Raga Dhani – An afternoon introspection

Raga Dhani is a rather uncommon afternoon raga and is not very common on the sarod, although it’s structure lends itself very well to the instrument. Some experts believe it can be played any time of the day and night. I tend to favour the afternoon time cycle.

Dhani is an amalgam of Malkauns and Bhimpalasi – if not careful, the identity of the raga is masked by either of these major ragas – so it’s a very delicate balance.

There are two schools of thought on Dhani- the common one sees it as a Bhimpalasi flavoured raga, the other sees it as a Malkauns anchored scale.

Raga Dhani

Thaat: Kafi

Aaroh (Ascent): Sa g M P n S

Avroh (Descent): S n P M g (R) S

The Re in the descent is sparingly used.

I think of Dhani as a “pukar” raga (plaintive calls)-  this is where the Malkauns comes in.  In particular, the ascent to the M has to be deliberate in my opinion.

Since I did not get much material on Dhani, I had to “roll my own”. Most of the established material was too similar to Bhimpalasi – whereas I lean towards Malkauns.

First,  vilambit teental (point of emphasis is ga)


Secondly, a Rupak composition (point of emphasis shifted to Ma – ala Malkauns)


Lastly a drut teentaal (point of emphasis remains on Ma)

Notations are here in PDF format
As always, all omissions and errors are mine, and this is a one take recording on Mr Zoom H2 in my music room.