• Raag Rampriya •


A mysterious sampurna form which follows the swara set of ‘Ahir Bhairav tivra Ma’, ‘Vachaspati komal re’, or ‘Puriya Kalyan komal ni’ (I’ve also seen the scale referred to as ‘Persian Vachaspati’ and ‘Ram Puriya Kalyan’). The ‘Rampriya’ moniker derives from a congruent Carnatic raga, although it is unclear whether this is a post-hoc addition or a hint at its Hindustani origins – especially given that Amir Khan’s rendition is explicitly based on a Persian ruba’i (4-line rhyming poem) penned by Sarmand Kashani, an Armenian-born mystic who moved to India in the early 17th-century, becoming a naked faqir (wandering ascetic) and eventually being beheaded by Aurangzeb. Khan’s Rampriya, said to have been recorded at the Ranchi Rotary Club Hall in 1971, soon after he had recovered from a bout of pneumonia, also features subtle touches of shuddha ma (n.b. at times, the tabla accompanist struggled: “[Khan] interrupts himself to explain the tempo of the ‘Ti-Re-Ki-Te’, but the…cumulative beats of his ‘jhoomra’ fall somewhere around 21, rather than 14. The incredible part is that Khansahib was so gracious, he managed to mould his performance around this mistaken accompaniment”). The raga has since been sung by Gokulotsavji Maharaj, set to his own fresh bandish – and is prakriti with the ultra-rare Indira Kalyan.

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—Amir Khan (1971)—

[ruba’i, e.g. 1:18] S(nMGPMnDSn)D D(n)P (M)P, (Gr)r, G (GrS), D(Sn) D(nD) n\D P(MP), P(MP) P(MPM) P/n(DSn)S, P(M) S(n)G, M(GrSnS)n\D(P) P(DPnDn)D (nD) n(SnS)nDP, P(MP) S\n(SnSD), (S)nSS S(nS), S(nSn)G G(MG), (SGPM)P P, (MP)M (P)M, M/P S(r)G, S(nGSMGPMP)M G\rG, rS…


• 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 #10


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGMPDnS
Reverse: SRgmMdNS
Negative: 3-1-2-3-3 (e.g. Harikauns)
Imperfect: 4 (re, Ga, Pa, ni)
Detached: 1 (ni)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none

Quirks: ‘tivra Ma, komal ni‘ (rarest pairing)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: Ramapriya
Jazz: Lydian Dominant b2
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o • o o • o o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Rampriya, Ram Priya, Ramapriya, (‘Ram Puriya Kalyan‘ / ‘Persian Vachaspati‘) 


—Gokulotsavji Maharaj (~2010s)—



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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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