Dr. Ragini Trivedi is an Indian Classical Musician performing on
Vichitra Veena, Sitar, and Jal tarang.

Daughter of Vichitra Veena virtuoso Pt. Lalmani Misra, she is an exponent of Misrabani
and the creator of the digital music notation system Omescribe.



Ragini Trivedi was born in a family where routine revolved around study and practice of music. Father, Sangeetendu Dr. Lalmani Misra, had visited 150 towns and cities around the globe, started a music college and had accepted to head the Instrumental department of B.H.U. before Ragini was born. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts at Banaras Hindu University, where he worked as a teacher and administrator, until his death in 1979.

Youngest in the family, Ragini got more than her share of father’s affection. Several mornings, on being woken up by her mother, she would seek shelter in her father’s lap as he sat cross-legged playing on Vichitra Veena. She well may be  the first person, if not only one, to have grown up listening to Veena with her head between the two Tumba-s. Yet, the thought of playing this Veena would never occur to her for several next decades. It was her grandmother’s interest in music that was passed on to her father, Lalmani. But nearing her seventies, she was moved less by music, and more by piety and meditation. Known throughout the household as Badi Amma, her secular demeanor of a disciplinarian was recognized by one and all. She would ensure that children treated each other and elders, with due respect.

Another strong formative influence on Ragini and brother Gopal Shankar was of Pt. Omkarnath Thakur. It was Pt. Omkarnath Thakur who had coaxed Pt. Lalmani in taking up reader-ship at B.H.U. The music faculty had been allotted Rewa Kothi for scholar’s residence. Dr. Misra’s family occupied the upper floor while Pt. Thakur was on ground floor. A few students too were accommodated in this building. Situated on bank of the sacred river, Rewa Kothi was boon to Badi Amma, who would rise early to take a dip in Ganges. As the great maestro began to sing with the rays of rising or setting sun, activity in adjoining Ghat-s would gradually cease. Few had strength to tear away from binding web of his strong smooth voice. Though as children Gopal and Ragini could not comprehend the excellence of his singing, but the purity of sound lay buried in their memories.

Third influence, again as scattered memories, is that of busy act of learning. Gurukul or household of teacher, is still a reality to some extent, despite the changes brought about by twentieth century and especially, the last two decades. In the sixties, even though transfer of knowledge was being carried out in modern institutions, in spirit the teacher was still a Guru — giving and demanding in extreme. He would give all his tangible assets and intangible knowledge but exact devotion for learning from the student. So, students flocked to teachers; and in Dr. Misra’s household three to four disciples would be staying as family-members at any given time. It was how their father taught these elder brothers or sisters — Dada, Bhai Sahib or Didi — that seeped into Gopal and Ragini’s subconscious. The continuous repetition of same phrase, the same mistake over and over again, the same sense of exasperation, despair and determination; and after all this, the wholesome joy of a breakthrough!

As the children matured they too got involved with learning and studying music. They could now better appreciate different people learning different things from their father who appeared adept in all. With each passing year they could better understand what their father stood for and meant to others.

He was also a visiting Professor at department of South Asian Music Studies in Penn University, Philadelphia from 1969. He kept coming here for a semester every alternate year. Some of the students who learned with him at Philadelphia came to B.H.U. for further studies. These visiting scholars too were accepted as members of family in his household.

Ragini and brother Gopal Shankar Misra accompanied their parents to Philadelphia and enrolled in school for a year. It was here that Ragini’s skill at Basketball and other games was recognized. She began learning piano and was soon able to play with ease. The appreciation she received from class-mates, teachers and students from other classes made her realize the social prestige given to music in western society. She returned to her Alma mater, Central Hindu Girls School in Varanasi more confident and committed a student.

Once again, her talents in different areas were recognized by teachers here and soon she found herself participating in sports activities, dramatics besides music. Her music teacher, Shobha Parvatkar encouraged Ragini to play Jaltarang. Pleased by Ragini’s performance Ms. Parvatkar confided in her parents and returning home from school one afternoon, Ragini found a Jaltarang set laid out for her.

As father Dr. Lalmani Misra, had to leave the children for long periods while he taught at Penn, he would record lessons so that they could keep practicing Raga-s in their syllabus the right way. In these lesson recording sessions, Chhotelal Misra disciple of Pandit Anokhelal Mishra, accompanied Gopal and Ragini. During his stay in India he would teach music to students both at university and at home. Some of the students who stayed with the family, included dance maestro Pt. Uday Shankar’s son, Ananda Shankar, who learnt Sitar and Composition, Omprakash Chourasiya who learnt Santoor and orchestration and Laxmi Ganesh Tiwari, who trained as vocalist and currently teaches at Sonoma State university. Patrick Moutal teaches Indian Classical Music in Paris, writes books on ICM and maintains a website, precious to lovers of Indian music.

The children were still young when they lost their grand-mother. Before they could completely come to terms with this loss, their mother Padma fell ill. After protracted illness mother Padma died in April 1977. Sensitive to core, their father never allowed his grief reach the children. Much later did they realize that he had poured his pain into lyrics of a Raga he consecrated -- Sameshwari. During the summer of '77, Dr. Lalmani Misra took the children around the country, performing and meeting academics and musicians. After his death in July 1979, Ragini continued her pursuit of music, getting B.H.U. gold medal in M.Mus. (1980) and completing D. Mus. under her guide, Dr. K. C. Gangrade in 1983. For some time she taught at Banaras Hindu University and after her marriage, joined Higher Education services in Madhya Pradesh, teaching in various colleges at Hoshangabad, Rewa and Indore.

Gopal Shankar served in the same faculty as his father at B.H.U. and was instrumental in carrying on the tradition of Vichitra Veena performance, Misrabani technique and academic pursuits. Losing both parents within two years, Ragini and brother Gopal drew strength from their inheritance of music practice and scholarship. Over the years, Ragini would visit Varanasi to learn with brother Gopal Shankar Misra. Through motivated self-learning, punctuated with these valuable inputs, she mastered the Misrabani technique.

Even though she played Jal Tarang in Yuva Vani on radio, the instrument Ragini first played on stage was Sitar. She was invited to present recital at Suprabha, an event organized under leadership of Pt. Kishan Maharaj. In 1982, she played at Arambh festival in Bhopal. Oriented by belief in sublimation of artiste in the Art, she spaced her recitals, performing selectively on stage, radio and television. Ragini played Sitar at Arambh in 1982, at Madhukali in 1986, 1994 and still five years later in 1999. December 2006 saw her perform Jal tarang at Prathama Festival hosted by Manav Sangrahalaya. Bharat Bhawan in collaboration with Madhukali, invited her in January 2013 to present Vichitra Veena recital. She played at Dr. Mallikarjun Mansur Memorial Festival in September 2013 enchanting Dharwad audience where Ghoshvati (Vichitra Veena) had never been heard before.


Sitar: Raga Madhukali

Dr. Ragini Trivedi at Ninad. Deliberations in 3rd Annual Omenad Conference were followerd by Ninad concerts organized jointly by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and Madhukali, Bhopal. Tabla accompaniment by Ustad Nafees Ahmed Khan.

Jal Tarang: Raga Hansdhwani

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal in collaboration with Madhukali organized the first ever recital of women instrumentalists who were first or Prathama in their fields. Tabla accompaniment by Ustad Nafees Ahmed Khan.

Vichitra Veena: Raga Multani

In a function dedicated to Sangeetendu Dr. Lalmani Misra, reviver & legendary player of Vichitra Veena, his daughter, pays tribute on very Veena played by her father and late brother Gopal Shankar, at Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal. Ramswaroop Ratoniya accompanied on Tabla.

For her ability to play three instruments involving disparate gestures and techniques, she has been hailed, ‘Trivadini’. Her composition, ‘Shodash Pushp’ or ‘16 Pearls’ was originally presented at a seminar organized by Bhatkhande Deemed Music University at Lucknow in 2005. Often the frets have to be adjusted on Sitar if one or more notes differ from one composition to next. She designed ‘Shodash Pushp’ so that it is a non-stop string of sixteen compositions in sixteen different Raga-s, starting from Sam to sixteenth beat consecutively. Practicing musicians have marveled at her ability to play it out without any flaw or hesitation. It has been possible using the Misrabani style of composition. She often plays out a different composition of same Raga. While audience are entertained, Ragini treats this as an exercise, a teaching aid.

Growing up with music, but losing parents at an early age, motivated Ragini to let go of temporal and hold on to eternal. Strong influences of childhood, concrete example of practice and theory of music, and deep hurt through personal loss, together served as motivation for safe-guarding of music practices. It is with the aim to increase visibility of practices on verge of oblivion that she founded the portal for academic discussion of Indian Classical Music — Omenad.

In tune with the need of re-learning, the portal served novitiates, artists, academics and aesthetes. It was intended to be a model for Online Music Education, a vital activity for dissemination as well as preservation of traditional wisdom — oral and documented. It was the perfect solution to bring back on course practice of an intangible art affected by diversions of fame, popularity and material success.

As it would take almost a decade or more for cyber communication technology to reach sizable population of existing practitioners of music, she reviewed music and music events for journals and new-papers, while writing for omenad, artindia and other web-portals. But, over the years, as standards of practice eroded, she realized that all her talent should be utilized to check decline. Without waiting for any external support she geared herself towards safeguarding of music practice and academics as she had known and heard being discussed in early years. It required extensive reading and she was already conversant with relevant text. Next stage involved presenting complex idea-s in digestible morsels. This resulted in a stream of short pieces written for journals and news-papers. They included review of music recordings and musical events, among specific pieces on fundamental concepts and Raga compositions. Third significant action involved evaluation of contemporary practice. One of her methods for documentation of current practices is to  discuss with musicians, the methodology of their individual practice and performance, as also the degree and direction of their deviation from traditional style. Some of these discussions have been presented as documentary films by Educational Multimedia Research Center, Indore.


Films by EMRC, Indore

Gentle Tinkle, Magic Music

22 minutes

Indian Melodies: Rarer the Sweeter

24 minutes

Surbahar: Ek Gambheer Vadya

22 minutes

Sarangi: Kabhi Karun Kabhi Shokh

26 minutes

Durlabh Swar ki Khoj: Part 1

29 minutes

Durlabh Swar ki Khoj: Part 2

31 minutes

Shankar Guitar

18 minutes


23 minutes


21 minutes

These discussions involve Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur, Ustad Moinuddin Khan, Dr. Sharada Velankar, Pt. Pushpraj Koshthi, Vidushi Kalpana Zokarkar, Dr. Kamala Shankar  among others. They have helped in creating awareness about salient features of ICM amongst general audience and creating consensus among musicians.

Formal documentation is part of an academic's routine. Apart from that arising out of her own duties, Ragini inherited the task from her elders. Dr. Lalmani Misra had planned a 4 volume book on Hindustani Raga-s and Misrabani compositions. After his death, son Gopal Shankar found the manuscript for second volume ready for publication and detailed notes and compositions to be included in third and fourth. Before publication of further volumes, he wanted a better production of the first one. He had given the revised version to publishers but after his untimely death in 1999, it could not be pursued. Working with these precious manuscripts Ragini was asked by one publisher to get the compositions type-set digitally. It was difficult for them to get the complex musical notations type-set. The publishing executive estimated, that it would take several years to get 160 or more of these complex compositions done. When they found that no digital tool existed which could input Bhatkhande notations through key-board, Ragini and son Terence took up the task of creating such a software. The second volume, Tatninad was completed within six month and the complete version in ready-to-print format was handed over to publishers in 2005. The widest paper size in portrait orientation had been chosen and still, in complex compositions, the Kan Swara-s had to be printed small. It affected readability, especially with dot marks signifying upper or lower octave. More importantly, it was too tedious to read on computer screen.  So despite having created a software using UTF-8 script that could input through key-board and display all complex nuances, the necessity of a table, generated by 16-beat grid system of Bhatkhande Swarlipi, rendered it impracticable. It was time to reassess the problem.

In a conference organized by Omenad and Madhukali in 2007, she presented a new notation system, Ome Swarlipi. This notation system, based on amalgamation of Bhatkhande notation system and Paluskar system, incorporated several features suitable for digital adaptation. Ome Swarlipi also featured symbols to annotate complex Misrabani compositions. The symbols are simple to write and visually distinct. Since publication of her book, “Sitar Compositions in Ome Swarlipi” in 2010, learners find it faster to learn Indian classical music using Ome Swarlipi. Collaborating with developer son Terence Tuhinanshu, she has made available this notation system on Writer portal of

As these endeavors for digital documentation occupied her mind, Dr. Ragini Trivedi was conscious of needs of music students. While she worked on Misrabani compositions suitable for teaching the basics of Raga-s, their characteristics and points of distinction, she also created tools for visual study of Raga-s and their analysis in other aspects. Clarity of concepts and visualization skill made it easy for her to develop digital tools to illustrate inter-relationship of notes, Bharat Chatuh Sarana etc. She completed her project, sanctioned under Culture Ministry's Senior Research Fellowship, on stylistic structure of contemporary Sitar schools. She had already received Junior Research Fellowship, as student. In three decades since then, Dr. Trivedi has written research papers and articles on theory, practice and innovation in music. She has collaborated in creation of compendium and anthologies, acting as contributor and editor. She was also instrumental in bringing out subsequent editions of her father’s seminal book on Indian musical instruments – Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya updating the second edition with appendix on electronic instruments. She is also collaborating in translation of this book in English. Following books have been published to date.


Sitar Compositions in Ome Swarlipi

ISBN-13: 978-0557705962. 2011

Raga Vibodh: Misrabani

Hindi Madhyam Karyanvaya Nideshalaya: Delhi. 2010

Raga Vibodh: Misrabani, Vol 2

Hindi Madhyam Karyanvaya Nideshalaya: Delhi. 2013

Dr. Ragini Trivedi serves as an expert on board of several state and national level bodies. As resource person for U.G.C. she has delivered lectures on Ancient Swar Gram, Shruti, Moorchhhana system, Chatuh Sarana and Shruti Veena, Raga Time theory apart from presentations on  Misrabani and Ome Swarlipi. She is much sought after as Guru and academic planner. South Central Zone Cultural Center, Nagpur invited her to train four scholarship musicians in Jal Tarang for two years. She trained 25 scholarship students in a week long workshop organized by CCRT, New Delhi. The orchestral composition "Ekakar" was based on Raga Kirwani. She has designed and conducted workshops for beginner, intermediate and advanced students at Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore and Pune. She has designed a 60 hours intensive hands-on workshop for advanced students and practicing artistes in Misrabani Style of Composition. From 12 to 20th October 2013, she conducted Misrabani Tantricharya at ASC, B.H.U., Varanasi.


Senior Research Fellowship, Ministry of Culture


"Best Expert" XVII annual UGC-CEC Award


SURMANI - Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay


J.R.F. Scholarship


Pt. Omkarnath Estate Award



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हिंदी परिचय

विचित्र वीणा ने मोहा मन

उस्ताद अलाउद्दीन खां संगीत एवं कला अकादमी और मध्य प्रदेश संस्कृति परिषद की ओर से भारत भवन में आयोजित 'दुर्लभ वाद्य प्रसंग' का गुरुवार को समापन हो गया। पद्मश्री उस्ताद लतीफ खां की स्मृति में आयोजित हुए इस समारोह में गुरुवार को इंदौरकी रागिनी त्रिवेदी ने विचित्र वीणा वादन किया। लयकारी और वीणा पर बजीं मधुर धुनों से रागिनी ने सभी का मन मोह लिया। रागिनी त्रिवेदी बताती हैं कि मेरे लिए भारत भवन में वीणा वादन बेहद अनोखा अनुभव होता है। यह मेरे लिए इसलिए भी खास है, क्योंकि विचित्र वीणा का सबसे पहला वादन मैंने भारत भवन में ही किया था। अगली प्रस्तुति मुरादाबाद घराने से ताल्लुक रखने वाले मुराद अली के सारंगी वादन की रही। अंत में मुंबई के उल्हास बापटने अपनी प्रस्तुति से सभी का दिल जीत लिया। संगीत समारोह में सहयोगी कलाकारों ने भी महफिल में खूब रंग जमाया। प्रस्तुति में सारंगी पर फारुख लतीफ, तबले पर सलीम अल्लाहवाले, अमान अली खां और रामेन्द्र सिंह सोलंकी ने संगत की। जबकि, पखावज पर हरीश चंद पति ने धुनों की डोर को संभाले रखा।

Bhopal, Aug 15 2014. Editorial Team, Naiduniya. Web version

Musical Tribute to Mallikarjun Mansur

On the first day of the Music Festival, Ragini Trivedi enthralled her audience with the astounding melody of her Vichitra Veena (Ghoshvathi Veena). The Vichitra Veena hymns out the divine melody of sitar and veena together. Having mastered the art of playing this unique instrument, Dr. Ragini presented raag Sindhoori in teen taal. Demonstrating the vigour of lower notes in slow tempo, she used her swift finger slides in the madhya lay to present the flawless savour. She was accompanied on the tabla by the lively young tablist Uday Kulkarni.

Dharwad, Sep 15 2013. Arpana Kopp, The Hindu