Yoga can arguably be considered as one of the most- if not the most- popular cultural imports from South Asia in the transatlantic world. Raga would be another one, largely owing to the Beatles’ association with the Indian sitar player, Ravi Shankar. Deriving from the Sanskrit word ‘ranj’, literally colour/mood, raga refers to melodies with established frameworks for improvisation.

We, at the Raga Appreciation Society at Durham (RASAD)- rasad in Hindi, meaning the source of ras (aesthetic flavour/essence)- are a collective originating at Durham University, aiming to spread the ras (flavour/essence) of raga. Ragas, primarily grounded in the human listening experience, branch out to other senses as well. RASAD aims to celebrate the kaleidoscopic possibilities of ragas in an affective sense. Through celebrating ragas and ras, we aim to be a society for the senses, of the senses, and by the senses! Anyone connected with RASAD could expect to gain insights not only into South Asian music and sound cultures, but also its history and society.


Society Information

President: Thomas Graves

Email address: [email protected]

Kinds of events (physical/digital/hybrid) to expect from us:

  • Concerts of various forms of music including but not limited to khyal, varnam, kriti, dhrupad, qawwali, bhajan and baul.
  • Listening, reading and viewing appreciation sessions (audio and video recordings)
  • Community workshops
  • Academic lectures

Through the above, we hope to expand Durham University’s excellent reputation of research in South Asian music to new audiences, not only within the university but worldwide through an active social media presence.