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Carnatic
Index Author

Preface

Introduction

Swaras and Swarasthanas

Ragas

The Melakarta Scheme

Janya Ragas

Taalam

Grahabedam and Symmetries

Culture
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INTRODUCTION

Two successive C keys are separated by what is called an octave which corresponds to a ratio of two in frequency. That is, the frequency of a C note is exactly double the frequency of the C immediately below (to the left of) it and exactly half the frequency of the C immediately above it. Two sounds are perceived to be very similar if they are separated by an octave and the only explanation for this is that that is how mother nature has made it! 

The concept of harmony is closely related to the notion of harmonics. Consider a string fixed at both ends and vibrating at a fundamental frequency . From basic physics, the upper harmonics of the string are at integral multiples off, namely, 2f, fie, 4f etc. Harmonious tones have common harmonics and this implies that the tones have fundamental frequencies that are related as a ratio of two integers. A high degree of harmony is associated with ratios involving powers of 2 (2:1, 4:1, 8:1 etc.) and small integers (e.g.. 3:2). 

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