• Raag Vardhini •


Adapted from Carnatic music’s 32nd melakarta scale (‘Ragavardhini’: strictly speaking, the Northern form should perhaps be spelled this way too), Vardhini matches the swaras of Nandkauns (or ‘Jogkauns komal ni’). Seemingly introduced to the Northern ragascape via the Dagarvani Dhrupad – Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s rudra veena interpretation, from a 1986 Seattle show, features a strong Sama sangati, with subtle, shifting modifications to the komal ga sruti (technically a ‘tivra Re’ in the Carnatic system). The best modern rendition is undoubtedly Bahauddin Dagar & Pelva Naik‘s colourful duet at Darbar 2018, with each performer teasing different tensions from the double-Ga (as per one listener, “This took me back to 1967, as a 4-year-old child: Zia Fariduddin & Zia Mohiuddin Dagar used to enjoy my moving hands and shaking feet [during] their divine performances at the Narayanswami School…”). Also recorded by other Dagarvani exponents including Ritwik Sanyal and Uday Bhawalkar – as well as (seemingly) forming the foundations for a Marathi folk song by Hridaynath Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle.

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—Bahauddin Dagar & Pelva Naik (2018)—

[jor, e.g. 2:51] d(ndndSn) SGG(mG), (PG)G (PG)Gmm g(S)S, G(ndG) (Gm)dnS, G, GG, GG(m), mmm…


• 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: Nandkauns


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SgGmPdnS
Reverse: SRGmPdDS
Negative: 2-1-4-3-2
Imperfect: 2 (Ga, Pa)
Detached: 1 (Ga)
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: Ragavardhini
Jazz: Aeolian (no 2nd, dbl. 3rd)
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o • • o o o • o o • o • o


• Tanpura: Sa–ma
• Names: Vardhini, Vardhani, Ragavardhani, Ragachudamani (archaic)


—Uday Bhawalkar (2013)—



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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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