• Raag Sorath •


A Khamaj-flavoured night raga which enjoys perennial popularity in Sikh traditions: as per Jawaddi Taksal, Sorath is “a simple and sweet raga: but it will be appealing only when the soul seeks the Lord’s name. By singing glorious praises, lifelessness does not come” – and, in the words of another Sikh writer: “Sorath conveys the feeling of having such strong belief in something that you want to keep repeating the experience….this feeling of certainty is so strong that you become the belief”). Movements lie close to the prakriti Desh, with the main distinctions being a weaker treatment of Ga and a stronger RePa sangati – refer to renditions by Bundu Khan, Munawar Ali Khan, Kumar Gandharva (singing a Tulsidas bhajan), and Bhai Gurmeet Singh Shant (“That man who in the midst of pain does not feel suffering; Who is not affected by pleasure or fear, and who looks alike among dust and gold; Who is not swayed by either slander or praise; Nor affected by greed, pride, or attachment…”) – as well as a Faiyaz Hussain Khan bandish written in praise of the Maharaja of Mysore, who had just awarded him the title ‘Sun of Music’. The name ‘Sorath’ is said by some to derive from Gujarat’s Saurashtra region (also see Saurashtra Bhairav and the Carnatic Surati).

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Aroha: SRmPNS
Avroh: SRnD, mPD, mRNS

Chalan: e.g. SR; mP; NSR; nDP; DmR; RPmmR; RS; RP; mPD; RnD; mR; RmPN; SRnD; mR; PmR; RN; NS (OoR)


—Gurmeet Singh Shant (2021)—

[refrain, e.g. 1:06] Gm\SRGPN, NNS(RS) n\D(P)P; Gm\SRGPN, NNS(RS) n\D(P)P; Gm\SRGPN


• 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: Desh, Des Malhar, Champak, Alhaiya Bilawal, Devgiri Bilawal, Kukubh Bilawal, Bihagara, Bihagda, Nat Kamod, Gaud Malhar, Arun Malhar, Tilak Malhar


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SRGmPDnNS
Reverse: SrRgmPdnS (=Gandhari)
Negative: 5-2-3-2
Imperfect: 1 (Ni)
Detached: none
Symmetries: mirror (Gm—nN)
Murchanas: Bihag set

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


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Suruti
Jazz: Bebop Dominant
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • o • o o • o • o o o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Sorath, Surat, Soratha, Surathi, Saurati


—Munawar Ali Khan (1978)—




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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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