–Raga Tags & Classifiers–

 


Interlinking the ragascape: Explore hidden inter-raga connections via tags & classifiers – swaras, melodic features, murchana sets, samay associations, symmetries, geometries, & more (all terms explained below)…


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—Raga Classifiers—


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: Exact | Enclosed | Inexact

Symmetries: Mirror | Rotation | Palindr.

Chal: All-shuddha | All-komal | Ma-tivra

Gaps: Anh. | Hemi. | 3-row | 4-row | 5-row


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: Prachalit | Aprachalit | A-list

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—Search the Raga Index—

Also see the RAGATABLE •

• Tags Explained •

All fields demystified (n.b. ‘m/ma’=shuddha, ‘M/Ma’=tivra)

—Swaras—

-4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10+

The number of specific swaras present in the raga’s ‘core form’ (i.e. appearing in the chalan, excluding uncommon or mishra features) – e.g. Bhupali=5 (SRGPD), Marwa=6 (SrGMDN), Bhairav=7 (SrGmPdN), Bihag=8 (SRGmMPDN), Pilu=9 (SRgGmPDnN), and Khat=10 (SrRgGmPdDn)

 

—Sapta—

Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

The number of generic swaras present in the raga’s ‘core form’ (i.e. appearing in the chalan, excluding uncommon or mishra features), up to a maximum of 7 (the ‘sapta swara‘) – e.g. Jog is audav (S-gG-m-P-n), Marwa is shadav (S-r-G-M-D-N), and Bihag is sampurna (S-R-G-mM-P-D-N)

 

—Poorvang—

SRGM | SRG | SRM | SGM

—Ragas in which the lower half of the saptak space (‘Sa-to-Ma’) comprises only the generic swaras listed (i.e. alternates such as ‘g/G’ just count as ‘Ga’: thus, Dhani (Sgm), Hindol (SGM), and Jog (SgGm) all fall under ‘Sa-Ga-Ma‘)

 

—Uttarang—

PDNS | PDS | PNS | DNS

—Ragas in which the upper half of the saptak space (‘Pa-to-Sa’) comprises only the generic swaras listed (i.e. alternates such as ‘n/N’ just count as ‘Ni’: thus, Kalavati (PDnS), Kirwani (PdNS), Khat (PdDnS), and Miyan ki Malhar (PDnNS) are all classified as ‘Pa-Dha-Ni-Sa’)

 

—Varjit—

Re | Ga | Ma | Pa | Dha | Ni

—Ragas in which all forms of the generic swara in question are typically forbidden in both aroha and avroh (e.g. Ga is varjit in Saraswati, Pa is varjit in Marwa, and both Re and Pa are varjit in Malkauns and Dhani)

 

—Double—

rR | gG | mM | dD | nN

—Ragas containing both specific positions of the generic swara in question (i.e. ‘komal & shuddha‘ for Re/Ga/Dha/Ni, or ‘shuddha & tivra‘ for Ma) – e.g. Jog has double-Ga (SgGmPnS), Bihag has double-Ma (SRGmMPDNS), and Pilu has double-Ga & double-Ni (SRgGmPDnNS)

 

—Thaat—

Exact | Enclosed | Inexact

Exact: Ragas which precisely match one of Bhatkhande’s ten thaat scales (i.e. both share the same set of seven specific swaras) – e.g. Multani with Todi thaat (SrgMPdNS), or Yaman with Kalyan thaat (SRGMPDNS)

 

Enclosed: Ragas which have fewer than seven specific swaras, but are ‘contained’ within at least one of the ten thaat scales (i.e. all the raga’s swaras appear in the thaat) – e.g. Shivranjani with Kafi thaat (SRgmPDnS), Sohini with Marwa thaat (SrGMPDNS), and Malkauns with both Bhairavi & Asavari thaat (SrgmPdnS & SRgmPdnS)

 

Inexact: Ragas which do not fit precisely into any of the ten thaat scales (i.e. no thaat contains all the raga’s specific swaras) – e.g. Devshri (SRMPnS), Charukeshi (SRGmPdnS), or any with double-swaras such as Jog (SgGmPnS), Bihag (SRGmMPDNS), or Desh (SRGmPDnNS)

 

—Spacings—

Anhemi. | Hemitonic | 3-row | 4-row | 5-row

Anhemitonic: Ragas which do not contain any ‘one-semitone jumps’ (i.e. the smallest interval between specific swaras is at least two semitones) – e.g. Malkauns (SgmdnS: interval jumps of ‘3>2>3>2>2’)

 

Hemitonic (‘2-row’): Ragas in which the largest ‘semitone cluster’ spans two specific swara positions (i.e. it includes, at most, a run of two immediately-adjacent neighbours: e.g. Chandrakauns (SgmdNS) & Darbari (SRgmPdnS)

 

Cohemitonic (‘3-row’): Ragas in which the largest ‘semitone cluster’ spans three specific swara positions (i.e. it includes, at most, a run of three adjacent semitones in a row) – e.g. Todi (SrgMPdNS) and Tilang (SGmPnNS)

 

Co-cohemitonic (‘4-row’): Ragas in which the largest ‘semitone cluster’ spans four specific swara positions (i.e. it includes, at most, a run of four adjacent semitones in a row) – e.g. Miyan ki Malhar (SRgmPDnNS)

 

Co-Co-Cohemitonic (‘5-row’): Ragas with a ‘semitone cluster’ spanning five or more specific swara positions (i.e. it includes a run of at least five adjacent semitones in a row) – e.g. Poorvi (SrGmMPdNS)

 

—Symmetries—

Mirror | Rotational | Palindromic

Mirror: Ragas which contain exact ‘reflectional symmetry’ (i.e. their swara wheel, if inverted along a theoretical ‘mirror line’, would look the same) – e.g. Durga (line: r–P), Tilak Kamod (line: R–d), & Bihag (line: NS–mM)

 

Rotational: Ragas with exact ‘rotational symmetry’ (i.e. their specific swara set produces at least one murchana of itself) – e.g. if Gaurimanjari is rotated so that tivra Ma becomes the ‘new Sa’, the original swara set (SrRGmMPdnNS) ends up unchanged – while Sehera‘s regular sequence of whole tones makes it rotationally symmetric from all positions

 

Palindromic: Ragas which take the same intervals ‘forwards and backwards from Sa’ (i.e. the sequence of Sa-to-Sa semitonal jumps produces the same specific swara set in either direction: essentially just a ‘special case’ of mirror symmetry, where the reflection axis runs from Sa–Ma) – e.g. Megh (SRmPnS: ‘2>3>2>3>2’) and Kafi (SRgmPDnS: ‘2>1>2>2>2>1>2’)

 

—Chal—

All-shuddha | All-komal | Ma-tivra

All-shuddha: Ragas containing exclusively shuddha swaras (i.e. drawn only from the specific set of Bilawal thaat: SRGmPDNS) – e.g. Durga (SRmPDS), Shankara (SRGPDNS), & Tilak Kamod (SRGmPDNS)

 

All-komal: Ragas where all chal (‘moveable’) swaras appear only in their lowest-pitched form (i.e. Re/Ga/Dha/Ni are komal-only, and Ma is shuddha-only: thus equivalent to the specific set of Bhairavi thaat: SrgmPdnS) – e.g. Malkauns (SgmdnS) & Bilaskhani Todi (SrgmPdnS)

 

Ma-tivra: Ragas with tivra Ma but no shuddha ma (also see double-Ma) – e.g. Harikauns (SgMDnS), Puriya (SrGMDNS), & Vachaspati (SRGMPDnS)

 

—Murchanas—

Bhupali | Bihag | Bilawal | Charu.

—Ragas which belong to the named ‘murchana set’ (i.e. all members are rotations of the identifying raga: and thus of each other too) – e.g. all ragas which exactly match any of Kalyan, Bilawal, Khamaj, Kafi, Asavari, or Bhairavi thaat scales will be members of the ‘Bilawal set’ (see my Murchanas page for a much more extensive set-list!)

 

—Aroha—

Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

—Ragas with an ascent containing (respectively) 5, 6, or 7 generic swaras (i.e. alternates such as ‘g/G’ just count as ‘Ga’) – e.g. Bhimpalasi‘s aroha is audav (SgmPnS: 5), and Miyan ki Malhar‘s is shadav (SRmPDnNS: 7 specific but 6 generic, due to the double-Ni)

 

—Avroh—

Audav | Shadav | Sampurna

—Ragas with a descent containing (respectively) 5, 6, or 7 generic swaras (i.e. alternates such as ‘g/G’ just count as ‘Ga’) – e.g. Bhimpalasi‘s avroh is sampurna (SnDPmgRS: 7), Jansammohini‘s is shadav (SnDPGRS: 6), and Jog‘s is audav (SnPmGgS: 6 specific but only 5 generic)

 

—Jati—

Equilateral | Balanced Avroh+1 | Avroh+2

Equilateral: Ragas which ascend and descend with the same set of specific swaras (e.g. Bhupali: SRGPDS<>SDPGRS)

 

Balanced: Ragas which ascend and descend with the same set of generic swaras, but not the same set of specific swaras – e.g. Jog (SGmPnS<>SnPmGgS = ‘Sa-Ga-Ma-Pa-Ni’)

 

Avroh+[n]: Ragas in which the descent contains exactly [n] more generic swaras than the ascent – e.g. Bhimpalasi, with an avroh ascent of SgmPnS and a sampurna descent of SnDPmgRS, is [7-5=’avroh+2′]

 

—Samay—

Morn. | Afternoon | Eve. | Night

—Ragas commonly associated with particular hours of the day (n.b. somewhat loosely delimited: according to the traditional prakar system, the day’s ‘quarters’ fall at around 6am, midday, 6pm, and midnight) – e.g. Ahir Bhairav (morning), Bhimpalasi (afternoon), Shree (evening), and Bageshri (night)

 

—Raganga—

Bhairav Malhar | Kanada | Todi

—Ragas which originate with (or draw heavily from) the named raganga family – e.g. Darbari features the ‘gmRS‘ Kanada signature, while Megh is rooted in rain-bringing myths of the Malhar lineage

 

—Construction—

Jod | Mishra | Oddball

Jod: Ragas formed via ‘joining’ others together (i.e. ‘aroha + avroh‘, ‘poorvang + uttarang‘, juxtaposed pakad, etc) – e.g. Nat Bhairav combines the poorvang of Nat with the uttarang of Bhairav (SRGm+PdNS), while Lalita Gauri interweaves the phraseologies of Lalit and Gauri

 

Mishra: Ragas which typically permit at least some ‘free chromaticism’ (i.e. those which allow individual liberty to include swaras or melodic sequences from outside the raga’s ‘core form’) – e.g. Bhairavi, Pahadi, & Pilu

 

Oddball: Ragas with unusual construction features (somewhat arbitrarily defined) – e.g. Malashree has only 3 core swaras, Lalit has ‘double-Ma, no Pa’, Marwa renders Sa weakly, Khem Kalyan has twice as many swaras in avroh as aroha, Sehera follows the hyper-symmetric whole-tone scale, etc

 

—Origin—

Ancient | Carnatic | Modern

Ancient: Ragas with origins in the era prior to Hindustani and Carnatic music’s divergence (c.17th century) – e.g. Megh & Shree

 

Carnatic: Ragas adopted from South Indian music over the past few centuries – e.g. Kirwani, Vachaspati, & Malay Marutam

 

Modern: Ragas created in the past century or so, typically via the innovations of a specific artist – e.g. Chandranandan (1940s: Ali Akbar Khan), Parameshwari (1960s: Ravi Shankar), Antardhwani (1990s: Shivkumar Sharma), and Annapurna (2010s: Rupak Kulkarni)

 

—Dominance—

Poorvang | Uttarang

—Ragas with a melodic focal point in the lower/upper half of the scale (loosely defined, but usually determined via vadi position or swara density) – e.g. Lalit is poorvang-dominant, while Kalavati is uttarang-dominant

 

—Prevalence—

Prachalit | Aprachalit | A-list

A-list: Ragas with established, enduring fame: the most popular forms in the Hindustani canon (see Deepak Raja’s Ragascape research for reference) – e.g. Yaman, Malkauns, & Bhairavi

 

Prachalit: Ragas which are commonly performed, without being included in the A-list category – e.g. Basant, Rageshri, & Shyam Kalyan 

 

Aprachalit: Ragas which are comparatively rare (i.e. uncommonly performed in the 21st century) – e.g. Hemshri, Sonakshi, & Deen Todi

 

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• Ragatable Search •

Also find ragas via my comparison table of all 300+ Megalist ragas: searching for hidden relations via swara-set spreadsheeting (allows for granular queries across various melodic & geometric parameters):


FULL RAGATABLE


Why turn to the spreadsheets? While ragas are never reducible to mere scale forms, my own state of knowledge will never expand to encompass the true fullness of the ragascape either. Given Hindustani music’s complexity, we must ‘upgrade the mind’, using formalised methods to really see the hidden inter-swara connections…” (Ragatable Explained)


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• RAGA TAGS •

-ALL RAGAS- (316) A-List (20) Anhemitonic (14) Aprachalit (21) Aroha: Audav (66) Aroha: Sampurna (14) Aroha: Shadav (13) Audav (54) Avroh: Audav (55) Avroh: Sampurna (187) Avroh: Shadav (72) Chal: All-komal (14) Chal: All-Shuddha (29) Chal: Ma-tivra (50) Co-Co-Cohemitonic (‘5-row’) (24) Co-Cohemitonic (‘4-row’) (95) Cohemitonic (‘3-row’) (64) Construction: Jod (19) Construction: Mishra (5) Construction: Oddball (10) Double: Dha (17) Double: Ga (39) Double: Ma (60) Double: Ni (74) Double: Re (18) Focus: Poorvang (29) Focus: Uttarang (14) Hemitonic (‘2-row’) (118) Jati: Avroh+1 (6) Jati: Avroh+2 (10) Jati: Balanced (4) Jati: Equilateral (62) Murchana: Bhupali (12) Murchana: Bihag (32) Murchana: Bilawal (38) Murchana: Charukeshi (8) Origin: Ancient (32) Origin: Carnatic (13) Origin: Modern (29) Poorvang: SGM (30) Poorvang: SRG (21) Poorvang: SRGM (223) Poorvang: SRM (27) Prachalit (28) Raganga: Bhairav (21) Raganga: Kanada (15) Raganga: Malhar (13) Raganga: Todi (23) Samay: Afternoon (8) Samay: Evening (21) Samay: Morning (24) Samay: Night (19) Sampurna (185) Shadav (73) Swaras: -4 (2) Swaras: 10+ (4) Swaras: 5 (40) Swaras: 6 (56) Swaras: 7 (100) Swaras: 8 (71) Swaras: 9 (38) Symmetry: Mirror (163) Symmetry: Palindromic (29) Symmetry: Rotational (2) Thaat: Enclosed (60) Thaat: Exact (56) Thaat: Inexact (198) Uttarang: DNS (40) Uttarang: PDNS (218) Uttarang: PDS (22) Uttarang: PNS (28) Varjit: Dha (29) Varjit: Ga (29) Varjit: Ma (24) Varjit: Ni (23) Varjit: Pa (42) Varjit: Re (37)


Hindustani Raga Index

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]

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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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