Let us first understand what a Melakartha Raga is. A Melakartha, also known as Mela or Janaka Raga, is a set of scales that acts as a source for deriving other ragas. Such ragas are generally Sampoornam by nature, which means they contain all 7 notes. These 7 notes are always in order from shadjam to shadjam of the upper octave and remain the same in both ascending and descending order. It is interesting to note that apart from having its own unique set of notes, a Melakartha also has its own unique gamaka phrase. But this can be discussed in a later part.

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The chart is separated into a hierarchical tree model with representations for each swara family. The center of the chart represents the origin of all Melakarta ragas. The second level of circles represents the two Madhyama M swaras and their respective halves of the Melakarta structure. The third level of circles represents the 12 Chakras of Carnatic music.

Each Chakra represents a particular combination of Rishabha and Gandhara swaras in its particular half of the chart. Clicking on the name or circle for any of the 72 ragas will bring up a popup which contains information about that particular raga. The left side of the panel includes an image of the western scale equivalent of the particular raga.

The right side contains a few popular compositions in the selected scale. On the top of the panel you can listen to a short ascending Arohanam and descending Avarohanam audio representation of the scale. Searching By Swaras The "Search by Swara" feature is a tool to find a raga by the notes in its particular scale. There are a total of 7 different swaras in the Carnatic system. There are no variations of both Shadja S and Panchama P in a single octave therefore they are not alterable in the swara selection.

For Example, if you select G2, then you may only select R1 or R2. Once you have selected all five swaras from the dropdown, you may click the "Search By Swara" button to search the Melakarta chart for the corresponding raga. The raga will be highlighted in red. Search By Name The "Search By Name" feature is a simple tool that allows you to find a raga on the chart if you already know its name.

Searched ragas will be highlted red on the chart, indicating their location.


Melkarta Raga

Melakarta ragas are parent ragas hence known as janaka ragas from which other ragas may be generated. A melakarta raga is sometimes referred as mela, karta or sampurna as well. In Hindustani music the thaat is equivalent of Melakarta. There are 10 thaats in Hindustani music, though the commonly accepted melakarta scheme has 72 ragas. Rules for Melakarta Ragas must contain the following characteristics to be considered Melakarta. They are sampurna ragas — they contain all seven swaras notes of the octave in both ascending and descending scale They are krama sampurna ragas — that is the sequence is strictly ascending and descending in the scales, without any jumps or zig-zag notes The upper shadjam is included in the raga scale ragas like Punnagavarali and Chenchurutti are not melakarta as they end with nishadham The ascending and descending scales must have the same notes History The mela system of ragas was first propounded by Raamamaatya in his work Svaramelakalanidhi c. He is considered the father of mela system of ragas.



Would like to see the commentary mentioned at the end. But this was not the first, single composition covering all the 72 mela ragas. One Lavani Venkata Rao, a court poet in the Tanjavur kingdom, a scholar in Marathi, Tamil and Telugu, and a brilliant exponent of Lavani a type of Marathi folk style singing, composed a version of the 72 mela ragamalika, called Bahuttara Melakarta in Marathi. The theme is erotic and is in praise of Sakharam Saheb, the son-in-law of the ruler. Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer was entrusted with the task of setting this composition to music. He accomplished this with great ease in a short period of seven days and was awarded Rs.



He is considered the father of mela system of ragas. The controversial parts relate to double counting of R2 and similar svaras and his exclusive selection of madyamas for which there is no specific reasoning also known as asampurna melas as opposed to sampurna ragas. Govindhacharya is credited with the standardization of rules and known for giving different names for standard ragas that have a different structure but the same swaras as those proposed by Venkatamakhi. The sankhya associates Sanskrit consonants with digits. The digits corresponding to the first two syllables of the name of a raga, when reversed, give the index of the raga.


Hemavati (raga)


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