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Swaras and Swarasthanas


The Melakarta Scheme

Janya Ragas


Grahabedam and Symmetries

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The type of janya raga we have considered so far, namely, what is derived by simply dropping notes from a melakarta raga, is called as an Upaanga raga.   There are alternate means of generating janya ragas. The arohanam and/or avarohanam can use a twisted progression. For example, we can construct a janya raga from Dheerasankaraabharanam using the arohanam Sa - Ri - Ma - Da - Ni - Ga - Pa - Sa and a simple sampoorna avarohanam. The resulting raga is called Katanakuthoohalam. A janya ragam employing a twisted arohanamand/or avarohanam is termed as a Vakra ragam. We can also mix notes from two melakartas in the arohanam and avarohanam to produce janya ragas. For example, the ragam Bhairavi uses Chatusruthi Dhaivatham in its arohanam and Suddha Dhaivatham in its avarohanam. This type of structure is indicated by the term Baashaanga ragam.   A ragam can be Baashaangam or Upaangam but not both. The Vakra characteristic can be combined freely with both types. The result is that a very large number of combinations are possible and only the ability to create a distinct swaroopam dictates what combinations are actually used in creating janya ragas. The description of a janya raga usually indicates the melakarta from which it is derived, whether it Vakram or not, whether is Upaangam or Baashaangam, and if it Baashaangam, the swaras which make it so. The arohanam and avarohanam provide further details (like sampoorna, shadava or oudava).

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About Janya Ragas
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