Music: Raagam


Indian music {Raagam Music, Raga}

***** Location: India
***** Season: Non-Seasonal Topic
***** Category: Humanity



Shruthi, Raag[am] and Thaal[am], are the three major aspects of Indian Classical Music.

The Saptha Swaras [ The seven basic notes ] make the Raag[am]. But the Raaga or Raagam is not simply an ascending and descending scale of fixed notes. It has a unique Bhaavam[ Mood Expression, Life]. There are Innumerable Raagam[s].

Raag [ Hindusthani ] Raagam [ Karnaatik ]
This word can variously mean colour, design, symmetry, organization. desire, etc.

The A signifies a length in pronounciation, also written raaga. The same goes for O meaning oo and E meaning ee. This spelling is used in musical sites.

rAga and Seasons

In Hindusthani rAga scheme
There are rAgas associated with a specific Ritu [ Season] .
Eg. basant, bahar, megh etc
There are many rAgas that are Sarva Ritu [ All seasonal ]
Bilaval Darbari Kanada


Months rAga

March - April Hindol
May -June Deepak
July-August Megh
September–October Bhairav
November –December Shree
January – February Malkauns


In the KarnAtik rAga scheme rAgas are not generally classified seasonally.

rAga and Time of Day

It is generally believed and there are sufficient aesthetic reasons to believe that some rAga(s) are better sung at some time of the day that their full possibilities manifest only at those times.

“There is a logical extension to the rAga-season association in Indian music, as it also believes in a rAga–time association. Many performers follow the resulting norm assiduously and many theoreticians have passionately argued about it. In an appealing music-time correspondence the day night cycle is divided into segments and the resultant time cycle has slots allotted to definite rAgas. A raga performed out of the designated time slot is said to loose in efficacy.

Significantly all rAgas are not allotted time-slots, but each time slot is given some raga. It must be admitted that the time-rAga relationship, as envisaged in the rules, links music to many non-musical aspects of life around , and in the process enriches both” [ ~2~]

[~1~] and [~2~]
Hindustani Music by Ashok Da.Ranade
[Published by National Book Trust India.]

To read a detailed explanation of rAga
by Narayanan Raghunathan CLICK here.

Narayanan Raghunathan


Raga Bhairava, personifying the first mode of the Indian classical music.

Bhairava, howsoever terrific his form, has his softer aspects when seated under a canopy or riding his Nandin he represents such beautiful musical modes as the Raga Bhairava, or Raga Kedara.

Qoute from : The Forms of Shiva

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


breathing malkauns
Kumar Gandharva tapers
into endless silences

Name of a traditional Hindusthaani Raag. More of a night Raag. This Raag has similarity to Karnaatik Raagam Hindolam. But essentially they are rendered in entirely different ways. Malkauns is sung in both Dhrupad and Khayaal Styles.

Pandit Kumar Gandharva
The legendary Hindusthani musician. A child prodigy. Original brilliant versatile maestro. A Musician's musician yet every body's musician. His Nirguni Bhajans and innovations adapting various folk melodies to create new Raags must be specially mentioned.


Tadejati tannaijeti taddoore tadwantike
tadantrasya sarvasya tadu sarvasyaasya baahyata:


It Moves~It Moves Not ~
It Is Far very Far ~ It Is Here so Near
It Is Within All yet verily

It Is Outside All too.
[ Translation Narayanan Raghunathan ]


bathing my father
I sing Bhairavi ~

birds bead silences

Bhairavi is a name of Durga, as spouse of Mahaa Kaala Bhairava [ The Glorious Lord Beyond All Worlds of Time And Space ~ A name of Lord Shiva ]

Bhairavi is a different Raaga[m] In Hindusthani and Karnaatik Padhatis (Systems). Here it is the Karnaatik Raagam Bhairavi that is referred to.

ooo ooo ooo

singing bhOpAlam now,
you will wake up
the midnight sun
and the kids

BhOpAlam is a specially dawn raga of KarnAtik music.

Narayanan Raghunathan

Related words

***** Music of India

***** . Raga Chandar Kauns - CHANDRAKAUNS .



Gabi Greve said...

Ragamalas (garlands of melodies) are cycles of paintings accompanied with poetry which illustrates the musical modes.

Read more about Indian paintings of Plants.


Ragamala painting: Gauri ragini



Gabi Greve said...

yellow violas
raaga basant on flute
a pink butterfly

Narayanan Raghunathan