Lalit (raga)

Lalit is a raga in Hindustani classical music. It is commonly described as serene and devotional and is performed at dawn.[1]


The swara (notes of the Indian musical scale) of Lalit put emphasis on the minor second (Re) and minor sixth (Dha), and include natural and sharp fourth (Ma), but omit the commonly used perfect fifth (Pa).[2] Author Peter Lavezzoli stated the raga was difficult to play for Western classical musicians because of its scale.[2] Jairazbhoy argued the use of both forms of Ma was an apparent chromaticism, but that one of the Ma notes was a diminished Pa.[3] Lalit with a different scale was identified in the 16th century, and a raga Lalita existed before.[1]

Pakad - Chalan of Lalit: Re♭, Ma-Ma#-Ma Ga Ma, Ma#Ni, Sa

As can be seen from above, the raga uses both the flat and the upper Ma and that makes this raga very distinct from other ragas. Deliberate oscillation on the cusp formed between Ma-Ma# and Ni is commonly heard.

In the Gwalior tradition, and among many dhrupadiyas, Lalit is sung with a shuddh dhaivat (natural sixth,) and has a slightly different chalan (way of moving.)


  1. Bor, Joep; Rao, Suvarnalata; Van der Meer, Wim; Harvey, Jane (1999). The Raga Guide. Nimbus Records. p. 104. ISBN 0-9543976-0-6.
  2. Lavezzoli, Peter (2006). The Dawn of Indian Music in the West. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 229. ISBN 0-8264-1815-5.
  3. Jairazbhoy 1995, p. 49
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