In Indian music, a series of five or more notes upon which a melody is based; a particular melody. Ragas evoke particular moods in the listener and are often performed to resonate with a season or time of day.
The raga is an Indian scale which utilises varying ascending and descending patterns – certain notes on the way up and certain notes on the way down – but always in the set sequence. The raga never has less than five notes – the minimum required for a tune.
A word whose roots are derived from the Sanskrit term ranj which stands for "that which affects or colours the mind". A dynamic musical entity whose association with a particular mood, a season or a time of the day is as important as its melodic structure. The raga can be considered a melodic framework suitable for composition and improvisation. Made up of a fixed scale, each raga has a certain number of identifiable characteristics such as the order of appearance and the hierarchical ranking between its intervals, the magnitude and duration of each note and even the exact technique sometimes needed for its appearance.
The basic arrangement of the traditionally accepted thirteen notes in the musical gamut. This basic framework is elaborated according to the established norms in Hindustani art music. Raga is a highly sophisticated concept which distinguishes Indian art music from other melodic systems such as Arabic and Persian.
A traditional form in Hindu music, consisting of a theme that expresses an aspect of religious feeling and sets forth a tonal system on which variations are improvised within a framework of progressions, melodic formulas and rhythmic patterns.
A scalar-melody, that is "A continuum with scale and tune as its extremes." (Powers 98) It is characterized by scale and modal prescriptions such as pitch ranking, characteristic ascent and descent patterns, motives, use of ornaments, performance time, and emotional character. (Randel 680)
A melodic structure of fixed notes or swars but which has certain characteristics pertaining to rules governing their presentation. See the website question 'what is a raga?' for more in-depth detail about a raga's characteristics.