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The Curious Combination and Power of 5 Note Scales in the World of Carnatic Music

6th May, 2022

Carnatic classical music has typically originated in the Southern part of India. It is one of the most beautiful forms of art that will never lose its beauty. It consists of Sapta Swaras and 72 melakarta ragas. When they are put together in a single composition, it creates magic! If you are inclined towards mastering this particular art form, you can engage yourself in taking Carnatic music lessons. Learning directly from experienced professionals will allow you to make better progress in your musical journey. If you wish to pursue a career in the music industry, pull up your socks and get into the practice from now itself. For more information related to Carnatic music, keep reading this blog till the end.

Introduction to the 12 notes in a Scale

Carnatic Music Lessons: What Are the 5 Note Scales in Carnatic Music?

In the world of Carnatic Music, there is a unique combination of 5 note scales. The compelling note combination comes with the potential of drawing and attracting the audience's attention. The ragas are as follows:

  • Hamsadhwani
  • Mohana
  • Hindolam
  • Suddha Saveri
  • Madhyamavati

The expansion of these five different Carnatic music notes in various octaves blessed the listeners with a fantastic experience. The pentatonic scales prove their brilliance when a particular Carnatic musical concert starts with Hamsadhwani raga and ends with Madhyamavati! It gives birth to an excellent surrounding aura that is universal and is beyond languages and boundaries. Let us learn about each one of them separately in this blog now!

What Is Hamsadhwani Raga?

Hamsadhwani means 'the cry of the swan.' In Carnatic music, Hamshadhwani is an audava raga which means platonic scale. This raga can also be applied to the Hindustani classical form of music as well. The arohana in this raga is S R2 G3 P N3 S. The avarohana is S N3 P G3 R2 S. the notes used in this scale are Shadjam, Chatushruti, Rishabham, Antara Gandharam, Kakali Nishadam, and Pachamam. Hamsadhwani raga is mainly sung in the initial stage of the performance. This raga was created by Ramaswami Dikshitar, one of the most famous Carnatic composers and father of Muthuswami Dikshitar. Also, it was brought into Hindustani classical music by Aman Ali Khan.

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What Is Mohanam Raga?

Mohanam is considered to be the most beautiful and pleasing raga. It has the potential to capture and lock the mind of all the Carnatic music listeners out there. In Hindustani classical music, Mohanam Raga is often referred to as Bhoop. The arohana is S R2 G3 P D2 S, and Avarohanam is S D2 P G3 R2 S. Mohanam raga is probably the oldest ragam in the history of humankind. You will be able to witness this pentatonic scale in the music of primitive tribes and several nations. Japanese, Ancient Chinese, Swedish, Hungarian, etc., come with shades of Mohanam raga. You can gain practical exposure in the online Carnatic music lessons.

What Is Hindolam Raga?

The Hindolam raga is considered to have a hypnotizing melody. It is a gentle, serene, enchanting, soulful, and soothing meditative raga. Malkauns is the Hindustani equivalent of Hindolam raga. This raga can eliminate anxiety and enhance the feelings of compassion in people. Hindolam raga can help the patients deal with low blood pressure, thus providing utmost relief at the end of the day. Apart from that, Hindolam raga helps take care of the average body temperature and digestive system. One can achieve tranquility and restful sleep. The arohanam is S G2 M1 D1 N2 S and avarohanam is S N2 D1 M1 G2 S.

What Is Suddha Saveri?

The Arohanam of Suddha Saveri is S R2 M1 P D2 S. In contrast; the avarohanam is S D2 P M1 R2 S. it is mainly derived from Sankarabharanam, which is marked in the 29th position on the melakarta scale. Devakriya is another name for Suddha saveri raga. It doesn't consist of Nishadam or Gandharam. In Hindustani classical music, the Suddha Saveri raga is called Durga.

What Is Madhyamavati?

Madhyamavati is another famous raga in Carnatic classical music. It also means pentatonic scale since they do not consist of the sapta swaras or the seven musical notes. In Hindustani classical music, it is referred to as Madhumad Sarang. In every Carnatic music concert, the song tends to end with Madhyamavati. The arohana structure is S R2 M1 P N2 S, whereas the Avarohana structure is S N2 P M1 R2 S.

The Bottom Line

These are the robust five notes scales whose unique combinations can grab the audience's attention and create wonders within a blink of an eye. You can gain real-life experience after getting involved in Carnatic music lessons provided by professional music practitioners.

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