• Raag Shobhawari •


A rare ‘audav Asavari’ raga, matching the swaras of ‘komal Dha Durga’ (or ‘shuddha Re Gunakri‘). While relatively free of specific melodic constraints, the dha assumes natural prominence due to its disbalancing effects: it is involved in the only hemitonic pairing (Pd) and also the widest adjacent jump (dS), while serving as the only detached swara. (n.b. a similar focus can also be observed in other members of the Shivranjani murchana set, e.g. the strength of re in Bairagi and ga in Shivranjani itself). Aslam Khan’s rendition features a komal ga vivadi, while Ronu Majumdar‘s bansuri enchants with rapid movements which traverse the scale’s uneven geometries over the full saptak range. Also refer to a vivid tale from the invaluable RICMP channel: “My first teacher learnt music from multiple Ustads, including Aman Ali Khan of the Bhendibazaar gharana. He taught me numerous rare ragas, taals, and bandishes…However, he was an alcoholic, and often used to get severely intoxicated. Once, he attempted to commit suicide by drowning in the sea. After recovering, he came to my house to continue my training, while I was alone at home. It was evening twilight, and I was experiencing a strange feeling due to the silence. On that day, he taught me Shobhawari: I cannot forget the intensity of his performance…”.

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—Aslam Khan (~2000s)—

[bandish, e.g. 1:18] RSd(Pd) SR, (RSR)S, d/S S(dSd)R, m\R m\R (RSR)S S; SRm(Pm) (m)P P, mPS(dSd)S S, (dSdS)R R(SR)S, (dS)d, (Pd)P, (mP)m, (RS)R S;  RSd(Pd) SR, (RSR)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 | Mishra | Oddball

Origin: Ancient | Carnatic | Modern

Dominance: Poorvang | Uttarang

Prevalence: A-list | Prachalit | Aprach.


• Prakriti: (none found)


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRmPdS
Reverse: SGmPnS
Negative: 2-2-1-2-3-1-1 (e.g. Kedar)
Imperfect: 2 (Re, dha)
Detached: 1 (dha)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: Shivranjani set


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Sutradhari
Jazz: Aeolian (no 3rd/7th)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • • o • o o • • • o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Shobhawari, Shobhavari, Shobwari, Shobha Vari


—Ronu Majumdar (1987)—



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An open-ended project seeking to bring North Indian raga closer to all who approach with open ears. Combines direct input from dozens of leading Hindustani artists with in-depth insights from music history, global theory, performance practice, cognitive science, and much more! [out 2023-24]

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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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