#18-Dwimadhyama Panchama Varja Ragas

S. Kalyanaraman (2 June 1930 – 9 January 1994), popularly known as SKR, was a legendary vocalist in the Carnatic tradition. Hailing from a famed musical family, where his great-grandfather was Komal Muthu Bhagavathar and his grand uncle was the celebrated vocalist Madirimangalam Natesa Iyer, S.Kalyanaraman became one of the foremost disciples of G. N. Balasubramaniam and established himself as an original musician in his own right. Kalyanaraman’s influence undeniably bore the GNB mudra.

Later Sri. Kalyanaraman ventured deeper into the scales and came up with the fascinating 36 dwi madhyama panchama varja ragams!  This scheme of Mela is actually mentioned earler in the Ashtotharasata (108) mela scheme. In this scheme the regular 72 melas are expanded to 108 (72+36), by including the possible 36 vikritha panchama melas, ie, melakarthas taking both the madhyamas and without the panchama, the prathi madhyama being sung in place of panchama.

For example the scale of Mayamalavagowla is

Sa ri1 ga3 ma1 pa dha1 ni3 sa
Sa ni3 dha1 pa ma1 ga3 ri3 sa

and Mayashree will be ;

Sa ri1  ga3  ma1 ma2 dha1  ni3  sa
Sa ni3  dha1  ma2 ma1 ga3  ri1  sa

Here the Panchama is replaced by Madhyama. The name of the mela can be easily found out by looking at the first word. All these ragas have the suffix “Sri”. Like wise the scale for all the 36 ragas can be easily derived.

Nomenclature Given by Tanjavur S. Kalyanaraman is as follows :

1) Kanakangi – Kanagasri
2) Rathnangi – Rathnasri
3) Ganamurthy – Ganasri
4) Vanaspathy – Vanasri
5) Manavathi – Manasri
6) Thanarupi – Thanasri
7) Senavati – Sunadhasri
8) Hanuma Thodi – Hanumasri
9) Dhenuka – Dhensri
10) Natakapriya – Natakasri
11) Kokilapriya – Kokilasri
12) Roopavathi – Roopasri
13) Gayakapriya – Gayakasri
14) Vakulabharanam – Vakulasri
15) Mayamalavagowla – Mayasri
16) Chakravakam – Chakrasri
17) Suryakantham – Suryasri
18) Hatakambari – Hatasri
19) Jhankaradhwani – Jhankarasri
20) Natabhairavi – Natasri
21) Kiravani – Kiranasri
22) Kharaharapriya – Kharasri
23) Gowrimanohari – Gowrisri
24) VarunaPriya – Varunasri
25) Mararanjani – Marasri
26) Charukesi – Charusri
27) Sarasangi – Sarasri
28) Harikamboji – Harisri
29) Dheerasankarabharanam – Dheerasri
30) Naganandhani – Nagasri
31) Yagapriya – Yagasri
32) Raghavardhani – Raghasri
33) Gangeyabooshani – Gangasri
34) Vaghadheeswari – Vaghasri
35) Sulini – Sulasri
36)Chalanata – Chalasri

If the visitors can identify any songs in these ragas please share the  same.

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9 thoughts on “#18-Dwimadhyama Panchama Varja Ragas

  1. Ma’am. I would like to know on what basis do we associate a janya raga with it’s respective melakartha. For example, we have raga kalkada. It is janyam of gayakapriya melakartha. But how do we identify that it is the janya of gayakapriya without reference to a particular source ? Why can’t it be the janyam of dhavalambari, the prathi madhyama counterpart of gayakapriya ? Kalkada has all the parent swarams of dhavalambari and gayakapriya except M1 or M2. This is in the case of madhyamam. How do we decide that kalkada is the janya of gayakapriya and not dhavalambari ? But in the case of dhaivathams, nishadams, gandharams, and rishabhams we have lots of options. A raga which has R1 and G3, D1, can be associated with any melakartha raga which can have any one of the three nishadams and two madhyamams. The melakartha can have either N1, N2, or N3 and M1 or M2. How do we point out the appropriate one ? Pls reply soon.

    • Hello Vishhvak

      Today’s trend is to base a raga purely on the basis of the swaras(exactly the solfa syllables) that comes in the parent mela. Earlier vidwans/musicians used to say that the features of a janya raga is much determined by the melodic and aesthetic identity or structure of its parent mela. The raga swaroopa and gamakas used in the janya raga are the criteria to be considered for assigning the parent raga. A sound knowledge of rAga swaroopa is very much essential to identify the parent mela of a janya raga. If the listeners have the ability to distinguish swaras clearly then it is obvious that they can identify the parent raga.

      Let us take the case of Mohanam. It can be derived from Harikamboji( ascribed as the parent of Mohanam), Sankarabharanam and also Kalyani! All these ragas have the same R2, G3 and D2. Why we are not ascribing it to Sankarabharanam? Because the Jeevaswara of Sankarabharam, Gandharam is never oscillated or it is as still as a rock. Can you sing Gandharam in Mohanam without any Gamakas or Oscillation? Gandharam is the jeevaswara of Mohanam.

      Appreciating your curiosity about finding the mela of a janya raga, I wonder why you have chosen ragas that are fairly uncommon ones like Kalagada, Dhavalambari and Gayakapriya. How many krithis can you trace in these ragas ? Very few..You could have chosen a much popular or common raga like Mohanam or Hamsadwani to bring out your point?

      Now a small homework for you. Just try to find out the jeeva swaras and other characteristic features of both the parent melas that you have mentioned and know for yourself why Kalagada comes under Gayakapriya and not under Dhavalambari.Kindly post your finding in this blog as music enthusiasts may find it very useful including myself. To be very honest, I am not very familiar with the Dhavalambari/Kalagada/Gayakapriya ragas..Very much a beginner in the ocean of music !! I believe that your doubt is cleared to a certain extent.

    • A famous writer from Kerala, Attoor Krishna Pisharadi also noticed the possibility of these ‘dwi madhyama’ ragas. He explained these ragas in his book “Sangeetha Chandrika”. He also created a new “Mela Chakram’ including the ‘dwi madhyama ragas’. He renamed all melaragas according to the KADAPAYADI system. According to him, ‘Dheera Sankarabharanam’ is ‘Ragothamsam’. He wrote Lakshana Geethas for all these mela ragas … Very interesting … …

  2. Hi to everybody.I am new to this blog.I have been following the thread ,dwimadyama ragas.I remember D.Pattammal has set to music some 7, 8krithis of her own in dwimadyama ragas.I will come back with more details in a few days time.

    • Hello Jayam

      Thanks for visiting the blog.

      That’s a great info. It will be very helpful if you could identify the krithis composed by Smt.D.Pattammal along with their ragas ..

      Please keep visiting..

  3. Hello Anuradha,

    I am extremely happy to have visited your blog which is studded with some brilliant technical information. Many articles are eye openers while some are really brain teasers 🙂

    On the Panchama Varjitha Dwi Madhyama Ragas i think SKR has rendered an Asthapadi ” Hari Guna”.

    The system is also popularized by Dr BMK with his composition is the Raga Rohini ” Maamava Gaana lola”

    Scale: Rohini

    S R1 G3 M1 M2 D2 N3 S
    S N3 D2 M2 M1 G3 R1 S

    It has been told this system existed quite long ago. A similar system that cam after this into limelight was ” Sannkeerna Mela Paddathi”. This was revised and put on papers by prof Sambamoorthy. The concept is of combining the melas of 1 and 2 on the aarohanam and avarohanam respectively. So the raga list would go like Kanaka-Kanaka, Kanaka-Ratna, Kanaka -Gana, Kanaka-Maana etc. thereby giving 72 X 72 raagas.

    The sankeerna mela paddathi has been used by Dr Bmk in his composition ” Nava Mohana” set to the raga Manorama.

    Scale: Manorama

    S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S
    S N3 D1 P M2 G3 R1 S

    Sadly traditions shrew artists and musicians who sing such ragas while they fail to recognize the raga Bhiravi is one derived from such a method. It is Kharaharapirya with Nata Bhiravi, with a little varka sancharam on the aarohanam.

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