Raga Saat
for flute quartet

Derek Charke
Derek Charke
Composition Date: 2011
Duration: 00:09:30
Genre: Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Flute Quartets


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 4 x Flute
Programme Note:
Raga Saat is a companion work to my earlier quartet Raga Cha. Raga Saat is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to emulate the sound world through the use of various extended flute techniques. It is repetitive and meditative in character.

Raga Saat is in 7/8 time. ‘Saat’ is the English translation of the number seven in Hindi.

Raga Saat plays with several polyrhythmic patterns that define the rhythmic flavour of the piece. At any time there are at least two, if not three or four, distinctive subdivisions of the 7/8 time; the two most common subdivisions being 4+3 (or 2+2+3), and 3+3+1. A further subdivision of 3+3+3+3+2 (in 16th) is heard in the bass voice at all times. This provides a hemiola basso ostinato. At any time one part acts as an isorhythmic talea, perhaps imitative of the tabla. Another part acts as a drone, imitating the Surpeti (Swar peti) or Shruti Box, while one or two voices provide melodic figurations.

Many sounds are created with a technique whereby the flutist must enunciate the word ‘cha’ to produce the desired ‘toneless’ and rough sounding effect.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 5141 C473rags
  • Genre:
  • Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Flute Quartets
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • March 29, 2012
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (29 p.) ;
    29 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 21
    4 parts ([21] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Flute quartet
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  • Printed copies of this title are available from Theodore Presser Co. (T. Presser Co.). Please contact the publisher directly.
    Published by Theodore Presser Co. (T. Presser Co.)
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