Across the hill regions of Nepal and neighbouring regions of India, the Sorati story is a central part of the Pangdure (also known as Maruni) traditional dance repertoire. In central Nepal, the first half of the twentieth century appears to have been the heyday of Pangdure performances; out of the Jyamrung, Dhading Pangdure troupe of the 1940s came the dancer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and self-taught musicologist Subi Shah. Born in 1929, he followed in his father’s footsteps as both performer and patron of his local Pangdure troupe, and even as he had a career in the Nepal Army, he spent his life practising and promoting this art form, publishing three books and many articles on Nepali music and dance, and leaving a legacy of many unpublished works at his death in 2008. It is important to Shah to demonstrate that Sorati as danced by Pangdure troupes is a ‘classical’ or ‘shastriya’ form, by which he means that the dance steps, the melody, and the rhythmic cycles (tal) all work together and depend on each other as prescribed in the ancient Sanskrit treatises (shastras). While it is true that these treatises, especially the Natyashastra, emphasise the integrated nature of the performing arts, Shah’s interpretation of what it means to be ‘shastriya’ is unique, and, I argue, connected to ideas of Nepali nationalism and also ‘the classical’ developed in dialog with similar discourses occurring simultaneously in India. Shah cites the Indian music theorists and developers of sargam notation Vishnu Bhatkande and Vishnu Paluskar as Indian musical nationalist heroes, while arguing that Nepali music needs its own form of notation. He invented yet ended up eschewing his own music notation, which he called ‘Nepali notation’, but perhaps more successfully invented a dance notation, which he describes in detail in his unpublished work Dances of Central Nepal, and uses in sargam notation transcriptions of songs from Sorati and other Pangdure genres. Working from Shah’s manuscripts, and informed by over 20 years of experience with the genres he analyses, plus a week in December 2023 spent in Dhading with a Sorati performance troupe attempting to reproduce Shah’s choreography, I analyse Shah’s notated examples of three Sorati songs, to see how this interdependence among melody, tal, and dance works, and how he has attempted to make it apparent in notation. I set Shah’s arguments about Sorati being ‘shastriya’ in conversation with the discourses that informed them, to begin to describe his version of Nepali nationalism expressed through music theory and notation.