• Raag Nat Bhairav •


Associated with Ravi Shankar’s 20th-century experiments (although not, contrary to common perception, directly invented by him), Nat Bhairav is named for its combination of Nat in poorvang and Bhairav in uttarang. Flavours of Bhairav tend to dominate, including an ati-komal dha and vakra phrases resolving with GmRS (adapting Bhairav’s GmrS). Expounded mainly in madhya saptak, its shape resembles the Carnatic Sarasangi, as well as the Harmonic Major scale of Western music.

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Aroha: SRGmPdNS
Avroh: SNdPmGRS

Chalan: variable – pakad e.g. SRG; mdP; GmRS; RNdS (Parrikar)


—Ravi Shankar (1968)—

[gat, e.g. 13:21] RSNRS, PmGmP, RSNRS; SGmPGm N\d P, mPG (G)mRSN SGmPGm, N\d P, mPG


• 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: Thaat #19


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRGmPdNS
Reverse: SrGmPdnS (=Basant Mukhari)
Negative: 3-2-3-3-1 (e.g. Chandrakauns)
Imperfect: 3 (Re, dha, Ni)
Detached: 1 (dha)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Nat Bhairav set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Sarasangi
Jazz: Harmonic Major
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o • o o • • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Ni)
• Names: Nat Bhairav, Nata Bhairava, Nut Bhairav, Sarasangi (not Natabhairavi)


—Manas Kumar (2020)—




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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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