Russ (Jun 05, 2002 05:26 p.m.): I've never asked this obvious question, but it hit my mind today (wham). What is/are the differences between the terms rag, raag, raga, ragam, and raginni? Are they interchangable synonyms or not?
Hi Russ..This is my understanding..the words rag, raag raga and ragam mean exactly the same thing..ragam, probably from sanskrit is the root of all the others..rag and raag is spelt as prounced by different parts of the world where raga is I believe a western interpretation on how it should be pronounced..we all call raag a raga..perhaps out of respect..In Hindi for instance, you could call me mahesh or maheshji as a form of respect..i could call you russ, russji or russ sahib..etc..the word ragini, perhaps belongs to the female eqvivalent of a raga..ie bharav and bharavin etc..how's that for an explanation..p.s i could be completely off tangent on this..cheers mash..p.s also ragas are normally depicted and portrayed as females in many indian minatures..hence the word ragini..food for thought..hmmmmmm!!!
Hey guys and gals, From what I have read, "raga" is used when referring to this form of music in general, i.e. "The raga we are about to hear...". Whereas, "rag" would be used in the title of a composition, i.e. "The raga we are about to hear is Rag Madhuvanti" Elsewhere, I have read that "ragini" is the feminine for beauty. I stand to be corrected. I have searched for English/Hindi (and others) dictionaries without much luck. I often times am perplexed by terms and pernunciations for many of the words I am exposed to in my study of the hindustani music. I've perused the internet and some of the book shops on Devon St. in Chicago and have found dictionaries for Gujarati, Tamil and Telegu, but not for Hindi or Sanskrit. Anyone have any ideas on this subject?
Stephen L. Bradley
Thanks guys. Mash- That is food for thought. I rather imagine the female portraying ragas in those miniatures you mention is none other than Saraswati, but I really don't know. Stephen- I've looked for an English/Hindi dictionary as well but like you no luck. Big problem is India has many different languages spoken, so that complicates things. Rag in the title of the compositions? Sometimes, but not always. I have quite a few on albums titled Raga this-or-that. But I also have a few titled Rag...
Now don't quote me but......... The 'a' on Raga is actually silent, mostly..along with a lot of other words actually like sitar(a), arohan(a), avarohan(a).....Raga is a westernized term for Raag.......... Ragini are groups of Rag(a)s........there will be a Main Raga for instance and others that come from it can be Raginis.....The Main Raag will be referred to as Male and the raginis female. Not sure about Ragam.....but if you mean Ragang then that refers to the style of the raag(a)......Thassss all ahh knows of right now......
Hi Lars..hey actually, it may sound strange b ut have you noticed that most carnatic compositions are termed as "ragams"..perhaps ragam means the same as raga in hindustani music..cheers mash..whats that song..I say tomato, you say tamato..etc..
"Alexander's ragtime band..." Or is that rag band? You realize western music has a "rag" as well. Kind of a old-time herky-jerky piano, modified into boogie-woogie in the fifties (OK, that's your music 101 lesson for the day...). Mash, my money's on your take on this at the moment. I think you hit on something there.