali set

Quirks: ‘palindromic‘ (same intervals forwards & backwards) • ‘atritonal‘ (no available tritones) • maximal‘ (swaras are optimally ‘spread out’)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: Madhyamavathi
Jazz: Suspended Pentatonic
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • • o • o • • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Re)
• Names: Madhumad Sarang, Madhmat Sarang, Madhyamadi Saranga


—Ali Ahmed Hussain (1982)—



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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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