Raga Hindol - Song of the Dawn

Posted on 12 July, 20213 min read

There are many systems of Raga classifcation in Indian Classical Music, notably, Raga - Ragini, Melakarta, Janaka - Janya and Thaat. These different systems enable a musician to understand the melodic structure of a Raga based on its heritage and association with other Ragas. In addition to these relationships, each Raga also has its unique identity which is formalised according to its Lakshanas and Lakshyas.

Raga Hindol is one of the principal Ragas in the Raga-Ragini system. This system groups Ragas as masculine (Raga) and their feminine counterparts (Ragini). It is one of the oldest systems of classification, and it has some variations. In the version I am familiar with, the following six Ragas are regarded as the principal Ragas: Bhairav, Hindol, Shree, Megh, Deepak and Malkauns. There is also a symbolic association here to Indian deities. Specifically, some say that the first 5 Ragas came from Lord Shiva, and the sixth, Raga Malkauns, from Goddess Parvati.

Raga Hindol is one of the few morning Ragas which uses Tivra Madhyam (Augmented Fourth). Generally, Tivra Madhyam Ragas are late afternoon or early evening Ragas as per the Prahar (time of day) system in Indian classical music.

Let us now look at the scale of the Raga (refer to the Program Notes below for the notation).

Scale - Sa Ga Ma Dha Ni

As you can see, it is a Pancham Varjit (Fifth is dropped), Audava (Pentatonic) Raga. In terms of Lakshana, Ga is considered the anchor note for graha, amsa and nyasa. There is symmetry in the phrases/intervals Ma-Dha and Dha-Sa. Ni is used as a Hrasva (short note).

In keeping with the spirit of this Raga, we did the recording early morning. As the music progresses, you can hear the chirps of the early dawn birds! Enjoy the Music!

Program Notes

Raga Alapana in Hindol

Raga Alapana is an improvisation and a systematic presentation of a Raga. This part has no rhythmic accompaniment. Usually, it has three parts - Alap, Jod and Jhala. This format is also known as Ragam and Tanam.

Here are some notes about the Raga.

Raga - Hindol

Scale - Sa Ga Ma Dha Ni

Family - Kalyani

Melakarta - Mechakalyani (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni)

Prahar - All prahars during monsoon or 1st and 2nd prahar (equivalent to 3 AM - 9 AM)

Reading the scale

In Indian Classical Music, the seven notes in an octave are called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni and then Sa comes again. Notes with a capitalised first letter are called Tivra (or sharp) notes. E.g., Re above. Notes written fully in lower case are called Komal (or flat) notes. This Scale does not use any Komal notes. Sa and Pa are always written with a capitalized first letter.


In Indian Classical Music, Ragas are classified into Prahars (time periods of a day or night) which are said to represent the most appropriate time to perform the Raga.



Chandraveena - S Balachander


Sadharani Music Works - https://www.sadharani.com

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