Elements of Raga: Introduction and Concept of Raga and Its Definition (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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  • In Indian culture, music discovers articulation through tradition just as society streams. The premise of all old-style music is accepted to be people music, which appears as old-style music after being limited by specific principles. The convention of Hindustani traditional music in India has large amounts of different styles just as structures. The fundamental melodic structure that characterizes them is called ‘Raga’ .
  • The ideas of Raga and Tala offer articulation to the fundamental parts of music, that is tune and cadence individually. On the off chance that Tala frames the musical establishment upon which an organization is built up, at that point Raga is the center of the creation՚s melodic setup and its elaboration crossing various structures and styles of Hindustani old-style music. The old-style character of Hindustani music is exemplified thanks to Raga in that it clings to severe principles, which are not seen in different surges of music.

Concept of Raga and Its Definition

Concept of Raga and Its Definition
  • Indian traditional music is essentially melodic, and Raga is its core. The word ‘Raga’ is equivalent to Indian old-style music. The idea of Raga is just about 2000 a long time old. The word ‘Raga’ is gotten from the Sanskrit root ‘Ranj’ (to shading, to give please) . Etymologically it has been characterized as ‘Ranjayati iti Ragah’ i.e.. That which gives stylish joy is called Raga. The Raga can be characterized as a melodic structure of melodic notes having explicit character and is represented by specific standards. Raga in its actual sense was referenced first in Brhaddeshi (about eighth century A. D.) , a composition composed by Matanga. The Raga has experienced numerous progressions through the ages however its key attributes have never been questioned. The preeminent necessity of a Raga is to give tasteful enjoyment to the audience՚s psyche.
  • The Raga isn՚t just a melodic scale, yet it is a trademark game plan of notes; its maximum capacity and multifaceted nature can be acknowledged uniquely in its work. Despite the fact that an artist has extensive measure of opportunity while delivering a Raga, one needs to adhere to its essential standards and qualities. These attributes of the Raga have been passed on by extraordinary musicologists of India and are as yet being trailed by the professionals of Indian traditional music.

These are as per the following:

  • Ragas are gotten from Thatas
  • Raga must not exclude Shadja (Sa)
  • In a Raga, Madhyam and Pancham ought to never be discarded together
  • Raga ought to have a particular arrangement of rising and plunging notes
  • Raga ought to have Vadi, Samvadi and Anuvadi Svaras
  • Raga ought to have at any rate five notes (a couple of notes can be discarded)
  • In Hindustani music framework, the Ragas are allocated to various hours of the day and various seasons.

Elements of Raga


  • There are seven Shuddha (unadulterated notes) and five Vikrit Svaras (altered notes) in a Saptak. A lot of seven picked notes out of these twelve notes (seven unadulterated and five altered notes) frames a Thata. At the end of the day, a Thata is a melodic scale with the seven notes orchestrated in their request for climb (aroha) . This is, in any case, just the skeletal melodic structure and isn՚t intended to be sung. Thata inevitably offers an ascend to the Ragas.
  • As indicated by Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860 - 1936) , the well-known musicologist, there are ten Thatas, viz - Bilawal, Kalyan, Bhairav, Poorvi, Tod, Kafi, Asavari, Khamaj and Marwai.

Raga Jati

There are three sorts of Jatis as per the quantity of notes utilized in a Raga:

  • Sampurna - A Raga having seven notes in the Aroha and Avaroha is called Sampurna.
  • Shadav - A Raga having six notes in Aroha and Avaroha is called Shadav.
  • Audav - A Raga having five notes in Aroha and Avaroha Audav.

These primary Jatis when permuted and joined offer ascent to six additional Jatis as follows:

  • Sampurna - Shadav - A Raga having seven notes in Aroha and six notes in Avaroha is called Sampurna - Shadav.
  • Sampurna - Audav - A Raga having seven notes in Aroha and five notes in Avaroha is called Sampurna - Audav.
  • Shadav - Sampurna - A Raga having six notes in Aroha and seven notes in Avaroha is called Shadav - Sampurna.
  • Shadav - Audav - A Raga having six notes in Aroha and five notes in Avaroha is called Shadav - Audav.
  • Audav - Sampurna - A Raga having five notes in Aroha and seven notes in
  • Avaroha is called Audav - Sampurna.
  • Audav - Shadav - A Raga having five notes in Aroha and six notes in Avaroha is called Audav - Shadav.

Aroha of Raga Alhaiya BilawalSa Re Ga Pa Dha Ni Sa It is clear from the above succession of notes that in the Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, Mama is discarded or varjit in the Aroha. Avaroha of Raga Alhaiya BilawalSa Ni Dha Pa Dha Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Ma Re Sa The above arrangement of notes shows the plunging request of the Raga Alhaiya Bilawal.


A particular succession of notes, that is exceptional to each Raga, is known as the ′ Pakad ′ by which an audience immediately perceives the Raga. It tends to be interpreted as ′ get express ′ s in English. For instance, Pakad of Raga Yaman - Ni Re Ga Re Sa, Pa Ma Ga Re Sa.

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