Indian Classical Music Theory

Indian Classical Music Theory

The Indian classical music is very old and its roots can be found in Vedic literature. by the passage of time the Indian Music has been undergoing changes due to the influence of the western music and some of the folk musics of other civilizations. Perhaps now a days it is hard to find it in its purest form..Most of the people may not know the revolutionary changes it has undergone. It was in its purest form in the 13th century as can be determined from the sanskrit text Sangita-Ratnakara. The actual Indian classical music was regarded as full time involvement . It was taught by the Ustad (Masters of music) to the students who could serve the masters in different form such as their obedience and respect. At that time there was no technology that could pass on the information about the formations of different raags, their time and the ways to perform it. Therefore they had no other option but to serve the master to get the knowledge of Hindustani music and the Carnatic music traditions. The Indian classical music has two basic foundations or pillars, the first known as raga (the raag or the melody of the lyrics) and tala (known as rythm). without these two elements the Indian classical music can not exist. but our classical music also has the influence of neighboring countries such as Iran, Eqypt and even Arab. Many styles are being fabricated while keep the basic demand of the raag. It has made the indian classical music more rich by improvising it with different traditional styles of different civilizations. In recent compositions the music directors love to mix western with classical indian music to make it more relaxing and entertaining for the public. These changes had to be brought to keep the classical music alive. No one has the time to listen to the classical music for hours and hours as it used to be in the ancient times.


The Indian music has multiple varieties of classical music, ranging from folk music of different provinces, Indian rock music, Indian pop music and the film music. In fact now a days the film music directors are making efforts to make the melodies as simple as possible, so that every person can sing it. They need to do it to make the melodies popular among all classes of people, from the richest businessmen to the poorest laborers who work in the field the whole day. But not to forget that the melody is certainly based on some raags which orginates from the classical music. The music in the Indian sub-continent began as integral part of social-religious life and till date its shades are prevailing all over the world because the lovers of music are to be found in each corner of the world. The western music specially the rhythm(beats) are used abundantly with the base guitars to enhance the real beauty of melody. In many case, specially in old film music during 70 and 80 era there are numerous examples of such blending. The common people seem to enjoy such music more. The reason being that it becomes more familiar to people from others countries as well.

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Indian Music Theory:

Indian music is more than just the Bollywood movies sounds that have become so famous in the last 10 or 20 years and it is more than the uncomfortable stabs that many UK rock musicians made at it in the 1960. Indian music is a tradition that interlocks with Indian history and culture. It is a vibrant and rich medium and remains even in 2016 largely outside the keen of the typical latest westerner. Across the dominant centuries it has evolved into a complex system based on melody and rhythm.
Melody is perhaps the most important part of Indian music. A system of sweet ideas known as Raga drives melodic compositions. Each Raga can be thought of as a character with its own personality.
The raga became an integration part of spiritual practice and Indian culture. There were set of rags that were to be played at different times of the day and also unique ones for ceremonies. Further, they were generally used in prayer and meditation, sometime as chant. A lot of the time these scales were sun vocally, but they are played on a range of instruments as well.

The Octave comprises 22 equal divisions known as Sruti. These may be gathered and re-grouped into 12 Swara which may be similar in the ways they move to the 12 semitones of European scales. Like those of European scales too, 7 are regarded as being primary while the other 5 the “sharps” and “flats” of the 7 primary Swaras. The 7 primary Swara are illustrated in Hindi script.
In the 1800, Chaturpandit Vishnu Narayan managed to make system called as the “That” to classify all the ragas. Unluckily, as useful as this system was, it still failed to account for many of the ragas. It is anyway the initial system in use today. There are also 2 other ways to classify rags.
In South India, the word for musical scale is mela. The Southern and Northern Indian music largely differs from each other in sound and in tools but may share the same scales. The application of these scales in terms of Indian music in common goes beyond this scope of this site but if you want to incorporate some of the wonderful sounds of these scales into your music then that is probably the remarkable usage for them.
Indian music is like Western music in many ways and extremely unlike it in many others. If you don’t have a background in music or need a refresher on Indian music theory, there are several best classics to ground you in music appreciation and music theory.

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Raag Sarparda Indian Music Theory

Raag Sarparda Indian Music Theory

The sweet melodies of Indian Musical Composition based on various Raags have always impressed and attracted the music lovers all over the world.In recent years many foreign students have traveled to Indian Sub-Continent to learn the semi classical and light music. The vast canvas of Indian music provides every shade and mood of musical requirement for all races and nations of the world that is why Indian music is heard and appreciated throughout the universe.

Raag Sarparada indian music theory

Today we shall learn about Raag Sarparda.

Raag Sarparada:

This raag is the Sumpuran (seven notes) raag of Bilawal Thaat. This raag has been accepted as a form of Bilawal.

The time to sing this raag is the first part of the day. According to some pandits Ga is the wadi note of this raag whereas some believe that Dha should be the wadi note.Sa and Pa are the Sumwadi note of this Raag which means that both notes can be used equally as sumwadi.

In Amrohi of this raag the tone of Bilawal must be revealed. The shape of Raag Bihag is also promised at some stage.

According to some pandits this raag has been formed with the combination of Raag Aieman, Aliya and Goond.

This raag has been invented by the Muslim singers(performers).

Arohi of Raag Sarparda:

Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Dha-Pa-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper octave)

Amrohi of Raag Sarparda:

Sa(upper octave)-Ne-Dha-Pa-Ne-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Ma-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa

Chaal of Raag Sarparda:



Ne-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper octaves)-Ne-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper note).Ne-Dha-Pa-Ma-Pa-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper octave)-Ne-Dha-Pa-Ma-Ga-Ga-Ma-Dha-Dha-Pa-Ma-Pa-Ma-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa.

Ma-Pa-Ne-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper octave)-Ne-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Ne-Dha-Pa-Ma-Pa-Ne-Sa(upper octave)-Sa(upper octave)-Re(upper octave)-Ma-Pa-Ne-Dha-Ne-Dha-Ne-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa.

Ma-Pa-Ne-Dha-Ne-Sa(upper octave)-Ne-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Ne-Dha-Pa-Ma-Pa-Ma-Pa-Ne-Dha-Pa-Ma-Ga-Re-Sa.

Relevant Indian Ragas posts

Raag Alhaiya Bilawal-Indian Music Theory

Raag Hans Dhun-Indian Music Theory

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indian ragas, indian music theory, music theory, Raag Sarparda

Indian Music Theory-Raag Heem Indian Ragas

Indian Music Theory-Raag Heem Indian Ragas

Indian Music Theory-Raag Heem

It is said that music is the food of soul. There is no doubt about it. You must have seen that even the animals and birds enjoy music and dance on the rythm of its melody.
Music is one of the most healthy and populer hobby for all ages. It is worth metioning that all countries of the world have their own cutural values which they express through their folk songs. So we can say music is a strong medium to let other countries know about your culture.

Today we shall learn about raag Heem.

Raag Heem:

This is an awdo raag of Bilawal Thaat. The time to sing Raag Heem is in the evening.

The wadi Sur(note) of Raag Heem is Sa whereas the Sumwadi note is Pa. In Arohi of this raag Dha and Nee are right (not allowed) whereas In Amrohi Ne and Ga are virgit.

This raag is mostly played and sung in lower and middle octaves. According to some pandits the Raag has been made with the combination of Kalyan and Kamad.

Arohi of Raag Heem:


Amrohi of Raag Heem:

Sa(Upper octave)-Dha-Pa-Ga-Ha-Pa-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa

Chaal of Raag Heem

Pa (lower octave)-Dha(lower octave)-Pa(lower octave)-Sa-Sa-Sa-Re-Sa-Ga-Re-Sa(upper octave)-Ga-Ma-Pa-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa-Sa-Re-Sa-Ga-Ma-Pa-Dha-Pa-sa-Dha-Pa-Ga-Ma-Pa-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa-Dha-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Dha-Pa-Sa-Re-Sa-Pa-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa.


Sa- Sa-Re-Sa-Re-RE-Pa-Dha-Pa-Ma-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa-Ga-Ma-Pa-Ga-Ma-Re-Sa.


Relevant Raag posts

Raag Alhaiya Bilawal-Indian Music Theory

Raag Hans Dhun-Indian Music Theory

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indian ragas, indian music theory, music theory, Raag Heem

Raag Alhaiya Bilawal-Indian Music Theory

Raag Alhaiya Bilawal-Indian Music Theory

raag alhaiya bilawal indian music theory

This raag is the khado -sampuran raag of Bilawal thaat. Ma is not allowed in Arohi whereas Amrohi is sampuran but Ga is not played in sequence in this raag.

Dha is wadi and ga is sumwadi note of this raag. Time to sing this raag is morning.


sa-re-sa-ga-re-ga-pa-dha-ne-dha-high octave sa


high octave sa-ne-dha-pa-dha-ne-dha-pa-ga-ma-pa-ma-ga-re-high octave sa

Chaal of Alhaiya Bilawal:

pa-ne-dha-ne-high octave sa-dha-ne-dha-pa-ma-ga-ma-re-ga-ma-pa-ma-ga-re-sa

Ne (low octave)-sa-ga-ma-re-ga-pa-ne-dha-pa-ga-ma-pa-re-ne-dha-high octave sa-ne-dha-ne-dha-pa-ga-ma-re-ne-sa-ma-pa-ne-high octave sa re-ne-high octave sa-ne-dha-pa-ne-dha-ne-high octave sa ga ma re sa-re-ne-high octave sa-dha-high octave ne-dha-pa-dha-pa-ma-ga-ma-re-sa

high octave sa-dha-pa-dha-ne-pa-ma-ga-re-ga-pa-ne-high octave sa re sa-ne-dha-pa-ma-ga-re-sa

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Raag Hans Dhun-Indian Music Theory

Raag Hans Dhun-Indian music theory

Raag hans dhun is the Awodo Raag of Bilawal thaat. Ma and Dha are not allowed in this raag.

raag hans dhun indian music theory

Some pandits believe that it’s wadi note is Sa whereas some believe that Ga should be the wadi note of this raag.

Time to sing this raag is the first part of night. Nothing much has been written about this raag in Music Theory Books but this raag is still sung in Dhakan and Even today the Madrasi community sings this raag.

Arohi of raag Hans Dhun

Sa-re-ga-pa-ne-high octave sa


high octave sa-ne-pa-ga-re-sa

Chaal of raag hans Dhun:

sa-re-ga-sa-ga-pa-ga-re-ga-pa-ga-re-ga-pa-nepa-ga-pa-ga-re-ne (low octave)


ga-pa-ne-pa-ne-ne-high octave sa re sa-ne-high octave re sa- ne-pa-ne-pa-ga-re-ga-re-ne-pa-ga-re-high octave sa

pa-ne-pa-ga-pa-ne-high octave sa-re-high octave ga re sa -ne-high octave re sa -ne-pa-ne-pa-ga-re-ga-re-ne-pa-ga-re-high octave sa

pa-ne-pa-ga-pa-ne-high octave sa-re-ga-high octave re sa-ne-pa-ne-
high octave re sa-ne-ga-re-pa-ne-ne-high octave ga re-ne-high octave re sa sa re sa-re-high octave ga re sa-ne-pa-ne-high octave re-sa-ne

high octave sa sa re sa-ne-pa-ne-high octave sa-ne-pa-ga-pa-ga-re-pa-pa-sa-re-ga-re-ga-sa

low octave ne-re-ga-pa-ne-high octave re sa sa -ne-pa-ga-pa-ne-high octave re sa -ne-pa-ga-pa-ga-re-ne

Compositions in this raag are unique and different from other famous raags. In my opinion the music composers must use this raag very often to make it more popular and acquainted among the music lovers all around the world. I am sure the readers of this article and the previous ones will be getting benefited.

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Raag Jaldhar Kedara-Indian Music Theory

Raag Jaldhar Kedara-Indian Music Theory

raag jaldhar kedara indian music theory

Raag Jaldhar Kedara is the Khado (six notes) raag of Bilawal thaat. Ga is not allowed in this raag. This raag is the combination of Jaldhar and Kedara. Black Ma is not allowed in this raag. It’s wadi note is pa and re is the sumwadi note. Point to be noted is that in Kedara Re is weak in purwang whereas Ne and Dha are weak in Utarwang. In Kedara these notes are not weak at all.


sa-re-sa-ma-re-ma-ma-pa-ne-dha-ne-dha-high octave sa


high octave Sa-ne-dha-pa-ma-ma-dha-pa-ma-re-sa

Chaal of Raag Jaldhar Kedara:

ma-ma-pa-dha-pa-ma-re-sa-sa-re-sa-ma-re-ma-ma-pa-dha-pa-ma-ne-dha-pa-ma-ma-re-sa-re-sa-sa-ma-ma-re-sa-ma-re-sa-ma-pa-dha-pa-ma-pa-ne-dha-high octave sa-ne-dha-pa-ma-dha-pa-ma-dha-pa-ma-high octave sa-ne-dha-pa-dha-pa-ma-re-sa

ma-ma-pa-high octave sa-ne-dha-ne-dha-pa-ma-pa-high octave sa re sa-ne-dha-pa-dha-pa-ma-dha-pa-ma-re-sa

pa-dha-pa-ne-dha- high octave sa re sa ma ma re sa-ne-dha-ne-dha-pa-pa-dha-pa-ma-re-ma-re-sa

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Raag Dhurpat Nut Bilawali-Indian Music theory

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raag kedara, raag kedar notes, raag kedar notation, indian music theory, music theory

Raag Durga notes and notation-Indian music theory

Raag Durga notes and notation-Indian music theory

Raag Durga is the Awodo (5 notes) raag of Bilawal thaat. Ga and Ne are not allowed in this raag.

raag durga notes indian music theory

Ma is the wadi note of this raag. It resembles a little bit with Sud Malar. Time to sing this raag according to pandits is afternoon.

Due to the absence of Ga, it resembles Suratt but remember Re and Dha are not played in the Arohi of Suratt, whereas these are played in this raag. Beside this Ne is present in Suratt but it is not allowed in this raag, this factor separates raag Durga from Suratt.

The harmony of Re and Pa makes it sound like Malar. The formation of Raag remain intact by using Ma frequently and the listeners enjoy it.

Because Ne is not present in this raag therefore it is separated from Sarang as well.

Chaal of raag durga:


sa-dha-sa-re-pa-dha-ma-pa-ma-pa-high octave dha -ma-re-sa-sa-re-sa

pa-ma-re-sa-dha-dha-ma-re-pa-dha-ma-re-pa-ma-sa-re-sa-sa-dha-sa-ma-pa-dha-pa-ma-high octave sa-dha-ma-re-pa-dha-ma-pa-ma-re-dha-ma-re-sa-pa-ma-pa-dha-ma

ma-ma-pa-high octave sa-re-high octave ma re sa – pa-dha-ma-ma-pa- high octave sa re re -dha- high octave sa re re-dha- high octave sa-ma-pa-high octave sa – ma-pa high octave sa-pa-dha-dha-ma-pa-ma-pa-dha-ma-re-ma-sa-re-ma-sa-re-sa

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Raag Dhurpat Nut Bilawali-Indian Music theory

Raag Dhurpat Nut Bilawali & Maloha-Indian Music theory

raag maloha

Raag Dhurpat Nut Bilawali originates from Bilawal thaat. Ma is the wadi note of this raag.

In purwang it resembles raag nut and a bit of raag gond.

In Amrohi it resembles Bilawal. It is very important to keep on stressing on Ma, because it resembles Bilawal therefore it becomes important to keep on revealing Ma over and over again.

The harmony of Re and Dha leaves pleasant music effect to the listeners.

Time to sing raag dhurpat nut bilawal is first part of the noon.

Arohi of this raag is as follows:

sa-sa-ga-ma-ga-ma-pa-ma-dha-ne-high octave sa


high octave Sa-Ne-dha-ne-pa-ma-ga-ma-re-sa

Chaal of Nut Bilawali:


indian music theory raga nut bilawali



Raag Maloha:

Raag maloha is the khado-Sampuran raag of Bilawal thaat. In Arohi of this raag dha is not allowed whereas the Amrohi of this raag is sumpuran in fact this raag has been made with the combination of raag Kamod and raag Kidara. The time to sing this raag is the first part of the night. It has been mentioned in the previous articles that stress remains on Sa-Ma- and Pa in Kidara but in Maloha not much stress is given to these notes.

when it is sung in middle octave with fast rhythm it feels great to the listeners.

In this raag sa is wadi note and pa is sumwadi note. If this raag is sung with the harmony of Ne and Sa it separates this raag from Kidara.


(low octave ma-pa-ne)


(high octave pa-ne-sa)


(high octave sa)-ne-dha-pa-ma-ga-ma-re-sa

Chaal of Maloha:

Sa-(low octave ne-dha-pa-ma) – pa- (low octave ne)-sa-sa-re-(low octave ne)-(high octave sa)-(low octave pa-ne)-sa-ga-ma-re-sa-ga-ma-pa-ma-ga-ma-re-sa-re-ne-sa-ga-ma-dha-pa-ga-ma-re-re-sa

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indian music theory raga

Raag Shukla Bilawal-Indian Music Theory

Raag Shukla Bilawal-Indian Music Theory:

raag shukla bilawal indian music theory

Raag Shukla Bilawal is the sumpuran raag of bilawal thaat, this is also known as one of the kinds of raag Bilawal.

Time to sing this raag is in the morning. In this raag wadi sur (note) is Ma and Sumwadi note is Sa.

In Arohi of this raag, Re is weak or we can say it is less used. Because this is the raag of utarwang therefore Amrohi notes provide more soothing musical effects to the ears of the listeners. The harmony of Dha and Ma feels great. So we can say special Taan is originated by the combination of these two notes.

The style of this raag is vikar which means it is not played in sequence therefore at certain point it resembles Gorsarang. Some performers also use komal (flat B) Ne which looks marvellous. Remember this note is to be used as Dev Gadi i.e. note is not allowed in the raag.

Raag Shukla Bilawa 3

Arohi of Shukla Bilawal:

Sa-ga-ma-ma-pa-pa-dha-pa-dha-ne-sa (high octave)

Amrohi of Shukla Bilawal:

Sa (high octave)-ne-dha-pa-dha-ne-dha-pa-ma-ga-re-ma-re-sa (high octave)

Chaal of Shukla Bilawal:


Ne (low octave)-sa-ga-ma-re-pa-dha-ma-ma-pa-Dha (high octave)-ne-dha-pa-ma-ma-re-pa-dha-ma-ga-re-sa

sa-ga-ma-pa-ne-(high octave) sa-re-sa-sa,

Ma-ga-ma-ne-dha-pa-ma-pa-ma-ma-ga-re-sa-ga-re-sa-ga-ma-ma-ga-ma-pa-ne-high octave sa-re-sa, ne-dha-pa-ma-ma-pa-ga-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ne-dha-pa-dha-ma-ma-ga-re-pa-re-ga-re-sa

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Raag Dev Gadi in terms of Indian Music Theory

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Raag Shukla Bilawal 2