Books   Praise for The Raga Guide  

    Produced by Joep Bor and Robin Broadbank, The Raga Guide: A Survey of 74 Hindustani Ragas was launched on 7 April 1999 by the great flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia at the Nehru Centre in London. On 10 August it was released in the USA, and two month later it was reported that more than 10,000 copies had been sold. The Raga Guide was reviewed in virtually all music magazines worldwide. It earned an R10 from Répertoire, a Diapason d’or from Diapason, and the unconventional six stars from Classic CD. In 2000, The Raga Guide received three world music awards: the British Classic CD Award, the German Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and the French Diapason d’or.

‘All the raga ... Chaurasia plays on the The Raga Guide ... which established itself, on the day of its issue, as an essential new tool.’ Dermot Clinch, New Statesman, 3 May 1999.

‘As a listener who has enjoyed Hindustani music for decades ... The Raga Guide is a boon ... the pointers it offers are invaluable to an enriched appreciation of Indian music.’ David Toop, The Wire 183, May 1999.

The Raga Guide makes a dynamic concept highly accessible in ways that have never been done before ... [It] is one of the year’s best in the Indian firmament.’ Ken Hunt, fROOTS 192, June 1999.

‘The guide’s combination of performance-based and printed information is unsurpassed in the literature of raga. Let’s override convention: an honorary six-star album.’ Ken Hunt, Classic CD, July 1999.

Nimbus’s authoritative survey of 74 of the most often performed north Indian ragas ... includes legendary flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia.’ BBC Music Magazine, July 1999.

‘Nimbus has now produced an important book, The Raga Guide ... It is an ... enormously attractive production, to which has been brought a wealth of scholarship and expertise ...’ Peter Grahame Woolf, Music on the Web, July 1999 / MusicWeb International, 2013. [link]

‘The performances are amazing, each and every one ... It gets ridiculous after a while, the book is so good ... The mind boggles.’ Richard Henderson, The Beat 18 (4), July/Aug. 1999.

‘Lovingly recorded, carefully authored, this wonderful package is the essence of perfection ... A sublime tribute to Indian classical music.’ Karen Karleski,, 10 Aug. 1999. [link]

‘The all-digital recordings sparkle with clarity, and the accompanying text is just as illuminating. Essential for the scholar and fan.’ Spotlight Review,, 14 Aug. 1999. [link]

‘How I would have cherished a publication such as The Raga Guide ...’ Jeff Bradley, The Denver Post, 15 Aug. 1999. [link]

‘Let’s get ready to raga ...’ Susie Ochs, Rolling Stone 819, 19 Aug. 1999.

‘There is no point fancying it up, The Raga Guide is a magnificent achievement, a benchmark.’ Ken Hunt, Pulse, Aug. 1999.

‘Raga riches ... The Raga Guide does what no other raga manual has done before ... It would be hard to over-praise its achievement.’ Ken Hunt, fROOTS 194/ 195, Aug./Sept. 1999.

‘As a quick, easy and reliable reference work on the main ragas of Hindustani music, The Raga Guide is a godsend.’ Neil Sorrell, Songlines 2, Summer 1999.

‘Raga roundup ... And now there’s a quick way to gain that awareness: The Raga Guide ... It’s an absolutely invaluable companion ...’ Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times, 3 Sept. 1999.

‘Nevertheless this set is a beautiful thing to have and hold, an ultimate reference guide that reflects the decade of work that went into it ...’ Bob Tarte, Miami New Times, 23 Sept. 1999. [link]

‘The zig is up ... They come up with a scrupulously produced volume of back-up ...’ Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine, Sept. 1999.

‘[In] actuality no matter how much or little one knows about Hindustani music, these ragas are a joy to hear.’ Bob Tarte, The Beat 18 (5/6), Sept./Oct. 1999 / [link]

‘Livre et CD viennent apporter un complément d’informations indispensables pour tout amateur.’ Etienne Bours, Répertoire 128, 4 Oct. 1999.

The Raga Guide ... [achieves] its goal of stimulating the listener by coloring the mind ... and bringing delight.’ Michael Hopkins, The Scene Online, 4 Oct. 1999.

‘Instead of vague, blissed out commentary ... this 15-year project gives scholars and amateurs alike the essence of each raga ...’ Tom Laskin, Isthmus: The Daily, 14 Oct. 1999.

‘Mit einem Wort: rundum eine Meisterleistung.’ Jan Reichow, WDR 3 Hörproben, 15 Oct. 1999.

‘It is reported that over 10,000 copies of this have been sold.’ Peter Grahame Woolf, Music on the Web, Oct. 1999. ‘
From Nimbus comes the Raga Guide ... which offers an extraordinarily detailed analysis of 74 different Hindustani ragas.’ Michael Church, The Independent, 27 Nov. 1999.

‘Les Indes savantes ... Pour aider l’auditeur à se diriger dans ce système très complexe, Joep Bor ... nous livre un très important travail.’ Henri Lecomte, Diapason, Nov. 1999.

‘Westerners who think Indian music begins and ends with Ravi Shankar should check out this four-CD survey ...’ Keith Goetzman, Utne Reader 96, Nov./Dec. 1999.

The Raga Guide ... is as good a road map as we’re likely to get.’ Jeff Salamon, Austin American-Statesman, 20 Dec. 1999.

‘For those interested in dipping a toe in this joyous musical river, this four-disc survey of the art of the raga is a great place to start.’ Bill Smith, Willamette Week, 22 Dec. 1999.

‘It’s a hell of an impressive package ... The Rotterdam team has offered us a labor of love ... All of us will want to own The Raga Guide.’ Warren Senders, Roots, Dec. 1999. [link]

‘The Nimbus book, however, has these melodic outlines for all 74 ragas—and even better—four accompanying CDs with short performances of each raga by a major classical artist.’ Teed Rockwell,, Dec. 1999.

‘In short, The Raga Guide is an excellent resource for both dabblers and devotees of Hindustani music.’ John Vallier, All Music, 1999 / [link]

‘Readers who have wished for such an introduction may find this one so good that it’s humbling ...’ Duck Baker, Dirty Linen 85, Dec. 1999/Jan. 2000.

‘The raga’s ultimate reference ... India’s raga is on a roll, and musicians, musicologists and connoisseurs all have reason to celebrate.’ Hinduism Today, 31 Jan. 2000. [link]

‘Rescuing raga ... Bor does what the musicians would rather not do: He analyzes ragas and gives their basic melodic structures.’ Berthold van Maris, World Press Review, Jan. 2000.

‘To that end, proceed to the fascinating and valuable new package ... that serves an educational end, while also soothing the ear and mind.’ Josef Woodard, Jazz Times 30 (1), Feb. 2000. [link]

‘The primer ... Released this year, this is a kind of Michelin guide to the 74 most performed Hindustani ragas ... A superior reference work ...’ Richard Henderson, The Wire 192, Feb. 2000.

‘This four-CD set (plus nearly 200-page book) provides as thorough a study of Hindustani ragas as any scholar or fan could hope for.’ Aaron Cohen, Down Beat 67 (2), Feb. 2000.

‘But now an unprecedented anthology ... goes a long way toward unravelling the mysteries and decoding the language of this musical form.’ Derk Richardson, Yoga Journal, Mar./Apr. 2000. [link]

‘For anyone who adores Indian raga … this bargain four-disc set ... is like a veritable gift from the gods.’ Paul de Barros, Seattle Times, 6 Apr. 2000.

‘Best of Indian music: The Raga Guide may have been 15 years in the making, but was well worth the wait.’ Ken Hunt, Classic CD: Awards 2000 Revealed!, Apr. 2000.

‘Das Gemeinsame entdecken ... Auf nur vier CDs wird eine Materialfülle ausgebreitet, die in dieser Anschaulichkeit keinen Vorgänger hat.’ Felix Janosa, Neue Musikzeitung 49 (4), Apr. 2000.

‘By far our best selling title so far this year ...’ Allegro Music Newsletter, Apr. 2000.

The Raga Guide, then, is a most valuable introduction to a very ancient but very much living music.’ Jim Bessman, Masala Magazine, 2 June 2000.

‘[But] all the ragas are described, with music examples to hear and rehear, in The Raga Guide, which has properly been described as a godsend ...’ Peter Grahame Woolf, Music on the Web, July 2000.

‘Un ouvrage d’un haut niveau académique, qui devrait rejoindre les rayons des discothèques de tous les conservatoires et écoles de musique.’ Henri Lecomte, Diapason: Diapason d’or de l’année 2000, Oct. 2000.

‘Westliche Folklore-, Jazz-, Pop-, ja sogar Klassik-Liefhaber haben lange auf eine Anthologie wie diese gewartet ...’ Bernhard Streerath, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik: Jahrespreise 2000, Oct. 2000.

‘At once concise, accurate, attractive and accessible, The Raga Guide is undoubtedly a fine tribute.’ Alison Arnold, EOL 6, 21 Nov. 2000. [link]

‘This stunning volume is a most welcome addition to modern Indic musicology.’ Ted Solís, The World of Music 42 (1), 2000.

‘Avec cette série ... il faut saluer un événement discographique qui fera date pour longtemps chez les amateurs de musique hindoustanie.’ Philippe Bruguière, Cahiers de Musiques Traditionnelles 13, 2000.

‘En extraits forcément trop brefs, ce formidable outil pédagogique ... donne ... la couleur (histoire, contexte, philosophie) de 74 raga de l’Inde du Nord ...’ Télérama, 2000.

‘The performances are marvellous and the varied instrumentation keeps what is really a serious, scholarly collection from sounding sterile.’ Tony Gualtieri, Classical Music Review: New Releases, 2000. [link]

‘Bor’s Guide ... exhibits ... a relevance and attractiveness to people of widely varying levels of experience with its material.’ Steven Curtis, Asian Music, Spring/Summer 2001.

‘However, in The Raga Guide, editor Joep Bor and his collaborating co-authors have produced a genuinely unique and remarkable opus ...’ Peter Manuel, Ethnomusicology 45 (3), Fall 2001.

‘What Ned Evett is listening to these days ... The Raga Guide ... “It comes with a book with the notes all sketched out, which is great for a musician.”’ Anna Webb, The Idaho Statesman, 13 Jan. 2003.

‘I just acquired a book entitled The Raga Guide by Joep Bor that has all kinds of scales and ideas. Fascinating! ... I am having a lot of fun with it.’ Ed Byrne, AllAboutJazz, 18 Nov. 2007.

‘For further study of raga, a good next step is The Raga Guide ... which is basically a raga fake book complete with CDs featuring performance examples.’ World Rhythms 10, Winter 2007.

"There is a raga for each season and time and there is a shade that can describe it,” says the 78-year old [James McGarrell], leafing through Joep Bor’s The Raga Guide ...’ Vandana Karla,, 18 Nov. 2008.

‘I have been looking forward to a properly close reading of Joep Bor’s The Raga Guide … for a long time now. It’s a beautiful book … a must for anyone interested in classical Indian music – or music of any kind.’ John Burnside, quoted in Scotland on Sunday, 26 Jan. 2013. [link]

‘For those wanting a deeper look into raga form, look for the excellent four-CD set and accompanying book issued by Britain's Nimbus label called The Raga Guide ...’ Anastasia Tsioulcas, World Music: Hindustani Classical, National Geographic.webarchive, n.d.

The Raga Guide was aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition (18 September 1999), WDR’s Hörproben (15 October 1999), VPRO’s De Wandelende Tak (7 January 2000), NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross (11 January 2000), and numerous other radio stations worldwide. On Soundbytes it appeared as NPR’s Most Requested Books and CDs (7 and 16 October 1999), on WRUW’s Tip of the Iceberg as Top 20 Worldbeat (27 September 1999), and on RTQE and The Daily Page as the Best of 1999.