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Surabhi Post Myriad Hues Of Ragas Ragas Sung In Madhyama Shruti

This week's update contains ragas which are sung in 'madhyama shruti'. So, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the concept of madhyama shruti and understand the reason behind singing these ragas in madhyama shruti.

We know that a tambura's drone constitutes the swaras Sa, Pa, Sa of which Sa is the fundamental frequency which determines the position of all the other swaras.  When the tambura is set to give out the swaras, Sa, Ma, Sa (replacing Pa by Ma) it is called the 'madhyama shruti'.  The idea of doing this is to shift the fundamental frequency from Sa to the swara Ma.  Keeping the position of Ma as Sa, other swaras are derived accordingly. 

But one may ask why make life complicated by doing this exercise when one is comfortably settled with the normal Sa, Pa, Sa.  To answer this question, we will have to first understand what Panchamantya, Dhavaithantya and Nishadhantya ragas are.  Well, as their names suggest, these ragas have truncated arohanam-avarohanam extending only up to swaras Pa, Da or Ni respectively and having only limited sancharas.  For example, kurinji is a janyam of shankarabaranam containing swaras only till Da. When rendered in the normal panchama shruti, the pitch would be very low and hence would create less of an impact. 

Rendering these ragas in the madhyama shruti enhances the feel and effect of the raga.  All the commonly rendered madhyama shruti ragas feature in this week's new raga segment. (Check Audio files section below for comparison of Panchama Vs Madhyama Shruti) All the ragas that feature in this week's episode (Week 53) are highly phrase oriented and have only limited scope of elaboration.  Normally they feature in the ragamalika segment in a concert or in the tukkadas.  It may not be advisable to provide arohanam-avarohanam for these ragas, however I would like to mention the name of the parent ragas from which they have been derived.
  * Raga Kurinji - Janyam of Raga Shankarabaranam
  * Raga Nadanamakriya - Janyam of Raga Mayamalavagowlai
  * Raga Punnagavarali - Janyam of Raga Thodi
  * Raga Senjurutti - Janyam of Raga Hari Kambhoji (Harikambodhi)
  * Raga Yamuna Kalyani - Janyam of Raga Kalyani

Hope you find them interesting.

 Musically yours,


A step by step initiation in to Carnatic music theory addressing raga classification, common music terminologies, various swara sthanas, raga lakshanas and more...Do take time to go through our blogs where all concepts are described with appropriate audio demonstrations. (Explanations in English)