• Raag Shivmat Bhairav •


Shivmat Bhairav can be described as a blend of Bhairav, Bhairavi, and Todi, with the former being the most dominant over the sound (‘Bhairav double Ga/Ni’). Relatively rare in modern times, the raga brings out Bhairav via GmrS phrases and oscillations on the komal re – while also incorporating komal ga and ni in characteristic vakra movements (e.g. PdndP and rgrS). Maihar sitar and surbahar master Indrajit Banerjee generously got in touch in Oct 2023 to offer further insights on Shivmat Bhairav’s melodic blend: “the Todi and Bhairav chalan is not too difficult to bring in, but the Bhairavi part is discretionary: the beauty of the raga, as I see it, lies in the use of komal ni, applying the principle of avirbhav-tirobhav“. Said to have inspired Kumar Gandharva’s swara-congruent Bihad Bhairav.

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Aroha: SrGmPdNS
Avroh: SndPmgrS

Chalan: Bhairav plus motifs e.g. Gm(G)r, rgrS; PdndP (Parrikar)


—Manjusha Patil (2019)—

[alap motifs, e.g. 8:08] P, Pdn ndP m(m)P, (G)mm, G/r, r/g(r) rSS; ndP m(G)mP, (G)mm, G/r, r/g(r) rSS; (N)SGm PdPS(NS) NSN\dP Pdn ndPm(GP); (G)mm, G/r, r/g(r) rSS…


• 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: Bhavmat Bhairav


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrgGmPdnNS
Reverse: SrRGmPdDNS
Negative: 5-4-3 (e.g. Malashree)
Imperfect: 2 (Pa, Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: (~Mayamalavagowla)
Jazz: Phrygian (dbl. 3rd/7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • o o o • o o • o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Shivmat Bhairav, Shivmath Bhairav, Shiva Bhairav


—Mallikarjun Mansur (~1980s)—



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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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