• Raag Patmanjari •


Said by some to be more of a ‘performance concept’ than a single raga, ‘Patmanjari’ translates as ‘Bouquet of Five Ragas’. Debate persists over whether the form should be interpreted as an open challenge to blend five ragas of an artist’s own choosing, or whether it entails five specific ragas – and, if so, which they should be. Some renditions span the full set of 12 specific swaras, while others confine themselves to disparate ranges of subsets: e.g. Vasantrao Deshpande seems to have seen it a mix of Nand, Kedar, Shankara, Rageshri, & Maru Bihag – whereas Subbha Rao’s 1966 Raga Nidhi volumes cites three variants (“Bilawal thaat, Kafi thaat, and a mixed type [with] Bhimpalasi, Gaud, Shankara, Malkauns, & Bilawal…it is a complicated one”). Listed in ancient texts as a ragini of either Deepak or Bhairav, and frequently depicted in classical ragmala paintings (​​”Patmanjari is upset by the absence of her beloved, sitting with clasped hands, urging a parrot to come to her…clothed in colourful lilac, orange, blues, yellows, greens, ornate gold…”). It also shares conceptual overlap with oddball entities such as Panchavati (Pannalal Ghosh’s cocktail of “five evening ragas starting with the letter B”: Barwa, Bahar, Basant, Bihag, & Bageshri) and Panch Kalyan (resurrected by Abhirang from a 1950 edition of Sangeet magazine: “created by Miyan Tansen…an amalgam of Yaman, Hameer, Hem Kalyan, Shuddha Kalyan, & Shyam Kalyan). Also see Khat (Sanskrit for ‘six’), as well as the general concept of ragamalika (‘multi-raga shuffle’).

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—Vasantrao Deshpande (1981)—

[motifs, e.g. 0:13] SG M(PG) G(RS)R S, M, G(MGRSNS) G(mGRSNSM) G(RSNS) G, MD(PM)P, G(MP), G(RS)R, S(NS) NS N(DN)N S; S(NS)m, (P)m(PmPm)G, P(MD) P(M)m m(Gm), m(GM)P, P(MP)D (PM)P DP(M)m, S(NS) R(GR)S, NS N(DN)N S


• Ragmalas •

Historic miniature paintings (learn more)

“Patmanjari Ragini, wife of Bhairava Raga, by Chetan Das” (Amer, c.1746) / “Ragini Patmanjari, from a Rajasthani folio: opaque watercolor on paper” (Jaipur, c.1760)

“Patamanjari: a lady in a pink skirt sits on a diwan, with a female attendant standing behind, and another lady sits on the ground. The backdrop displays a tent or pavilion, with a single tree visible…” (Deccan, c.1675) / “Patamanjari Ragini: depicted as a woman distraught by the absence of her lover, sitting dejectedly with her head in her hand, and being consoled by a confidante. They are seated on a porch in a palace compound, with a forlorn deer resting in the foreground…” (Bikaner, c.1725)


• 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: (n/a)


–Swara Geometries–
(…somewhat moot given the raga’s open conception…)

Core form: (variable)
Reverse: (n/a)
Negative: (n/a)
Imperfect: (none)
Detached: (none)
Symmetries: (n/a)
Murchanas: (n/a)

Quirks: all swaras allowable


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Ragamalika)
Jazz: (Chromatic)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

(o o o o o o o o o o o o o)


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Patmanjari, Pat Majari, Patmajiri, Padamanjari, Phalamanjari


—Omkarnath Thakur (~1960s)—



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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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