The word "jati" or "jati" literally means a "caste" or "collection; as such it has numerous musical and non-musical usages. In the musical sense it can mean a rhythmic pattern, an ancient musical mode, or the number of notes in a modern mode. It is this latter definition that we will deal with here.
The number of notes in the rag is significant, for not everyone uses all seven notes. Normally, a rag will consist of either five, six, or a full seven notes.
- A five-note rag is said to be an audhav jati;
- a six-note rag is said to be shadav jati;
- and one of seven notes is said to be sampurna jati.
- Furthermore, rags may be mixed jati.