• Raag Prabhakali •


An Ali Akbar Khan invention, prakriti with the better-known Basant Mukhari. Information is scant – but, as per the liner notes to the raga’s 1964 LP release, “Prabhakali permits only five notes in aroha, dropping [Ga & Ni]. For avroh, it admits all the seven notes…[re & dha] are flats as in Bhairav, and hence it is essentially a morning melody. Ali Akbar Khan renders a composition in Prabhakali in a rhythmic cycle of 14 beats known as dhamar” (also see the jor sequences transcribed below, which primarily explore the mid-saptak region). Compare to other Khansaab ragas including Chandranandan, Gaurimanjari, Malayalam, Medhavi, and Suha Todi.

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—Ali Akbar Khan (1964)—

[jor phrases, e.g. 1:58] rmP, P, P… mPdm rSdr, m, PdSr mPdmdP, d/r(SrSr…)\P, Pd(Pm), mPd(Pn)d mr…


• 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 #28, Basant Mukhari


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGmPdnS
Reverse: SRGmPdNS (=Nat Bhairav)
Negative: 3-1-3-3-2
Imperfect: 3 (Ga, Pa, dha)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Kirwani set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Vakulabharanam
Jazz: Phrygian Dominant
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o o • o o • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Prabhakali, Prabhkali



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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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