• Raag Madhurkauns •


A fascinating yet sparsely-recorded creation of Kirana vocalist Prabha Atre, matching the swaras of ‘Malkauns double-Ga’ (or ‘Nandkauns no Pa’). The addition of shuddha Ga maintains the original Ga–ni symmetry axis of Malkauns, while also giving more gravity to shuddha ma via upward resolutions of G/m – a feature which forms the basis of most renditions (e.g. Gm, ndm, GGm), sometimes even tempting the feel of a ‘ma-murchana’ (=Hemshri). Komal ga is mostly used in Sa-bound concluding phrases, in which shades of Jogkauns may appear (mGmgS). Intriguingly, I came across an old Atre recording entitled ‘Surya Kauns’, which I’m 99% certain is a ‘proto-Madhurkauns’: the bandish and melodic character are near-identical to a ‘shuddha Ga only’ version of her spellbinding Madhurkauns performance at Darbar 2014, around half a century later (…she may have renamed her rework due to the existence of other, unrelated species of ‘Suryakauns’). Prakriti with Mohankauns, despite their contrasting emotional characters – and not to be confused with Madhukauns, another audav vocal raga created around the same time by Amir Khan.

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—Prabha Atre (2014)—

[refrains, e.g. 1:22] G m m/n(dnd)m, GGmm; m\gS, Sgmd (m)d…


• 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-gG-m-d-n-S
Reverse: SRGPdDS (=none)
Inverse: Ni; SRgPdnS (=none)
Imperfect: 2 (Sa, Ga)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: mirror (G—n)
Murchanas: Hemshri set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Ragavardhini
Jazz: Epogimic
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • o o o • • o • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma
• Names: Madhurkauns, Madhurkans, ~Surya Kauns (not Madhukauns)


—Rageshree Vairagkar (2022)—




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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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