Amazing Ragas

One of the best definitions of the word 'Raga' comes from Sanskrit: ‘raga’ is ‘Ranjayati Iti Raga’ i.e. 'That which pleases the ear is referred to as a raga.' So simple, isn't it ?
There is science behind all forms of music, be it Western or Asian or from any part of the world. The origin of Hindustani/Carnatic (South Asian) music can be traced back to hundreds/thousands of years and references are available in ancient texts.
Did you know that :
- Certain melodies are enhanced when you hear them at certain times of the day or even during certain seasons?
- Certain types of music can evoke certain type of emotions?
Amazing Ragas is an application created for those:
- who love music, especially Hindustani (South Asian) Classical, Traditional and Bollywood music.
- those who are interested in the science behind Hindustani music.
- serious exponents of Hindustani music.
- who may want to brag about their knowledge of Hindustani music.
- who don't care about the science, but just enjoy listening to music
Amazing Ragas is now available as a Windows Store App (Free Full version), a Windows Phone App (Paid Full Version), in Android (Paid Full Version) and coming soon on iPhone, iPad (Paid Full Version). Feel free to check out the Free version on your desktop/tablet , before buying the Phone/Tablet versions.

Features:
1. Contains detailed categorized information on 250+ Ragas
2. Contains 1000+ (and growing!!) songs based on these ragas for you to watch/listen, carefully selected to bring out the essence of the raga, ranging from Traditional Classical, Bollywood Songs, Light Classical, Ghazals, Instrumentals.
3. Searchable by all aspects of a Raga (Name, Description, Notes, Time of Day, Seasons, Emotions etc.)
4. Searchable by all aspects of a Song (Name, Singers(s), Lyricist(s), Music Composer(s), Film/Album Name)
5. Find the raga for a song
6. Ragas and Songs refreshed periodically

Help

Welcome to the Amazing Ragas Help. Here you will find information on how to use and navigate the Amazing Ragas application, now available in the Windows Store and in the Windows Phone Store.
Note: Content below is inspired from the work of several passionate music lovers all over the world. Please see the Credits/References section for a complete list of acknowledgements. Also important to note that this application covers Hindustani Ragas.
Important Disclaimer: Given the intricacies of Ragas, and the varied interpretations, the information presented in this application is by no means universally accepted in all cases. Even today, there are constant debates and controversies around various aspects of Ragas and these continue to evolve. The information presented here attempts to provide a starting point and a reference for further research. Please feel free to provide corrections/feedback/suggestions via email, provided in the About section of the application from your device or the Contact section on this website.

Searching for Ragas/Songs (Windows Store app)

This application has a smart search (search suggestions as you type) feature that allows you to search hundreds of ragas and songs by
1. Raga (Name, Description, Aroha, Avaroha, Rasa, Thaat, Time of Day, Jati) and
2. Song (Name, Singers(s), Lyricist(s), Music Director(s), Film/Album Name)
Search can be performed by invoking the Search Charm, either if the application is active and in focus or even if the application is closed. In the latter case, you will need to select this application from the list of applications below the Search box in the Search Charm. NOTE: If no songs match the search text, you would see “Songs Matching Search Criteria=0” under the name of a Raga in the Search Results page. This means that the search text could not find a match in songs, but was able to match any of Raga Name, Description, Aroha, Avaroha, Rasa, Thaat, Time of Day or Jati. Please click on the Raga name from the Search results page to go to the Details page to see where the search text matched

SEARCH CHARM EXAMPLE

SEARCH RESULTS EXAMPLE



Searching for Ragas/Songs (Windows Phone app)

This application has a search feature that allows you to search hundreds of ragas and songs by
1. Raga (Name, Description, Aroha, Avaroha, Rasa, Thaat, Time of Day, Jati) and
2. Song (Name, Singers(s), Lyricist(s), Music Director(s), Film/Album Name)
Search can be performed by invoking Search Icon on the application bar at the bottom of the Application screen

SEARCH BUTTON IN APPLICATION BAR

SEARCH PAGE



Searching for Ragas/Songs (iOS/Android app)

This application has a search feature that allows you to search hundreds of ragas and songs by
1. Raga (Name, Description, Aroha, Avaroha, Pakad, Rasa, Thaat, Time of Day, Jati) and
2. Song (Name, Singers(s), Lyricist(s), Music Director(s), Film/Album Name)
Search can be performed by invoking Search Icon on the application bar at the bottom of the Application screen

SEARCH BUTTON

SEARCH PAGE/RESULTS



Refreshing Data (Windows Store app)

When the application is first downloaded and installed, it contains the latest raga and song data. By default, the application is configured to refresh Raga and Song data whenever you start it or re-start it ( after closing it down completely). Needless to say, this refresh action requires an active Internet Connection. Speed of refresh will depend on the speed of your Internet Connection. This refresh setting can be changed via a toggle button provided in the Preferences Page ( invoked through the Settings Charm, see screenshots below). The status of the last refresh is also displayed in the Preferences Page just below the Refresh Toggle Button.
Tip : Leave the the refresh option always as ON, to ensure your application gets refreshed automatically (i.e. whenever you start/re-start)

PREFERENCES (SETTINGS CHARM)

DATA REFRESH SETTING AND STATUS



Refreshing Data (Windows Phone app)

When the application is first downloaded and installed, it contains the latest raga and song data.
To refresh data, click/touch the Refresh button on the bottom Application Bar (screenshots below). Ragas and Songs are constantly updated and it is recommended to refresh data periodically. Needless to say, this action requires an active Internet Connection. Speed of refresh will depend on the speed of your Internet Connection.

CLICK ON SYNC BUTTON

SYNC IN PROGRESS

SYNC STATUS MESSAGE



Refreshing Data (iOS/Android app)

When the application is first downloaded and installed, it contains the latest raga and song data.
To refresh data, click/touch the Refresh button on the bottom Application Bar (screenshots below). Ragas and Songs are constantly updated and it is recommended to refresh data periodically. Needless to say, this action requires an active Internet Connection. Speed of refresh will depend on the speed of your Internet Connection.

CLICK ON REFRESH BUTTON

REFRESH COMPLETE



Ragas

The Sanskrit definition given to the word, ‘raga’ is ‘Ranjayati Iti Raaga’
That which pleases the ear is referred to as a raga. A raga can be defined as a melodic type or a melodic mold. It is a collection of notes in a particular order, giving rise to a melody type. The raga is the very soul of Indian music. It is very difficult, almost impossible, to define a raga in just a word or two. As Harold.S.Powers states, "A raga is not a tune, nor is it a 'modal' scale, but rather a continuum with scale and tune as its extremes." The Indian raga is far more complex than the simple modal scale and encompasses in itself a variety of ways in which you can treat its notes or ‘swaras’. The raga is also much more complicated than just a tune. It can also present itself as a method of on-the-spot creative improvisation by the musician/artist.
Ragas are ever-changing, dynamic entities. They veritably pulsate with life and help produce an almost unlimited flow of ideas in the artist. The raga, being so vast a subject, goes beyond the most detailed definition and has to be experienced by both the singer and the listener to be properly understood.
The raga is a compilation of a series of notes in an octave, which bear a definite relationship to one another and occur in varied phrases of permutation and combination, thereby giving a shape and a unique personality to it. The raga must have a minimum of five notes in the order as prescribed by the ancient texts on music. The raga is ornamented with various shakes and graces too, thereby enabling it to emote and breathe life and expression into a song.
Western music places importance on scales. Western classical music deals with various major and minor scales as the basis of its music. These scales are of equal temperament, meaning they are rendered in the same way by each and every one singing or playing that particular scale.
Indian music, on the other hand, stresses on scales of unequal temperament, or what is termed as ‘just intonation’ or ‘correct intonation’. Here, the notes of each raga or melody are rendered in different raga. The notes of a scale are embellished with shakes and oscillations, which enhance the beauty of the raga. These shakes are referred to as ‘gamakas’.
It is the usage of these ‘gamakas’ or ornamentations that makes Indian music what it is today. These ‘gamakas’ give character and a unique emotional quality to the raga as a whole.



Hindustani and Carnatic Ragas

This application currently covers Hindustani Ragas. The following sections pertain primarily to Hindustani Ragas, although many of the concepts apply to Carnatic Ragas as well.
The two streams of Indian classical music, Carnatic music and Hindustani music, have independent sets of ragas. Predominantly popular in the North of India, Hindustani ragas evolved into their distinct styles , mainly due to the Persian and Mughal influence, promoted by musical giants such as Amir Khusro, Tansen and others. On the other hand, Carnatic Ragas are more popular in South India and evolved mainly due to the contributions of Purandardasa, Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Syama Sastri. Hindustani ragas have been primarily classified by thaats, time of day etc. South India uses an older and even more systematic classification scheme called the ‘melakarta’ classification, with 72 parent (‘melakarta’) ragas. The Hindustani ragas pay importance to improvisation, whereas Carnatic ragas stress on composition.



Swaras (or Notes)

Although, the 7 note system in music is universally accepted, Indian system adds an extra 5 notes, depending on additional pitch intervals or ‘shrutis’. A ‘shruti’ is the smallest interval of pitch that a human being can detect. The manipulation/combination of these ‘swaras’ is what gives rise to one of the most important concepts of Indian classical music, i.e. the raga. A typical raga consists of 5 to 7 ‘swaras’, and just to complicate the fact, the ‘swaras’ and their number also varies during the ascent and the descent of the raga. See section on ‘aroha’ and ‘avaroha’.
The basic 7 notes are:

Scale Note #

Name

Western Symbol

1

Shadja or Sa

C

2

Rishabh or Re

D

3

Gandhar or Ga

E

4

Madhyam or Ma

F

5

Pancham or Pa

G

6

Dhaivat or Dha

A

7

Nishad or NI

B


The expanded notes are:


Scale Note #

Name

Indian Symbol

Western Symbol

1

Sa shuddha (natural)

Sa

C

2

Re komala (flat)

re

D flat

3

Re shuddha (natural)

Re

D

4

Ga komala (flat)

ga

E flat

5

Ga shuddha (natural)

Ga

E

6

Ma shuddha (natural)

ma

F

7

Ma teevra (sharp)

Ma

F sharp

8

Pa shuddha (natural)

Pa

G

9

Dha komala (flat)

dha

A flat

10

Dha shuddha (natural)

Dha

A

11

Ni komala (flat)

ni

B flat

12

Ni shuddha (natural)

Ni

B


Purvang and Uttarang

A raga must run through two entire tetrachords or two parts. The first tetrachord referred to as purvang contains the notes Sa, Re, Ga and Ma while the second tetrachord referred to as uttarang contains the notes Pa, Dha, Ni and Sa (of the higher register or tar saptak). The main melodic movements in the presentation of the raga will fall into one tetrachord or the other, thereby making it an essentially purvang focused raga or uttarang focused raga.



Notations used in this application

The following notations are used to describe notes of a raga:
Lower notes are written in lower case and upper notes in upper case, as indicated below,
1. Shuddh notes are notated as Sa, Re, Ga, ma, Pa, Dha, Ni
2. Komal notes are notated as re, ga, dha, ni
3. Teevra Ma is notated as Ma
4. Saptak :It is important to understand the concept of ‘Saptak’ to comprehend the Raga notation better. The concept of Saptak is very similar to the concept of Octaves.

Keyboard

Saptak means "gamut" or "the series of seven notes". It denotes the set of swaras, Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni (or S, R, G, M, P, D, N) which comprise a musical scale in Indian classical music. In Sanskrit, saptak literally means "containing seven" and is derived from the Sanskrit word sapta which means "seven".
The basic or middle saptak (or octave) is called the Madhya Saptak. Notes in this Saptak or Octave are denoted without any symbols e.g. Sa
The lower saptak or octave is called Mandra Saptak , and denoted with single quote (‘), before the note e.g. ‘Sa.
The higher saptak or octave is called Tar Saptak, and are denoted with a single quote (‘), after the note e.g. Sa’
5. A comma represents a pause.
6. A Meend is one of the several ornamentations on a raga. It is like a glissando in the sense that it is a smooth glide from one note to another, including all the relevant intervening pitches, and often non-intervening pitches as well. There could be several variations of the meend. It is shown by a forward slash /. For example Re/Ni is a meend from Rishabh to Nishad
7. Kan-swar is another ornamentation on a raga. The swaras applied in ragas are never static and rarely in staccato form. Each note has some link with its preceding and succeeding note. These linking notes are called grace notes or Kan-swars. The Kan-swar is never fully pronounced and is sung or played in a very subtle manner. They are very important for the proper rendition of a raga. In fact, two or more ragas sharing a common note or phrase differ vastly from each other primarily due to the application of their Kan-swars. Also, a Kan-swar is very often the starting point of a meend. Kan-swars are denoted in parenthesis ( ), e.g. Ga (Re) Sa in this Rishabh is barely touched when coming from Gandhar to Shadja.
8. Andolan ornamentation is a gentle swing or oscillation that starts from a fixed note and touches the periphery of an adjacent note. What is special about the Andolan is, that in the course of the oscillation, it touches the microtones or shrutis that exist in between. Andolan is shown by a tilde ~. E.g. Darbari Kanada has an andolan on Gandhar which is shown as ga~ and an andolan on Dhaivat denoted as dha~.



‘Aroha’ (Ascent) and ‘Avaroha’ (Descent)

‘Aroha’ is the successively ascending notes of a raga, starting on the tonic Sa, and ending in the Sa’ in the higher octave.
‘Avaroha’ is the successively descending notes of a raga, starting on the Sa’ in the higher octave, and ending on the tonic Sa i.e. it is the opposite of ‘aroha’.
‘Aroha-avaroha’ indicate the notes comprising a raga. They are useful in a very general way, however, do not specify characteristics of a raga. In fact, it is possible for two ragas to have the same ‘aroha-avaroha’, though the ragas may be totally different aesthetically.

Vadi, Samvadi, Anuvadi, Vivadi (Sonant, Consonant, Assonant, Dissonant)

The different ‘swaras’ or notes have different significance in each raga. The dominant note or the emphasized note is called ‘Vadi’. The melodic patterns of the raga are woven around the vadi. The secondary or the second dominant note is called the ‘Samvadi’. Other notes present in the raga are called ‘Anuvadi’. Those notes that do not exist in the raga at all are called ‘vivadi’.

Pakad of a Raga

In Hindustani music, a ‘pakad’ is a generally-accepted musical phrase (or set of phrases) thought to encapsulate the essence of a particular raga. The ‘pakad’ contains the melodic theme of the raga, on listening to the ‘pakad’ a person who knows the raga is usually able to identify it. In many cases, the ragas contain the same swaras (notes), then the ‘pakad’ also contains information about gayaki or chalan (the way the notes are to be ordered and played/sung). Usually, the ‘pakad’ is formed from short convolutions of the ‘aroha’ and ‘avaroha’, while in some cases it is quite different from them. The ‘pakad’ for a particular raga need not be unique, its sole purpose is to clarify what raga it is.

Gamaka of a Raga

Gamaka, also known as gamak or gamakam, refers to ornamentation that is used in the performance of Indian classical music. The unique character of each raga is given by it’s ‘gamakas’, making their role essential rather than decorative in Indian music. Nearly all Indian musical treatises have a section dedicated to describing, listing and characterizing ‘gamakas’. The term "gamaka" itself means "ornamented note" in Sanskrit. Gamakas involve the variation of pitch of a note, using heavy forceful oscillations between adjacent and distant notes. Each raga has specific rules on the types of gamaks that might be applied to specific notes, and the types that may not.

Classification of Ragas by Time of Day

There exists a myriad of ragas in Indian music. Even though ragas have their own distinct character, it is very helpful to understand as well as appreciate similarities and differences between ragas. Classification is generally the best method to identify the aesthetic as well as the technical quality of the raga. The classification methods are often controversial, however, provides some baseline for comprehending ragas, by associating them with some patterns/similarities.
Note: This application provides options to group ragas by all the classification methods listed in this help section
It is believed that certain ragas are most beneficial while sung at an appropriate time during the day (or ‘prahar’). Both the Hindustani and Carnatic music systems believe in the time theory, but it is the former that places much emphasis on this theory. The time theory was first constructed and propagated about 500 years ago by the famous Hindustani (north Indian classical music) musician, Pandit Bhatkande. Pandit Bhatkande is hailed as the father of Hindustani music, as he was the one who built a systematized module for Hindustani music. Hindustani singers faithfully follow the time theory by rendering ragas only at their specified timings. The time theory is split into two parts – the ‘Purva’ ragas and the ‘Uttara’ ragas. The Purva Ragas are those sung between 12 noon and 12 midnight, while the Uttara Ragas are ideally sung between 12 midnight and 12 noon. The ragas to be sung between twilight and dusk are called ‘Sandhi Prakash’ ragas. These are supposed to be sung around 4 and 7 o’clock, both in the morning and evening.
Besides the time of day, seasonal ragas also exist. It is best to sing certain ragas at certain times of the year. For example, raga ‘Basant Bahar’ is best sung during spring , ‘Megh’ during the rainy season and so on. The reason for compartmentalizing these ragas is probably because they already have the capability to generate a particular emotion, which can be heightened by that season.
The beauty of the raga will not be marred by the time of the day it is sung. It is the psychological association with the time that goes with the mood of the raga. The object of a raga is to express a certain emotional mood and sentiment without any reference to time and season. For a student of classical music, this classification may give an idea as to how to base his/her reasons for the traditional usage of ragas.
A full day (24 hours) consists of 8 ‘prahars’, with each ’prahar’ being of 3 hours duration. The ‘prahars’ are as follows:

  • 1st Prahar (3 AM to 6 AM) - Early Dawn before Sunrise
  • 2nd Prahar (6 AM to 9 AM) - Early Morning or Daybreak or Dawn
  • 3rd Prahar (9 AM to 12 PM) - Late Morning
  • 4th Prahar (12 PM to 3 PM) - Afternoon
  • 5th Prahar (3 PM to 6 PM) – Evening
  • 6th Prahar (6 PM to 9 PM) - Late Evening
  • 7th Prahar (9 PM to 12 AM) - Night
  • 8th Prahar (12 AM to 3 AM) - Late Night
Classification of Ragas by Parent Scale or 'Thaat'

There exists a myriad of ragas in Indian music. Even though ragas have their own distinct character, it is very helpful to understand as well as appreciate similarities and differences between ragas. Classification is generally the best method to identify the aesthetic as well as the technical quality of the raga. The classification methods are often controversial, however, provides some baseline for comprehending ragas, by associating them with some patterns/similarities.
Note: This application provides options to group ragas by all the classification methods listed in this help section
Another method of classification (although controversial) is the Bhatkhande ‘Thaat’ classification system. Musician Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860-1936) recognized ten parent scales, or ‘thaats’, to represent the fundamental ragas in Indian music. The ten ‘thaats’ are as follows:

THAAT NAME

WESTERN NAME

SCALE

Asavari

Aeolian

Sa Re ga ma Pa dha ni Sa’

Bhairav

None

Sa re Ga ma Pa dha Ni Sa’

Bhairavi

Phyrgian

Sa re ga ma Pa dha ni Sa’

Bilawal

Ionian

Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Sa’

Kafi

Dorian

Sa Re ga ma Pa Dha ni Sa’

Kalyan

Lydian

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa’

Khamaj

Mixolydian

Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha ni Sa’

Marwa

None

Sa re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa’

Poorvi

None

Sa re Ga Ma Pa dha Ni Sa’

Todi

None

Sa re ga Ma Pa dha Ni Sa’


*Sa’ – is the upper Octave
It is important to understand that the ‘thaat’ is merely a scale, a collection of notes. There is no emotions felt by the scale, and scales are never performed. Only ragas are performed. Almost all ragas in Hindustani music tie back to these ten. Even though this is a popular way of classifying ragas, it is not perfect, however, helps learning the theory around ragas.

Classification of Ragas by Number of Notes or 'Jati'

There exists a myriad of ragas in Indian music. Even though ragas have their own distinct character, it is very helpful to understand as well as appreciate similarities and differences between ragas. Classification is generally the best method to identify the aesthetic as well as the technical quality of the raga. The classification methods are often controversial, however, provides some baseline for comprehending ragas, by associating them with some patterns/similarities.
Note: This application provides options to group ragas by all the classification methods listed in this help section
This classification is based on the number of notes used in the ‘Aroha’ and ‘Avaroha’ of the raga. This is called the caste of the raga, or the ‘jati’. ‘Audava’ is 5 notes, ‘Sadava’ is 6 notes, and ‘Sampoorna’ is 7 notes. If a raga has five notes in the upward direction and seven notes in the downward, the ‘jati’ is ‘audava- sampoorna and so on. The 9 groups that arise from this classification are as follows:

  • Audava – Audava (5 up, 5 down)
  • Audava – Sadava (5 up, 6 down)
  • Audava – Sampoorna (5 up, 7 down)
  • Sadava – Audava (6 up, 5 down)
  • Sadava – Sadava (6 up, 6 down)
  • Sadava – Sampoorna (6 up, 7 down)
  • Sampoorna – Audava (7 up, 5 down)
  • Sampoorna – Sadava (7 up, 6 down)
  • Sampoorna – Sampoorna (7 up, 7 down)
Classification of Ragas by Emotions or 'Rasa'

There exists a myriad of ragas in Indian music. Even though ragas have their own distinct character, it is very helpful to understand as well as appreciate similarities and differences between ragas. Classification is generally the best method to identify the aesthetic as well as the technical quality of the raga. The classification methods are often controversial, however, provides some baseline for comprehending ragas, by associating them with some patterns/similarities.
Note: This application provides options to group ragas by all the classification methods listed in this help section
The raga, as mentioned earlier, is capable of evoking emotions and expressing feelings and thoughts. This happens through the clever use of the appropriate ‘srutis’, ‘swaras’ and ‘pakads’. This emotional quality of the raga is known as the ‘rasa’. Raga and ‘rasa’ go hand-in-hand in Indian classical music. If rendered properly, every raga is capable of giving rise to some emotion, both in the person singing it and among the audience. The 10 different types of ‘rasas’ by which the ragas are classified are:

  • Shringara (Love/Sensuality)
  • Hasya (Joyful/Happy)
  • Karuna (Compassion/Pathos)
  • Raudra (Anger)
  • Veera (Valor/Bravery)
  • Bhayanaka (Fear/Anxiety)
  • Bibhatsa (Disgust)
  • Adbhuta (Wonder/Amazement)
  • Shanta (Peace/Serenity)
  • Bhakti (Devotion/Prayer)

Each raga has one predominant ‘rasa’. It is important to note that, a raga might even portray more than one emotion, if treated in different ways. Oscillating one note feebly may give rise to veera ‘rasa’, while shaking it more vigorously could give rise to raudra ‘rasa’. The exposition of the raga and the resulting ‘rasas’ all really depends on the caliber of the musician and the extent to which his/her imagination stretches to define the boundaries of the raga.
In this application, purely for classification purposes, the most common Rasa associated with the Raga is called out, but that is not the only rasa or emotion that the raga may evoke as mentioned above.

Gharanas in India

In Hindustani music, a gharana is a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers by lineage or apprenticeship, and by adherence to a particular musical style. A gharana also indicates a comprehensive musicological ideology. This ideology sometimes changes substantially from one gharana to another. It directly affects the thinking, teaching, performance and appreciation of music. The word gharana comes from the Hindi word 'ghar', which means 'family' or 'house'. It typically refers to the place where the musical ideology originated. The following are the most popular gharanas of Hindustani classical music.

Gharana Name

Description

Founders

Founding Date

Main Exponents

Gwalior Gharana

This is the oldest among all the Khayal Gayaki (vocal) styles. The distinctive feature of this style of singing has been noted for its lucidity and simplicity

Ustad Hassu Khan, Ustad Haddu Khan, Ustad Nathu Khan

Mid 16th century

Bal Krishna BaIchal Karanjikar, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and Malini Rajurkar

Agra Gharana

Places great importance on developing forcefulness and deepness in the voice so that the notes are powerful and resonant

Haji Sujan Khan, Ustad Ghagghe Khuda Baksh

Mid 19th century

Faiyyaz Khan, Latafat Hussein Khan and Dinkar Kakini

Kirana Gharana

Derives its name from the birthplace of Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana near Kurukshetra. In the Kirana style of singing, the swara is used to create an emotional mood by means of elongation and use of Kana-s

Abdul Karim Khan and Abdul Wahid Khan

Late 17th century

Hirabhai Barodekar, Begum Akhtar, Bhimsen Joshi, Gangubai Hangal and Prabha Atre

Jaipur - Atrauli Gharana

Known for its complex and melodic form which arises out of the involutedly and undulating phrases that comprise the piece

Ustad Alladiya Khan

Late 19th century

Alladiya Khan, Mallikarjun Mansur, Kesarbhai Kerkar, Kishori Amonkar, Shruti Sadolikar, Padma Talwalkar and Ashwini Bhide Deshpande

Rampur Sahaswan Gharana

Stresses on the clarity of swara and the development and elaboration of the raga is done through a stepwise progression

Ustad Inayat Khan

Mid 19th century

Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Sulochana and Brihaspati

Patiala Gharana

Regarded as an offshoot of the Delhi Gharana. The Patiala Gharana is characterized by the use of greater rhythm play and by Layakari with the abundant use of Bols, particularly Bol-tans

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Ali Baksh

Late 19th century

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ajoy Chakravarti, Raza Ali Khan, Beghum Akhtar, Nirmala Deni, Naina Devi, Parveen Sultana

Delhi Gharana

Known for its pleasing vistaar and exquisite compositions. Also for extensive use of sargam and taan patterns in both vilambit and drut

Ustad Mamman Khan

Late 18th century

Chand Khan, Nasir Ahmed Khan, Usman Khan, Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Krishna Bisht

Bhendi Bazaar Gharana

Known for the presentation of Khayal, in an open voice, using Akar. There is a stress on breath-control and singing of long passages in one breath is highly regarded in this Gharana

Ustad Chajju Khan

Late 19th century

Ustad Aman Ali Khan, Shashikala Koratkar and Anjanibai Malpekar

Benaras Gharana

Known for great lilting style of khayal singing popularized by Thumri singers of Benaras and Gaya

Pt Gopal Mishra

Not available

Rajan Mishra, Sajan Mishra, Girija Devi

Mewati Gharana

Focus on developing the mood of the raga through its notes and its style is Bhava Pradhan. It also gives equal importance to the meaning of the text.

Ghagge Nazir Khan

Mid 19th century

Pandit Jasraj, Moti Ram, Mani Ram, Sanjeev Abhyankar


Glossary of Music Terms

Note : Most content below is thanks to an excellent compilation available at Cultural India – Indian Music Glossary (see Credits/References section), however, several other terms used in Hindustani Music have been added to this list.

Achal - Achal Swaras are the fixed swaras of the seven musical notes. Sa and Pa are the achal swaras of the Indian classical music.
Avirbhav - Avirbhav is that technique of presenting the raga, in which the raga is noticeably expanded and exhibited
Abhoga - The last stage of a musical composition, especially in the Dhrupad music.
Alaap - Alaap is the free flow of the Raga, in which there are no words and no fixed rhythm. It is the purest form of melody.
Andolan - Andolan refers to a slow alternation between the notes and shrutis that are next to each other.
Ang - The term 'Ang' refers to the root to which a particular raga belongs. For example, Tantrakari Ang (instrumental style of music)
Alankar - Alankaras are those notes and features that differentiate one raga from the other.
Antara - Antara is the second stage of a musical composition that emphasizes the upper half of the octave-range.
Antya - Antya is the last section of a musical composition, after which the recital ends.
Asthai - Asthai is the first as well as the fundamental part of a composition, which is repeated during the entire alaap.
Asthan - The octave region of a raga is known as its Asthan. For example, the lower octave region is known as the Mandar Asthan.
Ati - The term Ati refers to an extreme in a raga. For example, Ati Vilambit Laya means extremely slow tempo.

Bandish - Bandish, Cheez or Gat is a fixed, melodic composition in Hindustani vocal or instrumental music. It is set in a specific raga, performed with rhythmic accompaniment by a tabla or pakhavaj, a steady drone, and melodic accompaniment by a sarangi, violin or harmonium. There are different ways of systematizing the parts of a composition. A bandish provides the literature element in the music, for standard structured singing. In the past many gharanas protected their bandishes from moving out of the family with gross incoherent vocal renditions.
Bhajan - A devotional song eulogizing Indian Gods and Goddesses. Sung in light classical style, it is usually set to 6, 7 or 8 beat cycles.
Bol - The term 'Bol' refers to the words making up a vocal composition.

Carnatic - Ancient classical music of South India is known as Carnatic Music
Chakra - As per the Melakarta table of raga classification, Chakras are the twelve groups according to which the ragas are categorized.
Chaiti Vocal Form - Chait is a month in Hindu calendar synonymous to March-April. Hence, the name Chaiti is given to traditional songs sung during spring in North India. This form of singing is very old and typically describes episodes from life of Lord Ram
Chalan - Chalan is the makeup of a musical composition, which embodies the movement of a particular raga.
Chautal - Chautal is the musical cycle that consists of fourteen beats.

Dadra Tal - Dadra Tal is the common cycle in the lighter forms of music, comprising of six or three beats.
Dadra Vocal Form - In this context dadra is a light classical vocal form in Hindustani classical music, mostly performed in Agra and in Bundelkhand region. It was originally accompanied by dadra tal (from where the term for the genre was borrowed), but later dadra compositions are often found in other light talas (such as keherwa).
Deepchandi Tal - Deepchandi Tal is the tabla composition with fourteen beats
Dhamar Tal - Dhamar Tal is the fourteen beat Tal that has a '5+2+3+4' vibhag pattern.
Dhamaar Vocal Form – Similar to Dhrupad form of singing, but more romantic in nature than devotional.
Dhaivat - Dhaivat is the sixth of the seven swaras or notes of the Indian classical scale.
Drut - Drut is the term denoting the fast tempo or speed of the Tal.
Dhrupad - is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music, said to be the oldest still in use in that musical tradition. Its name is derived from the words dhruva and pada (verse), where a part of the poem (dhruva) is used as a refrain. The term may denote both the verse form of the poetry and the style in which it is sung.

Ektal - Ektal is that Tal of the Indian classical music in which the 12 matras are divided into 6 vibhags, each of them having two matras.

Gamak- A gamak can be defined as a fast meend (spanning 2-3 notes normally) delivered with deliberate force and vigour and repeated in an oscillatory manner
Gandhar - Gandhar is 'Ga', the third musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Gayaki - Gayaki is one of the several styles of singing.
Geet - Geet is the Indian term for a song or composition. A majority of Hindi Film Music falls into this category.
Ghazal - Ghazal is a poetic-cum-musical form of Hindustani light music, with Persian and Urdu poetic influences.

Hindustani - Hindustani Classical Music is the form of Indian classical music that developed in northern parts of India.
Hori Vocal Form – a light classical form of singing Dhamaar. When Dhamaar is sung in lighter tals than Dhamaar tal itself, it is called Hori. This is traditionally sung during the festival of Holi and describes the celebrations of Lord Krishna.

Janya Raga – Janya is a term meaning "derived". In Carnatic (South Indian) music a janya raga is one derived from one of the 72 melakarta ragas (fundamental melodic structures). Janya ragas are classified into various types based on a variety of features.
Jhaptal - Jhaptal is an Indian rhythmic form with a ten-beat cycle.
Jhumra Tal - Jhumra Tal is a slow Indian rhythmic form of 14 (3+4+3+4) beats.

Kajari (or Kajri) Vocal Form - Kajari derived from the Hindi word Kajra, or Kohl, is a genre of semi-classical singing, popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is often used to describe the longing of a maiden for her lover as the black monsoon cloud come hanging in the summer skies, and the style is notably sung during the rainy season.
Keharwa Tal - Keharwa Tal is the one of the rhythms of the Indian classical music, which has an eight beat cycle.
Khayal (or Khyal) is the modern genre of classical singing in North India. Its name comes from an Arabic word meaning "imagination". It is thought to have developed out of the qawwali singing style. It appeared more recently than dhrupad, is a freer and flexible form, and it provides greater scope for improvisation. Like all Indian classical music, khayal is modal, with a single melodic line and no harmonic parts.
Kirtan - These are devotional songs sung in praise of Gods such as Ram and Krishna. These have typically one or two line lyrics which are sung by a group of devotees in a repetitive composition that gains tempo as it progresses
Komal - The flat form of a note or swar in the classical music of India.
Kriti - Kriti is a format of a musical composition that characterizes the Carnatic form of music.
Khatka - When a knot or cluster of notes is sung or played very fast and with gusto to decorate or embellish another note, it is called a khatka or gitkari

Lakshan - An introduction to the ragas is known as Lakshan. It comprises of a set of rules and principles.
Laya - Laya can be described as the tempo or speed of the Tal.

Madhya Saptak - The basic saptak, with middle octave region, is known as the Madhya Saptak.
Madhya Laya - Madhya Laya is the medium tempo or speed of the Tal.
Madhyam - Madhyam is 'Ma', the fourth musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Mandra - Mandra refers to the lower scale notes of the raga, written with dots underneath them.
Mela - Mela is the basic organization of the notes in aroha and avaroha melody.
Melakarta - is a collection of fundamental ragas (musical scales) in Carnatic music (South Indian classical music). Melakarta ragas are parent ragas (hence known as janaka ragas) from which other ragas may be generated. A melakarta raga is sometimes referred as mela, karta or sampurna as well. Thaat in Hindustani music is the equivalent of Melakarta. Against 10 thaats , generally accepted in Hindustani music, the melakarta scheme has 72.
Mishra - A Mishra melody is that melody which has features of more than one raga. "
Murki - A murki is cluster of notes that sounds like a short, subtle taan. A murki can also comprise a series of such short clusters. A murki is less forceful than a khatka

Nyasa - Nyasa is the last note of a specific phrase of notes, which leads to its ending.
Nishadh - Nishadh is 'Ni', the seventh musical note of Indian Classical Music.

Pakad - Pakad is the catch phrase of note combinations, which normally comprises of five notes. It characterizes the flow of a raga.
Pancham - Panchama is 'Pa', the fifth musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Pandit - Pandit is a term of respect, used to refer to the masters or scholars in the field of Indian Classical Music.
Poorvang - The lower region of an octave, from Sa to Ma (Sa Re Ga Ma) is known as the Poorvang.
Prati - The term Prati is used to define a sharp musical note i.e. a musical note that is higher in pitch by a semitone.

Rishabh - Rishabh is 'Re', the second musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Rupak Tal - Rupak Tal is an Indian rhythmic form, which comprises of seven beats.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan, as well as in Hyderabad, Delhi and other parts of India. It is a musical tradition that stretches back to more than 700 years.

Sanchari - Sanchari is the third subsection of a musical composition that comprises of all the regions of the octave.
Sangeet - Sangeet is the Hindu term used to define music.
Sampooran - Sampooran ragas are those ragas that comprise of all the seven notes.
Sandhi Prakash - The ragas that are performed during the hours of twilight or dusk are called Sandhi Prakash Ragas.
Saptak - Saptak means the set of seven swars or seven notes of the Indian Classical Music.
Sargam - Sargam is the term used to define the scale of notes used in the composition of music.
Shadaja - Shadaja is 'Sa', the first musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Shastra - Shastra is the treatise or text that explains the timeless rules and principles behind music.
Shruti - Shruti is the sound interval between recognized notes or swaras. It is regarded as the smallest interval of pitch that a human being can detect.
Shudha - The pure and natural notes or swaras are known as Shudha Swaras.
Swaroop - The term Swaroop refers to the image of a raga.
Swara – means a note in the octave

Tabla - Tabla is a North Indian drum set, which comprises of the Dagga (bass drum) and the Tabla (Treble drum)
Tal - Tal is a predisposed arrangement of beats, in a certain tempo
Taan - An improvised vocal or instrumental musical phrase
Tanpura - String instrument used for drone; Tanpura means to fill the void behind the music; to complete or assist a tan; a. k. a. Tamboora
Tappa - Tappa is Punjab's version of singing Khayals but with a faster tempo and more interesting tals rather than the classical tals. Tappa compositions are characteristically very catchy and employ a lot of short but melodious taans. It is considered to be the fore runner to Thumri style of singing
Tar - Tar is a fast-paced musical and melodic amplification of vocal as well as instrumental classical music.
Tamboora - Tamboora is a musical instrument made from a gourd (Tumba). It is also known as Tanpura.
Thumri - Thumri is a form of 'light-classical' vocal music. It does not follow the tala and raga rules of music very rigidly.
Tintal (Teental) - Tintal is an Indian rhythmic tal with sixteen beats, in four equal divisions.
Tirobhav - Tirobhav basically means the process of concealing a raga on a temporary basis.
Tivra - Tivra means the highest state (pitch) of the two notes, madhyama and nishad.

Uttarang - Uttarang is the higher tetra-chord of an octave, which comprises of Pa, Dha, Ni and Sa notes.
Ustad (Ostād a Persian word),is an honorific title for a man in South Asia. The title precedes the name and is usually used for well-regarded teachers and artists, most often musicians. It is applied and used via informal social agreement.

Vakra Raga - Vakra means crooked, zig-zag or out of order. For example, when the swaras in a child raga (Janya), if either in Aroha or in the Avaroha, occur in a different order than it appears in its parent, then child raga is known as a Vakra raga.
Vakra Jati - A raga could have a vakra (twisted) aroha or avaroha. Vakra aroha arises when the notes of the raga briefly descend at some point before ascending. Vakra avaroha arises when the notes of a raga ascend briefly before once more descending.
Varna - The four Varnas are the four basic ways, on the basis of which musical tones are organized.
Varjit - Varjit note is the note that is deleted from the Arohi or Avarohi of its derivative Ragas.
Vikrit - Vikrit notes are the modified notes used in the raga.
Vilambit - The term Vilambit is used to denote the slow speed or tempo of the Tal.

Credits/References

Amazeus is sincerely thankful to several passionate music lovers who have shared their understanding, interpretations, deep knowledge and experiences on Ragas. Content in the Help sections as well as information presented in the application is inspired from several sources listed below.

About Me

An engineer by education, a technologist by profession, a programmer by choice and restless by nature...

Contact/Share

Questions/Suggestions/Feedback? Email me @ amazingragas@amazeus.org

Privacy Policy

The Amazing Ragas application does not share personal information with third parties nor does it store any information about you. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on January 1, 2014.

App Releases/Versions

Windows Windows Store App Releases/Versions



Amazing Ragas v1.0.0.2 (Latest)
Download from Windows Store
Platform: Windows 8 devices
Release Date: March 14, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Added ability to Share thru Settings (Share Section) Charm
- Renamed Help Section (Settings Charm) to 'Help and Feedback'
Corrected Issues:None
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Amazing Ragas v1.0.0.1
Platform: Windows 8 devices
Release Date: January 27, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities: None
Corrected Issues:
- Corrected the support email address in Settings Panel (About/Help Sections)
- Privacy Policy Link added to App
- Minor Performance improvements
- Added friendly message in Raga Details Page, when no Songs are currently available for the Raga
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Amazing Ragas v1.0.0.0
Platform: Windows 8 devices
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Release Type: Major
New Capabilities: First Release
Corrected Issues: First Release
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Windows Windows Phone App Releases/Versions



Amazing Ragas v1.0.0.1 (Latest)
Download from Windows Phone Store
Platform: Windows Phone devices
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Updated Info Screen with buttons (instead of links) for sharing
- Updated navigation from Raga Detail screen to launch song directly
- Updated navigation from Search Results (songs) screen to 'Go to Raga' for the selected Song
- Minor Performance improvements
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.0.0.0
Platform: Windows Phone devices
Release Date: February 27, 2014
Release Type: Major
New Capabilities: First Release
Corrected Issues: First Release
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Android Android Releases/Versions



Amazing Ragas v1.3 (Latest)
Get it on Google Play
Platform: Android devices
Release Date: Dec 06, 2015
Release Type: Major
New Capabilities:
- Support for Latest Android Versions
- Several Navigation Improvements
- Additional Categorization of Ragas - by Performers, by Composers available via the sliding panel menu
- Due to popular demand, Raga detail now includes 'Pakad' for many ragas
- Amazing Ragas Database has now over 2300 songs!!
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.2 (Latest)
Platform: Android devices
Release Date: Feb 22, 2015
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Enhanced search for Ragas & Songs
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.1
Platform: Android devices
Release Date: Sept 21, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Enhanced Ragas/Songs download screen to show update history
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.0
Platform: Android devices
Release Date: March 23, 2014
Release Type: Major
New Capabilities: First Release
Corrected Issues: First Release
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iOS iOS Releases/Versions



Amazing Ragas v1.4 (Latest)
Download from App Store
Platform: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
Release Date: Dec 1, 2015
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Support for iOS 9.0
- Due to popular demand, Raga detail now includes 'Pakad' for many ragas
- Amazing Ragas Database has now over 2300 songs!!
Corrected Issues: Minor bug fixes related to navigation
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Amazing Ragas v1.3
Platform: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
Release Date: Mar 15, 2015
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Improved Navigation with sliding panel menu on the right
- Additional Categorization of Ragas - by Performers, by Composers available via the sliding panel menu
Corrected Issues: Minor bug fixes observed during Ragas/Songs refresh
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Amazing Ragas v1.2
Platform: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Improved Raga and Song Search performance
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.1
Platform: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
Release Date: Jul 30, 2014
Release Type: Minor
New Capabilities:
- Improved Navigation
- Enhanced Ragas/Songs refresh screen to show update history
Corrected Issues: None
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Amazing Ragas v1.0
Platform: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
Release Date: Jul 09, 2014
Release Type: Major
New Capabilities: First Release
Corrected Issues: First Release
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