• Raag Nayaki Kanada •


A popular Kanada raga said to have been created by Gopal Nayak – the legendary poet-composer of Alauddin Khilji’s 12th-century Delhi durbar, fabled to have catalysed Amir Khusro’s invention of qawwali via Khusro seeking to outdo Nayak’s Sufi syllabic singing (although other origin myths relate the raga to Nayak Bakshu of Raja Man Singh’s 16th-century royal court). Dha is omitted despite a general uttarang focus, with Tanarang (who describes the mood as “dynamic and scintillating, full of enthusiasm and vitality”) offering characteristic movements such as nSRPmgm; SRgmnP; SnPnPmP; gmPmRSRS (n.b. an archaic variant, though prakriti with the main form, runs more like ‘Suha + Sarang’, and other incarnations may feature occasional touches of shuddha Dha). Also see Sughrai.

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Aroha: SRmP, nPmPS
Avroh: RnSP, nPmP, gmRS

Chalan: e.g. SRgmR; SR(R)P; mPnP; mPgmnP; mPnP; nmPS; RnS(P)nP; mP(m)gm; gmPmRSRS (Bor/Sadolikar)


—Shashwati Mandal (2014)—

[alap, e.g. 0:58] (nS)R, RRSnSnSR m\g(R) m\g(mgmg)m, m(Pm)P\m mPm/n(Pn)P, m(mnPmPmP)S, (n)S nPn P(m), mPn(Pn)P, P(SnS)nP nPmP, nPm(Pm)nPmP m\g m(g) m(g) g(mg)m…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Gopal Nayak—

“Gopal Nayak was reputedly summoned by the ruler to translate ancient Dhrupad songs, originally sung in an austere fashion, to match the rigidities of Sanskrit, into a more modern living language. Gopal, a native of Vrindavan [the legendary forest of Lord Krishna], translated the compositions into Braj, the language of Krishna, sanctifying them…” (Jameela Siddiqi)


• 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: Suha KanadaGaudgiri Malhar


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRgmPnS
Reverse: SRmPDnS (=Gorakh Kalyan)
Negative: 2-3-2-2-1-2 (=itself)
Imperfect: 1 (Re)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (Rg—dD)
Murchanas: Shankara set

Quirks: ‘self-shadowing‘ (negative form=core form) • atritonal‘ (no available tritones)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Pushpalathika
Jazz: Aeolian (no 6th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o o • o • o • • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Pa)
• Names: Nayaki Kanada, Nayaki Kannada


—Bhimsen Joshi (1992)—



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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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