Stephen O’Malley

2 of my favorite things

Posted: Feb 13, 2007

Morning Ragas
Sunday, 6:00am - 8:00am
The sister show to Raag Aur Taal, this show focuses exclusively on the ragas of classical Indian music that are traditionally listened to at dawn or during the early morning. The raga is not a tune, melody, scale, mode, or any concept for which an English word exists. Instead, a raag functions both as description and prescription; it describes a general melodic practice, while it prescribes rules on how to build a certain melody. Compositions in Indian classical music are built on the rules of a raag. The Hindi/Urdu word "raag" is derived from the Sanskrit "raga" which means "color, or passion." The notion of the morning raga may then be thought of as an aural method of coloring the mind of the listener, through a combination of various acoustic characteristics, with sentiments that complement the morning atmosphere.

Raag Aur Taal
Sunday, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Previously known as Garam Masala, Raag Aur Taal explores the sounds and rich cultural heritage of South Asia with hosts Pooja Agarwal and Swarup Swaminathan. The term "Raag Aur Taal" roughly translates to "melody and rhythm," indicating the classical nature of this program. Each week, we journey into the classical music traditions of the Indian subcontinent, as well as other artistic forms including dance and theater. Devotional and folk music is occasionally explored as well. The program also hosts the much loved annual Festival of South Asian Music each August. You can contact Raag Aur Taal with any questions at


A couple intense beautiful radio shows happening each Sunday on the Columbia University Station WKCR 89.9FM in New Yawk.

The station may be most popularized by it's broadcasts hosted by Phil Schaap, one of the world's leading jazz historians. Focusing on figures like Bird, Dizzy Gillespie, etc in extraordinary detail these shows are intensely interesting in their own right, especially by the purely technical angles of listening analysis Schaap employs. Something to be learned there.

But the raga shows are just pure bliss.

The station streams live on the web too:

Here are their playlists: