• Raag Pancham se Gara •


A rotation of Gara (literally: ‘Gara from Pa’) – i.e. if you treat the raga’s Pa as the ‘new Sa’, Gara’s scale is produced (SRGmMPDNS > SRgGmPDNS: although the raga’s creation in fact came via the reverse translation). Most closely associated with murchana master Ravi Shankar, who reworks Gara’s DnSNS uttarang catchphrase into GmPMP (see Deepak Raja’s discussion of the relevant tonal geometries: “If the scale-base is shifted to Pa=1, we get: Ga=0.8333, ma=0.8888, and Ma=0.9375…”). Shankar, who began performing the raga some time around the early 1950s, returned to it throughout his career: choosing its energetic melodies to engage the open-minded crowd at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (with Jimi Hendrix in the audience), and featuring it in his final concert (over 60 years on from his first showcase…). In recent years, the raga has reached global ears as a staple of his daughter Anoushka’s touring repertoire (her 2011 Neuroscience Institute performance is one of the highest-viewed raga videos in YouTube history, amassing 14m views and counting) – with a handful of others also having recorded it, including Maihar stablemate Nikhil Banerjee, Imdadkhani sitarist Shahid Parvez Khan, and violinist D.K. Datar. Also see Pancham se Pilu, produced via a similar rotational process (as well as my full Murchanas article) – plus other Ravi-authored raga forms such as the rotational quartet of Parameshwari, Gangeshwari, Kameshwari, & Rangeshwari, as well as Jogeshwari, MohankaunsBairagi, Bairagi Todi, & Ahir Lalit.

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—Ravi Shankar (1967)—

[refrain, e.g. 0:57] (S)NN N(S) N(SN), D(ND) D(PM)P, M(PM) MMP D(SnS) D(SD) P(MP), G m(G) P


• 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, Manj Khamaj, Pancham se Pilu, Shuddha Chaya, Medhavi


–Swara Geometries–

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


–Global Translations–

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

o • o • o o o o • o o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Ga)
• Names: Pancham se Gara


—Anoushka Shankar (2011)—



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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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