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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The difference is that a raga is improvised, Glass's music is not.
▪ When the raga ended there was a silence.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1788, from Sanskrit raga-s "harmony, melody, mode in music," literally "color, mood," related to rajyati "it is dyed," from PIE *reg- (3) "to dye" (cognates: Greek rhegos "blanket, rug").


n. 1 The melodic mode used in Indian classical music. 2 Passion, love, lust; in Buddhist mythology, a daughter of the demon Mara that personifies these qualities.


A raga or raag (literally "color, hue" but also "beauty, melody"; also spelled raaga, ragam; pronounced rāga, or rāgam or "raag") is one of the melodic modes used in traditional South Asian music genres such as Indian classical music and qawwali.

A raga uses a series of five to nine musical notes upon which a melody is constructed. However, the way the notes are approached and rendered in musical phrases and the mood they convey are more important in defining a raga than the notes themselves. In the Indian musical tradition, rāgas are associated with different times of the day, or with seasons. Indian classical music is always set in a rāga. Non-classical music such as popular Indian film songs and ghazals sometimes use rāgas in their compositions.

Joep Bor of the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music defined Raga as "tonal framework for composition and improvisation." Nazir Jairazbhoy, chairman of UCLA's department of ethnomusicology, characterized ragas as separated by scale, line of ascent and descent, transilience, emphasized notes and register, and intonation and ornaments. Pandit Jasraj describes the meaning of Raga as "love".

Raga (film)

Raga is a 1971 documentary film about the life and music of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, produced and directed by Howard Worth. It includes scenes featuring Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison, as well as footage of Shankar returning to Maihar in central India, where as a young man he trained under the mentorship of Allauddin Khan. The film also features a portion of Shankar and tabla player Alla Rakha's acclaimed performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

The majority of the documentary was shot in the late 1960s, during a period when Shankar's growing popularity saw Indian classical music embraced by rock and pop musicians and their audiences. Financial problems then delayed production until Harrison provided assistance through the Beatles' company Apple Films. In addition to actively promoting Raga, Harrison produced the soundtrack album – a project that led directly to he and Shankar staging the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971.

The film's working title was alternately East Meets West and Messenger Out of the East. In 2010, to coincide with celebrations for Shankar's 90th birthday, East Meets West Music released a fully remastered version on DVD, titled Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India. The expanded soundtrack album was also made available, via digital download.

Raga (disambiguation)

Raga (or raaga, raag, ragam) refers to musical modes used in Indian classical music

Raga may also refer to:

  • Rāga, term in Sanskrit meaning passion, love<!--


  • Raga (Buddhism), a term translated as "attachment", "passion", or "desire", producing frustration
  • In Buddhist mythology, a daughter of Mara (demon)
  • Raga language, a Vanuatu language
Raga (Buddhism)

Raga (Sanskrit, also rāga; Pali lobha; Tibetan: '' 'dod chags'') is a Buddhist concept of character affliction or poison referring to any form of "greed, sensuality, lust, desire" or "attachment to a sensory object". Raga (lobha) is identified in the following contexts within the Buddhist teachings:

  • One of the three poisons within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
  • One of the three unwholesome roots within the Theravada Buddhist tradition
  • One of the six root kleshas within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings
  • One of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings

Usage examples of "raga".

Ali Akbar Khan was performing an evening raga, a sad liquid joy spilling from the strings of his sarod, and I thought of a blind Bengali walking a tightrope over nothing.

Atomium sphere -- not surprising, there must be thirty people milling around up here, not counting the waitrons -- and several local multicast channels are playing a variety of styles of music to synchronize the mood swings of the revelers to hardcore techno, waltz, raga.

With Berry no longer hammering away, the computer reached into its memory and filled in the gap with a standard contrapuntal theme that would go with the raga.

As I had nothing particular to do, I went to a French bookseller in whose shop I made the acquaintance of a witty hunchback, and I must say that a hunchback without wit is a raga avis.