Raga Definition

A Raga may be defined as a specified combination, decorated with Varnas (embellishments) and graceful consonances of notes within a Thaat (mode) which has the power of evoking a unique feeling distinct from all other joys and sorrows and which possesses something of a transcendental element. This esthetic feeling was termed by ancient pandits of musical science as Rasavadhana - a state completely unrelated to desire or fulfillment of desire; a feeling which is pure, self manifested, compounded of joy and consciousness, a sort of mystic experience.

Ragas are derived from Thaats or parent modes. North Indian music recognizes 10 such modes. They are Sampooran i.e. containing seven tones in the octave, whereas a Raga may contain five, six or all the seven notes or any combination thereof. A Thaat is only a group of abstract tonal forms, but a Raga is a combination of notes having the power of generating and creating emotional values.

The Ten Thaats Of North Indian Music System

Please note that flat (komal) notes are shown with a (b) next to the note for example Re komal will be written as Re(b) and sharp (tivar) notes are written as (#) for example Ma tivar is written as Ma(#). Notes in the upper octave are written with a (u) next to them for example an Upper octave Sa will be written as Sa(u) and a lower octave Ni is written Ni(l). These conventions will be followed until we find a way to use staff notation on the Net.


  • Sa Re(b) Ga Ma Pa Dha(b) Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re Ga(b) Ma Pa Dha(b) Ni(b) Sa(u)


  • Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni(b) Sa(u)


  • Sa Re(b) Ga(b) Ma(#) Pa Dha(b) Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re Ga(b) Ma Pa Dha Ni(b) Sa(u)


  • Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re Ga Ma(#) Pa Dha Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re(b) Ga Ma(#) Pa Dha(b) Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re(b) Ga Ma(#) Pa Dha Ni Sa(u)


  • Sa Re(b) Ga(b) Ma Pa Dha(b) Ni(b) Sa(u)
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