The Automated Transcription for Indian Music (AUTRIM) Project by NCPA and UvA


Rag Shankara has a scale based on natural notes. It has a distinct character but in terms of melodic improvisation there isn’t much scope (Thakur [Sangitanjali I-2] 1975: 31).

Tone material: S R G P D N

The ascent avoids Re and uses Dha in an oblique manner.  Ga and Ni are important notes as well as the resting notes.  Dha is also important for maintaining the image of Shankara. Most movements are in the middle and high octaves.

Some characteristic phrases:
G P N D S N – DP

Shankara has some similarity with rag Hansadvani (vide). However, unlike Shankara, the latter doesn’t include Dha. Also, in Hansadhvani Re is the most prominent note, whereas in Shankara it is quite weak. Moreover, in this rag Ga and Ni are emphasised, which is not the case in Hansadhvani.

Time: late night (Bhatkhande [KPM III] 1999: 906)

Further listening:
Recording by Abdul Karim Khan
Recording by Senior Dagar Brothers
Recording by Vilayat Khan

Performance by Uday Bhawalkar

Composition: dhrupad

वारू री नग द्रगन
को तेरे नैन पर
भव्वे कमान बान
वारू री पलकन पे

शोभा देत भाल बेन्दी
जुगनू हजार वारू
बिजरी वार डारू
हसन छलकन पे

The lady admires the incomparably beautiful countenance of her beloved. She feels immensly gratified with his charm.

Tal: Sultal

This being a rendition in dhrupad style, the alap section is fairly long, followed by a composition. Note the use of meaningless syllables such as na, num, ri, ta etc in alap.

23-40 : A characteristic phrase -N – D S N – DP
42- 51: Descending down to lower Ga
67-70: Another typical phrase – P G P, followed by  PN – D S N. This movement recurs throughout the performance
127: Ga is sustained. Note a characteristic movement G P RG RS (137-143)
156-181: Phrases emphasising middle Ga. Note the touch of Pa to sustain Ga
219-224: S /P \G, followed by sustained Pa (228-234). Note a small oscillation on Ga (227)
242-298: Movements meander around Sa, Ga and Pa
300-306: To juxtapose the middle Pa, lower Pa is reached with a typical movement – N – D S N -DP
314-318: Typical ascending- S PG P -N, followed by downward movement to Ga- N DP G
363-373 : Ni is sustained, followed by the typical movement D S N DP. Note a touch of high Re for S
375-416: Phrases emphasising middle Ni
417: High Sa is reached and sustained
462: After some movements including Ga, Pa and Ni, back to high Sa
500-509: A phrase (mohra) with a pulse, indicating the end of alap section
512: This is the beginning of a section called jod. Note the introduction of a pulse which is maintained throughout. The elaboration is similar to that in alap, spanning through all the octaves
681: Pace of rendition increases a little
699: Composition begins
742: Second line
756: Next line
771: Concluding line of the first section (sthayi)
791-940: Playing with the tempo using melodic phrases including words of the composition (layakari)
952: Second part of the composition (antara)
977: Next line
989: Following line
1002: Concluding line of the composition

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