Raags/ ragas and Thaats: Hindustani

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Shankara, son of Raag Megh.
Early 17th century, provincial Mughal
Courtesy and (c) Matthew Hollow Photography
Varval, son of Raag Malkauns.
Late 17 century, Nûrpur (Hill school: Himachal Pradesh)

While the list of ThaaTs is comprehensive, the list of raags is not.
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Contents

A pronunciation guide

Indians, indeed, South Asians, need not read this guide. They will immediately guess our system, even if they do not know Hindi-Urdu,

For others:

Diacritical marks above vowels double their sound.

A diacritical mark above an ‘ñ’ makes it a nasalised, ‘half’ n as in soNg, briNg, bruNt, caN’t, loNg, ENglish etc.

Capital T and D mean that the T and D are hard, as in the English language.

The capital N denotes a hard n, which non-Indians might find cumbersome. They can stick to the normal n.

Small t and d indicate the soft t and d of Spanish, French and Italian. The d sound is close to the English th (as in THere, THis, THat etc.)

An accentuated é should be pronounced as in French.

The ThaaTs and their raags

Bilãwal

S-R-G-m-P-D-N-S

Kakubh, the little feminine raag.
Late 18th century, Hyderabad (Deccan School)

Notes (swar) used: shuddha (i.e. all swar of the natural scale)

 

Shown in paintings as: sensuous

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called बिलावल (Bilãwal)

 

अल्हैया बिलावल

alhaiyã bilãwal

Morning

बिलावल शुद्ध

bilãwal shuddh

Morning

देशकार

désh kãr

Morning

देवगिरी बिलावल

dév-girî bilãwal

 

दुर्गा

durgã

Night

हंसध्वनी

hañsdhwani

Evening

हेमकल्याण

hém kalyãN

 

ककुभ

kakubh

 

लच्छासाख

lachchhã sãkh

 

मलुहा

malûhã

 

मांड

mãñD

All day

नट बिलावल

naT bilãwal

 

नट राग

naT rãg

 

पहाड़ी

pahãrhî

Evening

सरपर्दा

sar pardã

 

शंकरा

shañkarã

Evening

शुक्लबिलावल

shukl bilãwal

 

विहाग

vihãg

 

यमनी

yamanî

 

 

Khamãj

S-R-G-m-P-D-n-S

Notes (swar) used: The notes of Bilawal, with Komal Nishad instead of Shuddha Nishad.

 

Mood/ flavour (ras): shriñgãr ras (amorous/ love)

 

Kinds of music used in: light classical (horî, kajrî, Tappâ, Thumrî)

 

Shown in paintings as: sensuous, romantic, playful

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called खमाज (khamãj)

 

The a in dvitîya is almost silent

 

 

bhinn shãdjã

Night

देस, देश

dés (sometimes dés[h])

Evening

दुर्गा द्वितीय

durgã dvitîya

 

गारा

gãrã

 

गोरख कल्याण

gorakh kalyãN

Night

जयजयवन्ती

jaijaivañtî

Night

झिंझोटी

jhiñjhoTi

Night

कलावती

kalãvati

Night

खमाज

khamãj

Evening

खम्बावती, खंबावती

khambãvatî

 

रागेश्री, रागेश्वरी

rãgéshrî (sometimes rãgéshwarî)

Night

सोरठ

soraTh

 

तिलक कामोद

tilak kãmod

Night

तिलंग

tilãng

Evening

Kãfî

S-R-g-m-P-D-n-S

Dhanashri, the little feminine raag.
Late 17th century, Rajasthan

Notes (swar) used: The notes of Khamaj Thaat + Komal Gãñdhãr

 

The ‘f’ sound does not exist in Hindi or most Indian languages. They have the ‘ph’ sound instead. Thus, the Hindi word for ‘successful’ is ‘saphal’ and not ‘safal,’ as is almost invariably assumed. For the same reason, you will find some scholarly sites that use the transliteration kãphî (for काफी) instead. It is a mediæval rãg. By then the ‘f’ sound had reached India with the Persian language. Therefore, unless an authority tells us why not, Indpaedia will continue to use the popular pronunciation, which is kãfî. (We repeat: just because safal is the popular pronunciation it does not become correct.)

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called काफ़ी (kãfî):

 

बागेश्री, बागेश्वरी

bãgéshrî (sometimes bãgéshwarî)

Night

बहार

bahãr

Night

बड़हंससारंग

barh-hañs sãrañg

 

भीमपलासी

bhîm-palâsi

Afternoon

देव साख

dév-sãkh

 

धनाश्री

dhanãshrî

 

धानी

dhãnî

All day

गौड मल्हार, गौड़मल्लार

gaurh malhãr (colloquial: mallãr)

The monsoons

हंसकिंकिणी, हंसकंकणी

hañs-kiñkiNî (colloquial: hañs-kañkaNî)

 

काफी, काफ़ी

kãphî, kãfî

All day (Best: Late evening)

मध्यमादि सारंग

madhyamãdi-sãrañg

Afternoon

मालगुंजी

mãlguñjî

Night

मल्हार, मल्लार

malhãr (colloquial: mallãr)

Night

मेघ

mégh

 

मियाँ की मल्हार/ मल्लार

miyãñ malhãr

The monsoons

मियाँ की सारंग

miyãñ sãrañg

 

नायकी कान्हड़ा, नायकी कन्ह्डा

nãyakî-kãnharhã (or nãyakî-kanharhã)

 

पटदीप

paT-dîp

Afternoon

पटमंजरी

paT-mañjarî

 

पीलू

pilû

All day

सैंधवी

saiñdhvî

 

सामंतसारंग

sãmañt sãrañg

 

शहाना

shahãnã

 

शिवरंजनी

shivrañjini

Night

शुद्ध मल्हार/ मल्लार

shuddh malhãr

 

शुद्ध सारंग

shuddh sãrañg

 

सिन्धुरा, सिंदूरा

siñdhûrã, siñdûrã

 

सुघराई

sughrãî

 

सूहा

sûhã

 

सूर मल्हार, सूरमल्लार

sur malhãr

 

वृन्दावनी सारंग

vriñdãvanî sãrañg

 

 

Ãsãvarî

S-R-g-m-P-d-n-S

Asavari: an early 17th century depiction
Asavari: mid 18th century, but the depiction of the raag remains the same: a woman sits under a tree, with snakes.

Notes (swar) used: The notes of Kafi + Komal Dhaivat

 

Mood: austere, ascetic, renunciatory.

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called आसावरी (ãsãvarî)

 

अडाणा

aDãNã

Evening/ night

आसावरो

ãsãvarî

Late morning

दरबारी कान्हड़ा

darbãrî kãnharhã

Evening/ night

देसी

désî

Morning

देव गन्धार

dév gañdhãr

 

जौनपुरी

jaun-purî

Morning

कौशिक कान्हड़ा

kaushik kãnharhã

 

नायकी द्वितीय

nãyakî dvitîya

 

षट्राग

shaT-rãg

 

सिंधुभैरवी

siñdhu bhairavi

 

 

Bhairavî

S-r-g-m-P-d-n-S

Raag Bhairav: a 16th century painting

Notes (swar) used: All the komal swars, dhaivat (A), gandhar (E), nishad (B), rishabh (D). All 12 notes are used in compositions in Bhairavi.

 

‘Gender’: Feminine

 

Mood: Solemn.

 

Shown in paintings as: Feminine, as the divine wife of Bhairav (Lord Shiv).

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called भैरवी (bhairavî)

भैरवी

bhairavî

All day

भूपाल तोडी

bhûpãl toDî, bhûpãlî toDî

Morning

बिलासखानी तोड़ी

bilãskhãnî torhî (toDî)

Morning

धनाश्री

dhanãshrî

 

कौसी कान्ह्डा

kauñsî kãnharhã; kausî

 

मालकौंस

mãlkauñs

Night

मालकौंस पंचम

mãlkauñs pañcham

Night

 

Bhairav

S-r-G-m-P-d-N-S

Raag Bhairav
Late 17 century, Nûrpur (Hill school: Himachal Pradesh)

Notes (swar) used: Komal Rishabh and Komal Dhaivat

 

Gender: masculine

 

Shown in paintings as: Ascetic, overwhelming

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called भैरव (bhairav)

 

अहीर भैरव

ahîr bhairav

Morning

आनंद भैरव

ãnañd bhairav

 

बैरागी भैरव

bairãgi bhairav

Morning

बंगाल भैरव

bañgãl bhairav

 

भैरव

bhairav

Morning (see variations)

गुणकली

guN-kalî

Morning

जोगिया

jogiyã

Morning

कालिंगड़ा

kãliñgrhã

Morning

 

मेघरंजनी

mégh-rañjani

 

नट भैरव

naT bhairav

Morning

प्रभात

prabhãt

 

रामकली

rãm-kali

 

सौराष्ट्रटंक

saurãshTr-Tañk

 

शिवभैरव

shiv bhairav

 

विभाग

vibhãg

 

 

Some variants of Raag Bhairav: ahîr bhairav, alam bhairav, ãñañd bhairav, bairãgî bhairav, beehad bhairav, bhavmat bhairav, dévatã bhairav, gaurî bhairav, naT bhairav, shivmat bhairav.

Kalyãn

S-R-G-M-P-D-N-S

Raag Hindol
Late 16th century
Bhãskar, the son of Raag Hindol.
Early 18th century, Chamba (Hill school: Himachal Pradesh)
Courtesy and (c) Matthew Hollow Photography
Vinod, the son of Raag Hindol.
Early 17th century, Deccan
Courtesy and (c) Matthew Hollow Photography

Distinguishing swar: teevr madhyam. (Indeed, it is teevr madhyam that differentiates evening/ night raags from dawn and sunset raags.

 

Mood: Feel-good

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called कल्याण (kalyãN)

 

भूपाली

bhûpãlî

Evening

बिहाग

bihãg

Night

केदार

chãñdnî kédãr

Night

चन्द्रकान्त

chañdr-kãñt

 

छाया-नट

chhãyã-naT

Night

गौड़ सारंग

gaurh sãrañg

Afternoon

हमीर

hamîr

Night

हिन्डोल

hiñDol

Morning

जयतकल्याण

jayat kalyãN

 

कामोद

kãmod

Evening

केदार

kédãr

Night

मालश्री

mãl-shree

 

मारू बिहाग

mãru bihãg

Evening

नंद

nañd

Night

श्याम कल्याण

shãm kalyãN

Evening

शुद्ध कल्याण

shuddh kalyãN

Evening

शुद्ध सारंग

shuddh sãrañg

Afternoon

श्याम

shyãm

 

यमन

yaman

Evening

यमन कल्याण

yaman kalyãN

Evening

 

Variations include: ãñañdî kalyãN, khém kalyãN, savani kalyãN.

Mãrwã

S-r-G-M-P-D-N-S

Pancham, son of Raag Bhairav.
Late 17th century, Basohli (Hill school: Jammu and Kashmir)
Courtesy and (c) Matthew Hollow Photography

Notes (swar) used: kalyãN Thaat plus komal rishabh.

 

Mood: Dusk. The end of the day, the coming of the night.

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called मारवा (mãrwã)

भंखार

bhañkhãr

Morning

भटियार

bhaTiyãr

Morning

जैत

jait

 

ललित

laliT

Morning

मालीगौरा

mãlîgaurã

 

मारवा

mãrwã

Afternoon

पंचम

pañcham

 

पूरिया

pûriyã

Evening

साजगिरी

sãjgirî

 

सोहनी

sohinî

Morning

वराटी

varãTî

 

विभास

vibhãs; bibhãs

Morning

Poorvi

S-r-G-M-P-d-N-S

Varari, the little feminine raag.
17th century

Notes (swar) used: mãrwã Thaat plus komal dhaivat.

 

Mood: Serious

 

Shown in paintings as: graceful.

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called पूर्वी (pûrvî):

बसन्त

basañt

Night

गौरी (भैरव अंग)

gaurî

 

जेतश्री

jét-shrî

 

मालश्री

mãl-shrî

 

परज

paraj

 

पुरिया धनाश्री, पूर्याधनाश्री

pûriyã-dhanãshrî

Evening

पूर्वी

pûrvî

Afternoon

श्रीराग

shrî-rãg

Afternoon

टंकी

Tañkî

 

त्रिवेणी

trivéNî

 

 

ToDî

S-r-g-M-P-d-N-S

The raag Todi is depicted in this Rajasthani miniature painting (13 cm X 18 cm.), as it almost invariably is in Indian art: A young woman with a veena (musical instrument), a deer near her, and a forest or at least a tree close at hand. Such sets of ‘frozen music’ (raags depicted in paintings) are called the rãg-mãlã (Ragamala: the necklace of raags) series

Mood: Serene, sylvan, musical.

 

Some raags in the ठाट (ThãT) called तोड़ी (torhî is invariably spelt toDî, therefore, Indpaedia has succumbed)

 

गुजरी तोडी

gujari todi; gurjari toDî

Morning

मधुवन्ती

madhuvañti

Afternoon

मियाँ की तोडी

miyãñ ki todi,

 

मुलतानी

multãnî

Afternoon

तोड़ी

toDî (14 varieties)

Morning

 

Other Raags

अभोगी कान्ह्डा

abhogî kãnharhã

 

बैरागी तोडी

bairãgi toDî

 

बसन्त मुखारी

basañt mukhãrî

Morning

भीम

bhîm

 

चन्द्रकौन्स

chañdr-kauñs

Night

चारुकेशी

chãrûkéshi

 

गोपिका बसन्त

basañt

 

हरिकौन्स

hari-kauñs

 

हेमश्री

hém-shrî

 

जलधर केदार

jal-dhar kédãr

 

 

jan-sammohini

 

जोगेश्वरी

jogéshwarî

 

कौशिक ध्वनी

kaushik dhwanî

 

कीरवाणी

kîrwãNî

Night

कोमल-रिषभ आसावरी

komal rishabh ãsãvarî

 

लंका-दहन सारंग

lañkã-dahan sãrañg

 

मधुमाद सारंग

madhu-mãd sãrañg

 

मोहन कौन्स

mohan-kauñs

 

नारायणी

nãrãyaNî

 

परमेश्वरी

parméshwarî

 

पटदीपकी

paT-dîpakî

 

पुरिया कल्याण

puriyã kalyãN

 

सरस्वती

saraswatî

 

सरस्वती केदार

saraswatî kédãr

 

शहाना कन्ह्डा

shahãnã kanharhã

 

शोभावरी

shobhã-varî

 

सुहासुघराई

sûhã sughrãî

 

सुन्दर कौन्स

suñdar kauñs

 

तिलंग बहार

tilãng bahãr

 

वाचस्पती

vãchaspati

 

Why this page?

This page was created in order to give laymen just the names and correct pronunciations of the Ten Thaats and the important raags/ ragas. (However, as the page grows it will have other information as well. It already does.)

Why should Indians, especially those who can read Hindi in Devanagari, need pronunciation guides to their own raags/ ragas?

Because of all the inaccurate information available in print and on the internet. Because of spellings like सिंदूरा (instead of सिन्धुरा), हिंदोल (instead of हिन्डोल), हामीर (instead of हमीर), जेजैवंती (instead of जयजयवन्ती or जैजैवंती; our problem is with the first जे, which should have been a जै), वसंत (instead of बसन्त), हंसकंकणी (instead of हंसकिंकिणी), मल्लार (instead of मल्हार), ललिट and Lalat (instead of ललित and Lalit), जैनपुरी (instead of जौनपुरी), र्गाधार (instead of गन्धार), देश (instead of देस), haunsdhwani (instead of hañsdhwani), रागेश्वरी (instead of रागेश्री) and बागेश्वरी (instead of बागेश्री). All these mistakes have been made by scholarly publications.

This tends to confuse even those who know the basics of Hindustani classical music.

Hence Indpaedia volunteers, who are not experts either, have constructed this page to the best of their ability. Please guide them through messages sent to the Facebook community, Indpaedia.com.

See also

Raags/ ragas and Thaats: Hindustani

Taal/ tãl: Hindustani

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