• Raag Vihang •


Vihang (Sanskrit for ‘Bird’) is a complex double-Ma form, most prevalent among Jaipur-Atrauli gharana vocalists. Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar’s detailed demo casts it as a ‘phrase-based’ raga, combining a Bihag core (NNDPMG, GmG, P(M)G GmG, NDPM, GmG) with melodies from Purva (DMPGmGrG, mGrG, DMP, GmGrG), Jait Kalyan (SSGGP, SS(NS)GGP), and Puriya (P(MP)MDS, SNrS, SNrNDrND, N(DN)P), alongside ‘connecting phrases’ such as MDMG, rS – also linking it Marwa and Puriya Kalyan. Tabla scholar Aneesh Pradhan recommends the renditions of Mallikarjun Mansur, which set soaring uttarang movements against Ma-mixing swoops back down towards low Sa (read more of Pradhan’s avian-themed raga writings – and also refer to recent research on the musical capabilities of birds: “In their 2020 study, Roeske & Tchernikovski compared recordings of thrush nightingales across Europe with [genres] including Western classical piano, Persian drumming, and Tunisian stambeli…When they charted integer ratios from birdsong and human music, the plots all produced a similar shape, resembling a long-stemmed flower…”). Not to be confused with the ultra-rare Vihangini, created by Agra vocalist Mani Prasad, or the similarly-titled Gagan Vihang (although these names are of shared derivation).

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—Nivrutibuwa Sarnaik (~1970s)—

[refrain, e.g. 2:06] (GPM)P (PM)P (MP)G Mr, M\G; N(r)S, N(rSr)N (D)N, D(SN)SG (r), (r)M G, (GPMP)GrG r(SN)S, r(Sr) G(rG) M(GM) P(MP), (MPM)P M(PM)G Mr, M\G…


• More •

Histories, melodies, mythologies, etc…

—Imagery: Indian kingfisher—

“Kingfishers are nature’s ornamented jewels. Electric blues, deep indigo, chestnut reds, vivid fuchsia, ruddy pinks, monochrome, black-and-white – these are just some of the unexpected flashes one can see in the air. India’s twelve kingfisher species belong to one of three categories – tree, water, or river – according to their habitat and behaviour…” (Divya Candade)


• 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: Bhankari, Bhatiyar, Shuddha Basant, Lalit Pancham, Pancham, Sohini Pancham


–Swara Geometries–

Core form: SrGmMPDNS
Reverse: SrgmMPdNS
Negative: 4-1-5-2
Imperfect: 2 (re, Pa)
Detached: none
Symmetries: none
Murchanas: none


–Global Translations–

Carnatic: ~Chayatharangini
Jazz: Lydian-Ionian b2
Pitch classes (‘fret-jumps’):

o o • • o o o o • o • o o


• Tanpura: Sa–Pa
• Names: Vihang, Vihanga (not Vihangini)


—Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar (2020)—



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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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