• Raag Sakh •


Despite their historic renown, the Sakh family is seldom-heard in the modern era. While nomenclature varies, the ‘main’ Sakh raga is generally held to be a Khamajprakriti form, with mood and movements proximate to Rageshri and Gaoti – evident in Patiala pair Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan’s soothing ma-focused rendition, built around characteristic phrases including GmRS, S(nS) G(m)m and GmRS; RSn(Dn)S. Sources are scant on most other aspects of the raga’s lineage: some report that a close Lucknow variant is known as ‘Rageshri Pancham’ – and the closely overlapping Lachasakh (SRGmDnNS) is fabled as a ‘Khusro raga’: suggesting that its historic mythology stretches back to the 13th-century era of Amir Khusro, the legendary poet-composer of the Delhi Sultanate (…although admittedly, several other Khusro creations have no discernible links to him: see Sazgiri & Zeelaf). Also refer to other Sakh ragas (which will eventually have their own Index pages): including Devsakh (SRgmPnS), Ramsakh (SRGmPDnNS), Bhavsakh (SRgmPDnS), and Nishasakh (SRGmDnNS), as well as the barely-traceable Gunsakh and Hanumatsakh. Further information very welcome!

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—Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan (1970)—

[bandish, e.g. 1:28] Gm, m (GmRSn)D, (n)D Sn/S, (nSn)RS, SS, RS S (nS) S(nRnS) (nD)n n(DnD)SD (D)n, n\DS S, S(RSR) R(GR) S\n(RS), G (mG)m m (mGmRn), P\m P\m S/P\G G, P(G) D(P) (P)S\n (SnSnS)D, (PS)D S(nSnSD) n(DSnSnSD), D(SD) (DSD)S…


• 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 | MishraOddball

Origin: Ancient | Carnatic | Modern

Dominance: Poorvang | Uttarang

Prevalence: A-list | Prachalit | Aprach.


• Prakriti: Khamaj thaat, Khamaj, Jhinjhoti, Kambhoji, Khambavati, Gaoti


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRGmPDnS
Reverse: SRgmPdnS (=Darbari)
Negative: 2-2-3-2-3 (e.g. Bhupali)
Imperfect: 1 (Ga)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (r—P)
Murchanas: Bilawal set

Quirks: maximal‘ (swaras are optimally ‘spread out’)


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Khamas)
Jazz: Mixolydian
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o • o • o o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa (+Pa)
• Names: Sakh, Saakh




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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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