The actual state of the raga in Hindustani music through examined data from discographies and written materials from the 1950s till today

.......This paper was written as my personal refference in 2012. As I think there must be those who are interested in this matter among the English readers, I put it on my website on Dec 29, 2013.

1. Introduction

One purpose of this report is to analogize the general state of the raga in Hindustani music through surveying discographies and books. What I tried to figure out is the numbers of ragas, what type of ragas have been performed due to preference, and whether the ragas performed by instrumentalists are different from the ones performed by vocalists, and so on.
A Raga is the basic system of melody creation in Indian music. In general it is explained as a scale, a scale type, or a melody type. However, a raga cannot simply be displayed in steps of a series of notes.  On his" An Introduction to INDIAN MUSIC," B.V. Deva noted as follows: "A raga, then, may be defined broadly as a melodic scheme, characterized by a definite scale or notes, order of sequences of these notes, melodic phrases and tonal graces…. There are certain rules accepted traditionally which insist on certain ways of melodic ascent and descent." Ascending and descending notes are not always in the same arrangement of notes. Some scales are in straight row and some are in a winding order. Also, there are main (vadi) and sub (samvadi) notes which form a raga's character. So to understand the general character of raga we also need to understand the elements on which ragas are constructed.
The scale structure and classification of raga has been interpreted by many musicologists and performers thus far. However most of them have not confirmed the actual number of ragas in existence or their comprehensive classification.
 There are old ragas listed in books which only the names are known. With a slight change in the notes used, new ragas are named. Some ragas were created by performers on the spot and played only once. Sometimes the same raga name is interpreted different ways by the different schools or performers. Sometimes ragas having the same scale structure are given different names and vice versa, where there may be ragas of the same name having different scale structures. In this manner, the names and structure of the raga are different according to the time, place and the occasion. That may be the reason why it is difficult to establish a standard and unified list for the raga.
So is there any way of guessing a state of raga in some way? What I tried through this paper is statistically to survey and analyze discographies and books published from the 1950s to today. As discographies usually give the name of raga, tala and performer, they are useful materials.
I also made a list of ragas of which the musical scale structure is known to some extent. In addition, I tried to classify ragas according to the time association, jati(classification by numbers of notes), main (vadi) and sub (samvadi) notes.