Language of Indian Music

(Grammer of Music)



Aroha presents the ascending scale of a Raaga e.g. Sa, Re, ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, ni, +Sa.

Avroha presents the descending scale of a Raag e.g. +Sa, ni, Dha, Pa, Ma, ga, Re, Sa.

Vadi/Samvadi Swar

Vadi Swar is the central note of a Raag. All variations and improvisations root into this Swar. You hear and notice it time and again as some Raag is elaborated. It is the second major note after Sa and keeps in itself the fundamental elements of the Raag. Let me say that Vadi Swar represents the father in a family.

Samvadi Swar keeps company with the Vadi Swar. It helps to eloborate the melody rooted in Vadi Swar. It lies some 4-5 Swars away from the Vadi Swar mostly. It is the third major Swar after Sa and Vadi Swar and remains audible most next to Vadi Swar. Let me say that Samvadi Swar represents the mother in a family.

(And all other Swars could be seen as the children building a family called Raag)!


Varjit are/is the Swars/Swar which may not be used in a Raag. Some Swars may be Varjit only in Aroha yet be used in Avroha or the other way round.


Pakad is the phrase of melody belonging to a Raag. It is the very essence of a Raag containing all its elements and individuality. It is something unique and not transferable to some other Raag. Pakad should tell only through its few Swars which Raag it belongs to.


A Thaat consists of seven Swars always. The tangibility can be altered if we neglect one or two Swars during Aroha or Avroha.The number of the used Swars is defined as Jati. The number of Swars in Aroha and Avroha may differ in a Raag from another one. The pattern of this difference is called Jati. There are three Jatis in the Raagsystem:

Audav This Jati has 5 Swars
Shadav This jati has 6 Swars
Sampooran This Jati has 7 Swars

So there are nine different combinations the Raags may be classified to:

Aroha (Ascending) Avroha /Descending) Short form
Audav Audav 5/5
Audav Shadav 5/6
Audav Sampooran 5/7
Shadav Audav 6/5
Shadav Shadav 6/6
Shadav Sampooran 6/7
Sampooran Audav 7/5
Sampooran Shadav 7/6
Sampooran Sampooran 7/7


Rasa is the character of a Raag, it is the colour of its melody.It tells you what it basically means about the contents of a melody.Let us say it is the 'mood of a Raag'!

There are ten different Rasas in the indian Raagsystem:



Shingar Mundane love, romance, wishfulness, yearning, desire
Hasya Humor, mirth, cheerfulness, comic
Karuna Pathos, sadness, loneliness, sorrow, anguish of mind
Rudra Anger, power, force, potency
Veer Dignity, portliness, glory, randeur, superbness
Bhyanak Fear, awing, , fearfulness
Vibhas Hatred, rancor, odium, aversion, disinclination, reluctance
Adbhut Astonishment, surprise, admiration
Shant Peace, tranquillity, silence, serenity, calmness, comfort, composure
Bhakti Spirituel love, submission, subservientness, adoration