• Raag Malashree •


Often said to comprise only three swaras (a SGP major triad), Malashree pushes the bounds of raga definition. Arguably, this challenge is its defining purpose, calling on performers to find expressive freedom within an ultra-limited framework. In practice, this often leads artists to push the raga’s own bounds instead, via including tivra Ma and shuddha Ni as grace notes to support Pa and Sa from below – although Ali Akbar Khan’s rendition stays mostly faithful to the basic triangular concept. Counterintuitively, Malashree’s intervallic simplicity makes it harder to play on single-string instruments such as the sitar, which permit only wide-spaced jumps and bends between swaras. Allows (or, probably, requires) space for imaginative tabla accompaniment. Also see Jaitashree (which sometimes takes only the three swaras of Malashree in aroha) and Bhavani (the most prominent ‘4-swara raga’).

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Aroha: SGPS
Avroh: SPGS

Chalan: (uncodified)


—Ali Akbar Khan (1982)—

[gat, e.g. 16:36] S SS, PGPG, SGG, PPS…


• Ragmalas •

Historic miniature paintings (learn more)

“Malasri Ragini with five female attendants, one presenting a green bird…” (Penn, c.1800)

“Malasri Ragini, wife of Bhairava, is depicted as a beautiful woman preparing a bed in a garden, on which she scatters lotus petals. The mood is of beauty created in anticipation of a perfect lovers’ tryst…” (Rajasthan, c.1620) / “Malasri Ragini from the Chunar series: opaque watercolor and gold on paper” (Bundi, c.1591)


• 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: (none found)


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SGPS
Reverse: SmdS
Negative: 2-1-1-2-1-2-1-1-1 (e.g. Bhavmat Bhairav)
Imperfect: 2 (Ga, Pa)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none

Quirks: ‘tritar‘ (only 3 swaras) • ‘atritonal‘ (no available tritones) • ‘consecutive varjits‘ (Dha & Ni)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Suddha Saveri)
Jazz: Major Triad 
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • • o • • o • • • • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Ga)
• Names: Malashree, Malashri, Malasri, Malavasri (historic)


—Rajan & Sajan Mishra (~1990s)—



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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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