35 Ragas: A Sampling Of North & South Indian Scales & Modes

Discussion in 'Carnatic Music of South India' started by MuktiMusic, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    35 Ragas {Rags]: A sampling of North & South Indian Scales & Modes.

    This brief sampling was originally intended for the guitar forum to convey some interesting ideas in which to draw upon for improvisation. My source for my thread is the book 'The Music of India' by H.A. Popley [S.P.C.K. Press, Vepery, Madras 1921]. There apparently have been several re-prints since. My Google Search brings up a 1996 edition, so it's popularity for over 75 years hopefully speaks to its authenticity. I am happy to make any corrections. When suggesting any please include your source for authenticity. I don't mean to be presumptuous, but according to Mr Popley these are accurate. If any readers have corrections please speak up [and give your source] so that we may all benefit. Personally I think this thead is more suitable for the Guitar Lessons Forum which is where it originally appeared in the Acoustic Guitar Forum. Thank you. MM :)


    In Indian music, North and South, the solfeggio: 12345671 is called SaRiGaMaPaDhaNiSa. The time of day [below] indicates the traditional setting for the raga and the ahmsa [or sweet spot] refers to a primary note that acts as a center for the weaving in and out and through of the improvisational threads of the musician.

    The solfeggios are written in the ascending form & descending form. At times the forms are the same, often they are different. The significance of the two forms is expressed when creating threads that honor the law of the specific rag. For example: Kamaj, the first entry has 6 notes that can be used when ascending and 7 when descending. The way to perceive this is in relationship to the note preceding in a thread. Let's say C is the 1 or root; then the ascending notes would be CEFGABbC. And the descending notes would be CBbAGFE[D]C. So if you were creating a thread it would be incorrect to play: CDEAFCDBbC. However it would be correct to play: CEABbA>ascending and GDBbAFDC<descending.

    Some of the ragas are directly parallel to modes of the west:
    >Harikambodhi=Mixolydian.
    >Natabharavi=Aeolian (relative minor).
    >Kharaharapriya=Dorian.

    Some of the ragas are pentatonics: Hamsadvani, Dhanyhasi, Mohana, Arabhi or Madhyamavati, as well as some others.

    Some are hexatonics ascending & descending: Devamanohari or Marva. Some use hextonics in the ascending mode only: Kamaj, Ghandari, or Kambodhi.

    Noodling with these ragas will plot new territory and possibly evoke some fresh thinking. I know they have for me. Perhaps they will for you as well. iD


    Hindusthani System: North India

    Name...Time of Day...............................Solfeggio.........................................Ahmsa


    Kamaj...anytime..................................1 3 4 5 6 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1....................3rd

    Yaman...evening.................................1 2 3# 4 5 6 7 1-1 7 6 5# 4 3 2 1....................3rd

    Jhin-joti...night....................................1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1-1 b 7 6 5 4 3 2 1........root [1]

    Tilanga....night.....................................1 3 4 5 7 1-1 b7 5 4 3 1....................root

    Hindol....evening................................1 3 #4 6 7 1-1 7 6 #4 3 1.................. 3rd & 6th

    Dhanasri..afternoon..........................1 b3 4 5 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 b3 2 1.............root

    Saranga.....noon..............................1 2 4 5 6 b7 7 1-1 7 b7 6 5 4 2 1............2nd

    Asavari......evening..........................1 2 4 5 b6 1-1 b7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1.............6th

    Ghandari....evening.........................1 2 4 5 b6 b7 1-1 b7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1.........4th

    Bihag.......night.............................1 3 4 #4 5 7 1-1 7 6 5 4 3 2 1..................3rd

    Kedara.....evening.........................1 4 #4 5 6 b7 7 1-1 7 6 5 #4 4 3 2 1.....Perfect 4th

    Bhairava...morning.........................1 b2 3 4 5 b6 7 1- 1 7 b6 5 4 3 b2 1.......b6th

    Todi.........evening or morning...........1 b2 b3 #4 5 b6 7 1-1 7 b6 5 #4 b3 b2 1 ...3rd

    Multani....afternoon/evening.............1 b3 #4 5 7 1-1 7 b6 5 #4 b3 b2 1............#4th

    Gauri........afternoon.........................1 b2 #4 5 7 1-1 7 b6 5 #4 3 b2 1............2nd

    Marva.......afternoon..........................1 b2 3 #4 6 7 1-1 7 6 #4 3 b2 1............3rd or 4th

    Mechakalyani [Kalyan]........evening.........1 3 #4 5 6 7 1-1 7 6 5 #4 4 3 2 1...........3rd



    Carnatic System: South India


    Name...........Time of Day............................Solfeggio....................................Ahmsa

    Hamsadhvani... noon.................................1 2 3 5 7 1-1 7 5 3 2 1.....................5th

    Punnagavarali....night...........................b7 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7-b7 b6 5 4 b3 b 2 1... root

    Harikambodhi....night.............................1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1......3rd

    Sankarabharana...morning.....................1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 7 1-1 7 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1...3rd

    Dhanyasi............morning........................1 b3 4 5 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 b3 2 1..........7th

    Mohana..............noon............................1 2 3 5 6 1-1 6 5 3 2 1.................3rd

    Arabhi................morning.......................1 2 4 5 6 1 1 7 6 5 4 3 2 1............................4th

    Devamanohari......night........................1 2 4 5 6 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 2 1........2nd

    Nadanamakriya.....evening..................1 b2 3 4 5 b6 7 1-1 7 b6 5 4 3 b2 1...4th

    Chalanata.............night......................1 b3 3 4 5 b7 7 1-1 7 b7 5 4 3 b3 1...3rd

    Madhyamavati.....noon........................1 2 4 5 b7 1-1 b7 5 4 2 1.............2nd/4th

    Kambodhi..............evening/night..........1 2 3 4 5 6 1-1 7 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1......n/a

    Anandabhairavi.....morning..................1 2 b3 4 5 1-1 7 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1.........3rd

    Natabharavi............night......................1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1-1 b7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1...2nd

    Bilahari..................morning.................1 2 3 5 6 1-1 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.............5th

    Sriraga..............evening.....................1 2 4 5 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 b3 2 1...........2nd

    Suddhanata............night....................1 3 4 5 7 1-1 7 5 4 3 1......................3rd

    Kharaharapriya........noon..................1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1-1 b7 6 5 4 b3 2 1 ....5th


    MM

    My Websites:

    110 MB of free acoustic guitar downloads:`fingerstyle`slide`altered tunings.
    http://homepage.mac.com/rpeikoff/FileSharing14.html
    ~bio~photos~guitars~tunings~mp3s~cds.
    http://www.muktimusic.com ;)
     
    jayswami likes this.
  2. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    great!!! have u experimented with chord progressions which actually have notes not part of a raaga?

    For example a C Dm7 Em7, C Ddim7 E7 prog on mohanam rooted at C etc
     
  3. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    Thread moved to Carnatic Forum!
     
  4. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Yes jayswami. I also like 8 tone scales. They make for interesting hybrids.
    Thanks for your kind words earlier. Where is Redmond? MM :think:
     
  5. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    Seattle puget sound area... east side of lake washington.. home of microsoft.
     
  6. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Huskies!

    U of W: my alma mater...
     
  7. aysh

    aysh -|h3 ori9in4| (ui!aris-|-

    Muktimusik i shure am hell impressed with ur knowledge of music. yar i too wantd to learn his classical stuff but never had a chance. thanx to u 4 posting such unique info .. keep up the good word..er.. but i cudnt understand ur post (heheh)
    plz explain some terms like "solfeggios"
     
  8. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    cool!!!! I am performing there on April 30th.. Kane Hall
     
  9. harini

    harini Hameer Kalyani

    Mukti, where do you get your information from? some of it is wrong dude.
    Dhanyasi and Arabhi are only pentonic in ascension. the avarohanam has all the full notes.
     
  10. harini

    harini Hameer Kalyani

    *all the notes
     
  11. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Big Lebowski...

    Greetings harini. I've been reading some of your threads. They are very enlightening. First let me say this thread was originally posted for guitarists not necessarily interested in the classical form of the raga but the notes used, including any specific directions re: ascending and/or descending attributes.

    Secondly my name is not dude. That is is a term I hold reverent for the Big Lebowski! But thanks anyway. I may consider an exception in your case. :)

    Your challenges are addressed below and I am happy to stand corrected. I give the information verbatim from the source below for all three ragas: Kalyan, Dhanyasi, and Arabhi.

    My source for my thread is the book the Music of India by H.A. Popley [S.P.C.K. Press, Vepery, Madras 1921]. There apparently have been several re-prints since. My Google Search brings up a 1996 edition, so it's popularity for nearly 85 years hopefully speaks to some authenticity. Popley appears to have been a missionary very keen on the idea of propogating the merit of classical Indian music, North and South to 'Indian and Europeans' alike. He credits quite a few scholars in his acknowledgments. Perhaps he is in error.

    Here's an interesting link: http://www.chennaionline.com/musicnew/CarnaticMusic/190th.asp. The professor honored in this article [born 1901] was a colleague of Mr Popley. Here's an excerpt:

    '...ambamoorthy gave a series of lectures on 'Musical Forms' at the Summer School run by H A Popley. Popley was so impressed by this that he immediately appointed him as a lecturer in his Summer school. Sambamoorthy continued working in the summer school and became its Vice-Principal in 1926 and its Principal in 1927. Smt Bhagerati Nagarajan, daughter of veteran violinist M S Anantharaman has taken up Professor Sambamoorthy and his contribution to music as the subject of her thesis for a doctoral degree. The following is the gist of the presentation given by her on 23rd October 2003. The Centre for Ethnomusicology, in association with the Indian Musicological Sociey, remembered Professor Sambamoorthy on his 30th death anniversary.'


    I've enjoyed my first edition copy of the book for several years, so hopefully the informatoin is accurate. But please feel free to suggest corrections. Perhaps there have been changes since 1921. Also include your source as I'm sure there are many besides myself who would value the research.

    In Mr Popley's book he speaks of Mechakalyani [Kalyan] as one of the Primary Carnatic ragas from which secondary or janya ragas are formed. He specifically gives the solfeggio for this Primary raga as: S R G M m P D N S. He refers to it as a janaka raga or melakarta. The time of day and mood indicated are evening & merriment. He refers to it as the Lydian authentic mode.

    In all his diagrams in the book he indicates ascending and/or descending patterns [if different], both on the staff as well as the solfeggio [S R G...]. With regards to the Primary Raga Mechakalyani [Kalyan], they are the same. He refers to Hamirkalyani [his spelling] as a secondary or janya raga with the same time & mood attributes; and gives the following ascending & descending form: >SGPmPDNS | SNDPmMGRS>.

    As regards Dhanyasi it is indicated as a Secondary raga with its Primary being Hanumatodi, a variation of Bhairavi. Its attributes: morning & pleading. Its solfeggio, ascending and descending: SgMPnS with the occasional Dha as a grace note when descending from the Sa. Its ahmsa is Ni and its characteristic phrase [or secondary essence] is PnS

    As regards Arabhi it is also indicated as a Secondary raga with its Primary being Sankarabharanya. Its attributes: morning & mystery. Its solfeggio, ascending and descending: SRMPDS, ahmsa is ma and characteristic phrase: RMD.

    MM :beer:
     
  12. propellerhead

    propellerhead Banned

    i have an open question..
    what decides if a raaga is morning evening or noon? i know people with perfect pitch often comment this key is dark.. that key is sweet etc etc...
    but as far as i know concept of absolute pitch doesnt exist (or does it?? ) in indian classical music.. so what decides the time of a raaga? and are we supposed to play certain raags rooted at certain frequencies?

    MM? Harini?

    on a side note. i heard all the tracks form morning raaga movie soundtrack.. it has kamas,nattai,thodi amongst others.. are all of them morning raagas?

    i found kamas and thodi fromMM's list.. and somehow they sound like morning raags to my ears.. i dont know why... but nattai (mahaganapatim) is almost bluesy.. and for some reaosn sounds like a night time raaga to me... is that a morning raaga too?
     
  13. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Time Theory: According to Mr. Bakshi...

    Time Theory of Raga-s [Time of Performance]

    According to the time theory, a raga can be performed only at a particular time assigned to it, out of 24 hours of the day, or, in some cases, a particular season of the year is assigned. It is not clear why this is so; but the theory is strictly followed even today. See 2.4 (C). "poorvanga-pradhana" raga-s are sung during the time period 12 noon to 12 midnight. "uttaranga-pradhana" raga-s are sung during the time period 12 midnight to 12 noon. In addition, each raga has been assigned a particular "prahara" only in which it can be performed. A "prahara" is 90 minutes.

    Timewise, the raga-s are divided into the morning raga-s, the midday/midnight raga-s, the twilight raga-s, and the night raga-s. In this context, the following generalizations have been observed

    (i) Raga-s with shuddha Re (D), Ga (E), Dha (A) and Ni (B) are performed in the first quarter of morning or night.

    (ii) Raga-s with komala Ga (E flat) and Ni (B flat) are performed in the middle of the day or night.

    (iii) Raga-s with Sa (C), Ma (F), and Pa (G) as prominent notes, are performed in the last quarter of day or night.

    (iv) Raga-s performed from afternoon till midnight, contian teevra Ma (F sharp).

    (v) The raga-s with komala Re (D flat) and Dha (A flat), are performed at the twilight (morning as well as evening). Such raga-s are called "sandhi-prakasha" raga-s. Also, they often use both shuddha Ma (F) and teevra Ma (F sharp).
    Note: There are two exceptions : On being ordered by a King, and when learning from your Guru, you can perform any raga at any time.

    By Haresh Bakshi
    http://www.soundofindia.com/showarticle.asp?in_article_id=793838584


    MM ;)
     
  14. harini

    harini Hameer Kalyani

    MM/Propellerhead,
    Timings of ragas is something that i have no knoweldge of. there are a few ragams that have meanings- bhupalam is the early morning ragam, neelambari is to put ur kid to sleep, amritavarshini is supposed to bring rain, and so on.

    MM, your Mr. Popley's book is not the best book to read from what i can see. With regards to arabhi, we need to look no further than the grand thyagaraja pancharathna krithi itself.

    7. r m p- d , p – m p d d p – m p d P | P – mg R – D D p – m g r R ||

    Parama bha ktha va - thsaludu su guna pa ra va- run da jan ma ma nagudee



    d d P s n D r S s m g R | r S s d d p – p , p – m g r – s r m ||

    kaliba dhalathee rchu vada nu chune hrudambu jamuna ju chu chun - - daga

    Arabhi, Janyam of Shankarabharanam
    Aro: S R M P D S
    Avaro: S N D P M G R S

    MM, i dont have any sources to quote. 17 years of learning music and you prolly wont need a book to quote either.

    Dhanyasi, Janyam of Thodi.

    Aro: S G M P N S
    Avaro: S N D P M G R S

    Your knowledge of carnatic music is all messed up because of the wrong sources you have been learning from. Saint thyagaraja himself said- Gurulekha Ituvanti Guniki Teliyaka Bodu ( Without the right guru, even the most virtuous do not know their way).

    Read books of people who actually know carnatic music.

    Harini
     
  15. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    harini, saint thyagaraja is no more, and we are living in USA where finding qualified gurus is difficult, so though i fully appreciate your feedback, can you make it a little bit more constructive by giving the names of good reference and text books?
     
  16. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Reply

    Please suggest sources and corrections of the rest of my original post. Surely with 17 years of knowledge your info must be written down somewhere. It is the digital age. Smileys are nice too. :think:

    Peace

    MM
     
  17. ananth222

    ananth222 Beginner

  18. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Thanks ananth...

    I'll check this out asap and adjust my thread accordingly where necessary.

    MM ;)
     
  19. harini

    harini Hameer Kalyani

    mm, j

    i do not have any online references that i can refer you to. carnatic music is best learnt from a guru. the notes i have, are taken down in class, and in memory from observation. when you have the practical knowledge, you understand the theory too.

    guys, its been a pleasure working here with youll at igt. however, the time has come for me to move on. i came here with the intention of spreading knowledge. when my intent has been questioned a variety of times, i think it is best for me to leave.

    Thanks
    Bye
     
  20. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Corrections made...

    Thanks ananth for the links and the mature response. In the West we don't have access to the kind of teachers that India offers. Many of us who are keen on learning have to search alone in lieu of a teacher. I teach guitar as well as record and compose in Los Angeles. I am always interested in new things and always appreciate when the teaching is offered in a generous and welcoming spirit. I see that harini has bowed out after only such a short time. That is unfortunate.

    I've made the corrections regarding the ragas in question except for Kalyan as I've found nothing to support a change to the contrary. If you have a link please let us see it.


    Thank you

    MM ;)
     

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