Raga – Indian Classical Music

The Indian Raga is probably the worlds most complex melodic system. A Raga is not a scale as we know it, it is a combination of a scale and very defined rules on how to use the pitches in that scale. This makes a Raga more of a composition than just a scale, or at least something in between.

The most commonly associated instrument is the Sitar and the worlds most famous Sitar player was Rahvi Shankar (the father of Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones) who died in 2012.


The Raga is such an old, complex and intricate form of music that it is impossible for us to even try to make a proper Raga preset in Gestrument. What we could do is make a very simplistic version where you at least can get somewhere in the neighbourhood of a Raga. The scales in Indian classical music doesn’t fit very well in our twelve tone system, not even with the quarter tones we have included in Gestrument, but we tried to base our scale on a Raga called ”Bhairavi”.

The basic gesture you should use in our ”Raga Bhairavi” preset is to start in the upper right corner and do a fast inverted L to end at the lower left corner. This movement gives you the typical opening phrase of a Raga and presents the scale it is set in. Then you can rest in the lower left corner and make small excursions onto the rest of the playing field.


To delve deeper into the fascinating world of Raga please visit these sites with lots of information and examples.