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Laurie Scott | Gentle Ragas

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World: Indian Classical Spiritual: Inspirational Moods: Spiritual
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Gentle Ragas

by Laurie Scott

Beautiful ragas of India are played on the rich sounding sarode, a 25-stringed instrument. Drawn from ancient, spiritual scales, it helps one feel deeply peaceful. A portion of each album goes to charitable projects in India.
Genre: World: Indian Classical
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bageshree (Alap)
12:14 $0.99
2. Bageshree (6 Beats in Rhythm of Dadra)
8:02 $0.99
3. Durga (Alap)
8:40 $0.99
4. Durga (16 Beats in Rhythm of Sitarkhani)
11:21 $0.99
5. Jog (Alap)
9:28 $0.99
6. Jog (8 Beats in Rhythm of Keharwa)
10:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Gentle Ragas" is Laurie Scott's third album. It features the beautiful ragas of Bageshree, Durga, and Jog. Each raga has an alap (an improvised piece) and an original rhythmic composition created by Laurie for a total of six songs.

Laurie titled this album "Gentle Ragas" because she was contemplating the need for much greater gentleness in the world when she recorded her album. She said, "If each one of us tried to be a little more gentle, and treated others in the way we would like to be treated, the world would change and become a much happier and more harmonious place."

She meditated on this as she played her music, and hopes it came across in her album. She believes the feeling with which a musician plays is just as important, if not more important, than the technical aspect of performing, and that music is endowed with the love and spirit of the musician.


Laurie Scott studied North Indian classical music under the great Indian sarode master, Ali Akbar Khan, for almost 25 years. Studying the music was the main focus of Laurie’s life for years on end. She quietly attended classes, practiced as often as she could, and spent hours laboriously notating the music after class (which was taught by Ali Akbar Khan without notation as part of an oral tradition), while also working at office jobs to support herself. She stayed in the background and rarely performed.

After experiencing major life changing events (the passing away of several family members within a short period), she decided to do something meaningful with the remainder of her life. In 2014, she resigned from office work to give herself full time to music and writing. She does service work as a musician and performs in environments where people are suffering and rarely have the opportunity to hear live music. She has performed in nursing homes, adult daycare and rehabilitation facilities, Alzheimer's homes, and the V.A. Medical Center.

Laurie has also written an entertaining book entitled, "A Spiritual Journey to Now" (available on Amazon) that shares engaging and candid stories of her life and the valuable lessons she has learned that can greatly enhance the quality of our lives. She is also a certified yoga teacher and teaches yoga and meditation to individuals.


Laurie grew up surrounded by music, as her mother was a concert pianist and piano teacher. Laurie played piano, guitar, and sang. As a teenager, she was drawn to the spiritual teachings of India. As a young adult, she lived in an ashram for seven years, four of which were spent living in India. During her stay in India, she attended the performances of some of India’s greatest North Indian classical musicians and singers who often visited the ashram.

After returning to America, she learned of the Ali Akbar College of Music, a school of North Indian classical music founded by the great sarode master, Ali Akbar Khan. It struck a deep chord within her. Not knowing anyone, where she would stay, or without a job awaiting her, she drove to California with faith everything would be okay and to begin her new life. Despite initial struggles of locating housing, work, and the hardship of being a brand new student, she never regretted her decision and considers her many years of study with Ali Akbar Khan as one of the greatest blessings of her life and the happiest years of her life.

Ali Akbar Khan taught a multitude of students over the decades, but only a small group of students studied continuously with him for an extended period of time. Among this group was Laurie Scott, who studied with him from 1984 until 2009, at which time he left his earthly form.


The sarode (or sarod) is a fretless and beautiful, rich sounding instrument from India with 4 main playing strings and 21 additional strings, which resonate with the main playing strings to create its gorgeous sound. Chikari strings, which are side strings, are stroked to complement the main notes and emphasize the rhythm. Ali Akbar Khan taught that the sarode originated in India and is related to the Indian instrument, the veena. Archeological evidence supports that the sarode has existed in India since ancient times. There is some debate about the sarode's origins, but Laurie respects alternate points of view because of the fluid, open trade routes that existed between countries over the centuries. Aspects of the instrument may have been adopted and personalized by others, making it their own, or may have already existed.


The classical music of North India is a musical tradition that is deeply spiritual, uplifting, and healing. It purifies the atmosphere, calms the mind, and fills the soul with nourishment. It benefits both the listener and the performer, as well as animals, birds, plants, and trees. Those who devote their lives to studying it, often regard it as a sadhana, a spiritual path, to bring them closer to the God.

North India classical music is based on ancient "ragas", scales of notes that are each unique in their character and beauty. The notes of each raga ascend and descend in their own particular way, but then the musician is free to improvise to his or her heart’s content within that framework and a chosen rhythm The music is usually improvised, but the musician may also choose to play set compositions. On her album, Laurie Scott plays a combination of improvisations for the "alaps" and her own compositions.

The “alap” portions of the ragas are improvised portions played by the musician at the beginning of performances without tabla (drums) to show the movement, beauty, and mood of the raga. The alap is considered the heart, or the cream, of the raga and is very spiritual and meditative.

After the alap is played, the tabla player (the drummer) accompanies the instrumentalist for the remainder of the raga.

ALI AKBAR KHAN (Laurie Scott's Teacher)

Ali Akbar Khan (also known as “Khansahib”) was a master of North India classical music and the instrument sarode, which he learned from his father, Allauddin Khan, one of India’s most extraordinary and respected musicians, who was so highly regarded he was commemorated with a postage stamp by the government of India. When Ali Akbar Khan also passed, the President of India also commemorated a postage stamp in Ali Akbar Khan's honor.

Ali Akbar Khan was a musical genius who brought light and an uplifting presence to the world. In addition to performing around the globe, he established the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967 in California, where he made his home. He also taught at his branch schools in Switzerland and India. He was passionate about teaching, and taught instrumental and vocal music for over 40 years, up to the very end of his life when he struggled to walk. During his lifetime, he was nominated for Grammys and honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious MacArthur “Genius Grant”, and a National Heritage Fellowship presented to him at the White House.

Ali Akbar Khan left his body in 2009 at the age of 87. His sons (Alam, Manik, and Aashish Khan) continue to teach the music. The Ali Akbar College of Music continues to be alive and well, and is a wonderful center of learning. The school has a phenomenal teacher of tabla (percussion), Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, whom students come from far and wide to study with.


The lineage of Ali Akbar Khan, called the Seniya Beenkar Gharana (for short), extends back to Mian Tansen, a musician saint of India of the 16th century.

Mian Tansen is considered the father of all North India classical music. At a time when Hindu and Islamic music were intermingling, Mian Tansen established the music that exists today. He was a member of King Akbar’s court and was considered one of the “Nine Jewels” of King Akbar’s court. Mian Tansen created exquisite ragas that continue to be played with great affection today.

This music has been passed down over the generations from teacher to disciple from that time to the present day.


Laurie Scott wishes to thank her teacher, maestro Ail Akbar Khan, for the light and beautiful presence he brought to the world through this sacred and uplifting music. If she can share even a tiny portion of it with others, she will feel that her life has been truly meaningful.

(Website: www.LaurieScott.org)



to write a review

Maitri Jones

Calmly energizing
I listen to this CD while driving. The friendly and uplifting melodies keep me awake without being jarring or harsh. These tunes leave me feeling calm and happy. Thank you Laurie Scott!


Absolutely amazing! You will enjoy!