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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
The ratio 3:2 signifies that the second harmonic of the higher frequency tone coincides the third harmonic of the lower frequency tone and such a relationship is very easily detected by the human ear. Two tones related through a ratio 91:85 are not perceived as being very harmonious because the common harmonics are the 91st and 85th. Such high harmonics typically have very low intensity and may even be beyond the frequency range of the human ear. 

The principle of integral ratios is inherent in our perception of sound. A tune is identified by the ratio of frequencies that appear in succession to produce it and only special training develops the ability to perceive the absolute pitch (frequency) of sounds. Next we observe that there are a total of twelve keys in the repeating pattern (or twelve swara sthanas in an octave). 

This division of an octave into twelve swara sthanas has evolved over a period of millennia. This is evident from the fact that while some ancient forms of music use fewer swara sthanas, the current forms of many styles of classical music which evolved independently (including Western, Hindustani and Carnatic) use only twelve swara sthanas to an octave. 

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