- “Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
- The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear”
- Gawoti is a “learned” raga by which I mean that unlike many major ragas, it leaves the listener with a pleasant, fulfilled feeling, but it’s appeal isn’t very obvious. It’s like enjoying a perfume without actually knowing why it’s so nice. The secret lies in the peculiar gait of the this raga – its particular combination of notes which gives it this flavour and emotion.
The particular appeal of Gaoti to me is that it has a “happy” disposition, but there is a plaintive element to it as well. It’s almost like meeting a friend, having a great conversation but as you go to leave, your friend exhorts you to stay in a pleading manner… (the upper notes of the raga played in a particular fashion can evoke this feeling)..
I start this off with an except from a practice session exploring the raga in a quick alaap followed by a particular composition in slow 16 beat cycle (vilambit) that I like. The main reason for selecting this one is that it contrasts the happy tone of the raga with the plaintive aspect.
I’ll continue to add more material to this section over time
Gavati’s signature is S M P N S (upper) D. This signature heralds the arrival of Gaoti, and sets it apart from other ragas.
However, there are some issues. It is not practical to keep avoiding the Ga, so many a Gaoti chalan sounds like:
G M P N S D as well.
It’s up to each person to interpret it as they choose, but the G must not be overused too much.