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 admirably faithful to the basic triangular concept. Counterintuitively, Malashree’s intervallic simplicity makes it harder to play on single-string instruments such as the sitar: permitting nothing but wide-spaced jumps and bends between each swara position. Allows (or, arguably, requires) great space for imaginative tabla accompaniment.
—Ali Akbar Khan (1982)—
• Classifiers •
Explore hidden inter-raga connections: swara geometries, melodic features, murchana sets, ragangas, & more (also see the Full Tag List):
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]
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!
everything 100% ad-free and open-access