• Raag Manj Khamaj •


A ‘double-Ma, double-Ni’ offshoot of the Khamaj raganga, with origins in the Maihar lineage of Allauddin Khan – and famously showcased by his protégé Ravi Shankar at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, who deemed it ideal to broaden the horizons of an open-minded crowd numbering several hundred thousand (video here, and full audio below: and, despite Shankar’s own disdain for narcotics, the audio also appears precisely 4m20s into the ‘acid scene’ of the 2009 film Taking Woodstock). Shuddha ma tends to be most prominent, anchoring complex phrase patterns which defy simple summarisation – to my ears, the raga is definitively ‘zonal’ rather than ‘scalar’, with disparate sub-sections separated in time rather than pitch-space. Refer to Ayesha Mukherjee’s brief breakdown (“soothing, romantic, and highly attractive to the common audience… widely used in semi-classical forms such as thumri and dadra”), as well as renditions by other Maihar masters including Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nikhil Banerjee, and Ali Akbar Khan (often best as duets). Also see Khansaab’s invaluable hour-plus masterclass, demonstrating the raga to his student Geoffery Lipner).

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Aroha: SRGPm, GmPDnD, PDNS
Avroh: SnDPm, GRGPm, GRS

Chalan: e.g. SRGRGPm; GmPD(P)m; GmPDnD; PD(P)m; GmPDNS; SDnDP; GPm; (GR)GRS (Bor/Chaurasia)


—Ravi Shankar (1969)—

[theme, e.g. 11:13] GmG RS(R), n(S) S(RS) n(S) D, DnSG m, S(NS)N(S), P/nD(P), (m)GmG RS, Gm Pm…


• 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: Nat Bihag, Chandni Kedar, Saraswati Kedar, Pancham se Gara, Shuddha Chaya, Medhavi


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRGmMPDnNS
Reverse: SrRgmMPdnS
Negative: 5-2-5
Imperfect: 1 (Ma)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (R—d)
Murchanas: Jaijaiwanti set

Quirks: maximal‘ (swaras are optimally ‘spread out’)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Hamir Kalyani
Jazz: Lydian-Mixolydian
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o o o • o o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma
• Names: Manj Khamaj, Manjh Khammaj


—Pandit Jasraj (~2000s)—




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Hindustani Raga Index

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 2023-24]

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Glossary: Raga jargon demystified
Murchanas: Swara-set rotations •
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Ragatable: Analytical connections •
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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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